Belfast Belle’s Aoife Nic an tSaoir reviews Belfast Cask Gin

Imagine moving into a new house to discover a gin recipe from days gone by- certainly a gin lover’s dream! This was the luck of Belfast 1912 Cask Gin creator Ian Killen who found the recipe behind an old mirror along with an article on the sinking of the Titanic. He found the recipe in 1994 and has been working on the project ever since. The original Belfast 1912 Cask Gin was created and distilled by Avoniel Distillery 1882-1929 and was located on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. This intriguing story and some traditional gin botanicals created a gin that celebrates the propeller age of Belfast.

Now onto the important stuff- tasting! Lovely, juniper forward nose, with dry, slightly spicy black pepper and pine notes with citrus that lingers along the edges. Refreshing and bright, I love these well-balances botanical flavors. The top notes carry the juniper, and it lingers on the palette with long spicy notes and a really dry peppery taste at the end. Clean and smooth, it is no surprise that the recommended serve comes with tonic water. I would however substitute the recommended lemon and lime for some clove studded orange wedges to carry the Christmassy undertones into summer. Or if you’re feeling the spring vibes try mixing with some rhubarb puree topped with lemonade.

Named Belfast Cask Gin you must ask if this gin tastes authentically Belfast? I’m not quite sure. It is still a gin shrouded in mystery. But is it a good gin? I think so. And I definitely will be adding it to my drinks cart. While it doesn’t break new boundaries in terms of the gin offering in Northern Ireland, it is reasonably priced and the subtlety and clarity of the flavors make it the perfect gin for mixing cocktails and creating new gin treats.

While sipping my G’N’T on the sunny Monday afternoon, I took full advantage of my day off and the sunny warm weather by making some Gin and Rhubarb Sorbet. Check out the recipe here:

Belfast Cask Gin is coming to Tesco Northern Ireland stores soon; keep an eye out for it and why not give it a try!