In a nutshell:
New-ish, styl-ish, Brit-ish, a new London Dry designed to tickle the tastebuds of modern minded discerning gin drinkers
What They Say:
Using the highest quality grain spirit, ish is infused with the taste and aromas of its eleven selected botanicals including juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, almond, orris root, nutmeg, cinnamon, cassia, liquorice, lemon peel and orange peel. The botanicals are macerated in the spirit for 24 hours before being distilled for the fifth time and the resultant concentrate is then allowed a two-week resting period to allow for the botanicals to become fully integrated. The ratio of ish concentrate to alcohol and water is higher than average, providing a more complex mouth and body.
What We Say
Before you even get to the gin inside the type style on the bottle immediately tells you that this gin has designs on a particular market. I’d go far as narrowing it down to affluent women of 25-plus who know their own mind and definitely don’t hold back from sharing it. Ditto metrosexual men. My guess is there won’t be many old duffers going for the very distinctive, very bold ruby red bottle which has obviously been created to stand out from the rows and rows of gin vying for attention from the back bar.
As for the gin itself, it’s extremely elegant on the nose, hinting at the power in the glass rather than revealing all of its cards all at once. Much is made of the extra dash of juniper. Do I taste it? Not really. And to be honest, I’m rather glad. What I do get is a really nicely balanced gin with just the right depth, dryness and welcoming hint of sweetness to give a smooth, very satisfying finish in both a gin and tonic or martini.
There’s something pleasingly perfume-like and old-fashioned about ish on the nose. As for taste its overall feeling is one of softness, the hints of citrus balancing nicely with a little sweetness. It has a bit of agreeable syrup in the texture and the finish is smooth and clean. Stick it in a G & T and the softness opens up to full tasting roundness which is appetising from the first hit and stays around right through to the finish. In a martini the presence of some sweetness might not be to everyone’s taste but it does make for a nice rounded full-in-the-mouth feel. It’s clean and refreshing and the juniper lingers in the finish.
But with every new entry into the gin market you also have to ask why would people go for it? Of course, most gins usually have a story, whether about a unique production method, intriguing heritage or whatever. In addition to this they need an angle and they need a look. This has both. The ish theme, Brit-ish, garn-ish, styl-ish, etc, is a marketeer’s dream (think Absolut vodka ads). Meanwhile the bright red bottle will jump right off a back-lit back bar.
Founders Ellie Baker and Fran Ameijeiras know more than most about what makes a good gin. As owners of the Bristol Bar in Madrid, they offer the largest range of gins in the city (114 seeing as you’re asking).
Select your recipe according to your favourite fetish (their hook, not ours!) Choose from six including:
The Fet-ish gin and tonic:
Cordophilia: The use of use of restraints such as handcuffs or ropes for the sexual pleasure of the parties involved.
Pour gin into highball over ice and top up with tonic. Add two dashes of orange bitters and slice of lime and orange peel to garnish.
Uniform Fetish: Sexual arousal from people wearing uniforms
1 part ish
Half part Cointreau
Quarter part Bristol Cream
Add all ingredients to an ice topped cocktail mixer. Shake well and serve garnished with orange peel.
Atocalciphilia: The attribution of attractive sexual qualities to extremely high heels.
2/4 parts ish
Quarter part ginger syrup
Quarter part lime juice
Add ingredients to ice topped mixer. Shake well and serve garnished with lime peel.
41% volume, 70cl bottle £29.50. Distributed through Coe Vintners. ishgin.com