This particular entry to the Dapper Chapper bar had a bit of a head start on some of its competitors, mainly because we were already in love.
The affair started when we were introduced staying at one of Martin Millers retreats nearly 10 years ago and there has been a bottle on the bar ever since. I could talk all day about Martin Miller who prior to making his own gin ran a host of boutique hotels and publishing his Miller’s Companion to Antiques & Collectables – a very interesting chap indeed.
The brand has got a great reputation in the industry and you’ll do well to find a review concluding ‘this isn’t for me’ but there’s a reason for that. Since its launch in 1999, Martin Miller’s Gin has consistently won awards for excellence from the world’s leading institutions, making it the most awarded gin in the Premium and Super-Premium categories.
It still remains the only gin ever to be awarded 97 points from the Beverage Testing Institute of Chicago, the highest score ever awarded to a gin and beating some of the great gins that have already made it onto the Dapper Chapper bar. We were sent both the gins; Martin Miller’s and Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength that have won awards including Gold and Best in Class from a number of organisations. (The complete list of awards is too long include in this post!).
What’s equally impressive is the fact the company are doing everything in the right way. The website is interactive, interesting and innovative, the competitions are clever the brand book is beautiful and I won’t go into specifics but let’s just say they were rather generous with the samples we were sent.
To top all of this some genius in the marketing team decided to set up a brand partnership with one of our favourite brands and kings of Saville Row, Hardy Amies (S/S’15 here). Martin Miller’s Gin served the ultimate G&T at their SS15 presentation at London Collections: Men – what a treat for those attending.
Dapper Chappers, read this quote from Martin Miller’s founder and director David Bromige and tell me this doesn’t deserve to be at the front of your bar: ‘Just as traditional English tailoring is reinvigorated to suit the modern man, in the same way, Martin Miller’s Gin brought the classic G&T back to the forefront of the modern man’s drinks repertoire,’ – they are literally making Gin for us Chaps!
The brand partnership is clever, and bold but through it they’ve clearly identified a target group and we are happy it’s us.
Aesthetics are important to us, so what about the bottle design?
Well both bottles are rather charming actually. They are clean and elegant, the Traditional is tall and the Westbourne is bold – both would work perfectly in the front row of the Dapper Chapper Bar.
At this point I’d like to introduce you to Angela, the distillation pot who lives in the Langley Distillery in Birmingham – charming isn’t she:
In a break with tradition, there are two separate distillations for the juniper and earthier botanicals that are later ‘married’ or blended with a second separate distillation of the citrus elements of bitter orange peel from Seville, lemon and lime peel. These techniques contribute to the gin’s unique freshness and clarity of flavour.
The real USP in the production process though isn’t Angela or the distillation split, but the fact the gin is sent to Iceland to be blended with water to reach bottling strength. The water melted from the glaciers filters through volcanic rock and is collected by Martin Millers for blending. Millers have done their best to include the best ingredients and very much include their choice of water in this.
But what about the taste, I hear you cry! Well to be clear, there are two types of gin; The traditional London Dry Style and the Westbourne Strength.
The ingredients include:
- Lemon peel
- Angelica root
- Orris root
- Liquorice root
- Orange peel
- + one secret ingredient (there’s lots of talk about Cucumber flavours but I guess we’ll never know…)
A delightful end result which is a traditional London Dry Style in flavour profile and dryness.
The Westbourne strength variant was developed in 2002 to 2003 in response to requests from barmen and mixologists requesting a higher proof version of the gin. It uses the same classic palette of botanicals as the 80 proof variant but there are subtle alterations to the balance. The higher, 90 proof, gives the gin a little extra ‘punch’, making it ideal for more complex or highly flavoured cocktails.
The G&T: Andalusian G & T with Traditional Martin Millers
50ml Martin Miller’s Gin
Squeeze of lime juice
Build over cubed ice in a hi-ball glass. Garnish with the lime and basil leaf.
The Cocktail: Martini with Westbourne Strength Martin Millers
60ml Martin Miller’s Gin
5ml dry vermouth
Shake or stir over ice and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive or lemon twist.
Retail price is around the £25, available at a number of stockists. Visit: Martin Millers