There is an art to making gin. Which botanicals, in what proportions? The variations are literally endless, and for every successful recipe there will be hundreds of also rans strewn across the distillery floor. Making a good gin is hard work, but making a good savoury gin is about as tough as it gets and so we were very intrigued when we obtained a bottle of Lilliput Dorset Gin; a small batch gin based on a london dry recipe made with Bosnian juniper to which rosemary, basil, thyme, kalamata olives are added.
And we weren’t disappointed, Lilliput is really is quite a remarkable, fresh, savoury gin.
The nose is fresh, fragrant and full. Sweet, citrus, almost floral notes of basil sit at the top with vibrant, green, almost juicy savoury herb notes and ample dashes of fresh, clean pine.
Tasted neat Lilliput gin is punchy and flavoursome. The lead is cool super-fresh juniper with hints of floral lemon citrus. This gives way to a sweet anise with a building bitter peppery bite. There is a teasing hint of warmth, but the middle profile builds to a pleasing green, bold pine and rosemary freshness. Like waves on a summer Dorset beach, satisfying, lip-smacking savoury notes roll underneath, all packaged in a satisfying silky mouthfeel.
With tonic the nose is still full with Citrus, basil and camphor. The profile leads with floral citrus and piney juniper. The peppery bitter is more subdued and the underlying juicy savoury tone is accentuated with the thyme and the savouriness of rosemary & olive shining through. There is a sweet, almost fruity linger of olive & basil.
Lilliput gin is a cooling, fresh, vibrant and satisfying marriage of juniper and the lemon camphor deliciousness of fresh savoury herbs, all balanced with a subtle sweetness. It makes a cracking martini and a great gin and tonic which we garnish with a cherry tomato and lemon peel.