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I’ve said it before and I find that I must say it again; thank God for the eccentric, idle rich.  Because of them, we have some of the finest spirits produced today, great new Tequilas, Rums, Scotches and Vodkas and now even Gin.  These are folks, in this particular case, just like Martin Miller who one night while sipping all sorts of bad Gin with friends up and decided that none of it was to his liking and so he decided right then and there to make his own damn Gin.

Martin Miller it turns out is a man upon whom the splendors of the Edwardian era have not been totally forgotten.  I do believe he would have fit right in with those idle rich Englishmen of yore going about digging up mummies in Egypt, riding elephants in India and of course looking for Dr. Livingston in Africa all the while documenting their adventures in pseudo-scientific journals.

Miller’s home is located on the corner of Hereford Road and Westbourne Grove in merry old England and has been described as (shades of Sherlock Holmes) a cluttered country house and as rumor would have it, much like the inside of its proprietors head.  I am led to believe all the hype surrounding this gentleman as accompanying the bottle of Gin I received was a $20.00 hard bound book with full color photos printed on fine paper back grounding him and his friends and of course his Gin.  The first photo in that book is a picture of him with long flowing gray hair wearing a ruffled Edwardian shirt and surrounded by a couple dozen people who look like they just left an Andy Warhol party.  Eccentric doesn’t even begin to describe the scene.

Ruby Spiced Martini - With Bottle

Needless to say, Miller wanted his Gin to be something special and worthy of his palate so he decided to source Juniper from Tuscany and India, Cassia Bark from China, Angelica from France and Florentine Iris from Florence and more secret goodies from other exotic locales.  And of course he gets his water from Iceland and the whole process comes together under the watchful eyes of Icelandic Elves and Virgin maidens.  With all that voodoo going on, this stuff better be good so let’s give it a taste drive.

The nose is mellow with juniper up front and a rich and minty mélange of other botanicals in the background.  There is very little to no alcohol permeating this blend adding to its overall pleasant effect – nicely done.  This palate may be one of the most pleasant surprises any gin has ever delivered.  Generally gin is not intended to be consumed straight up but instead immediately blended with tonic or anything else that will calm down the intensity of the botanicals and alcohol but this stuff is scarily smooth right from the get go.  You could actually enjoy this gin straight up from a snifter which is exactly what I am doing right now.  The nose and the palate blend beautifully together to create a very smooth and soothing experience quite rare for any gin.  The finish is rich in juniper and fruit and mint and vanilla and just like the experience on the palate very smooth and lasts a fairly good while which is really quite nice since the flavors welcomingly linger in the mouth leaving a very nice aftertaste.  Up until now, I truly believed there was only one worthwhile gin on the planet, and now, much to my pleasure, there is more than one, and this one just might supplant that other one.  Yes, Martin Miller, unlike you I thought there was one good gin out there whereas you believed there were none and I am so glad you thought what you did because if you hadn’t you wouldn’t have created this wonderful gin.  Someday I will have to have a head to head show down between this one and that one but that’s for another day and another column.  Now, I really have to try this with some tonic. (Try these other cocktails as well.)

Diluted in tonic the juniper still comes to the front but more subtly and the other botanicals become muted but still present in the nose.  The palate becomes a gentle blend of juniper, vanilla and other blended botanicals that continue to imbibe this spirit with all the gin like qualities it requires without being overbearing and without being understated, I’d have to say just about right. The finish is smooth and clear and enriched with fruity flavor that now lingers just a short but worthwhile time.  This is a gin worth drinking and enjoying.  It would seem that the idle rich have not been so idle after all.

You can get this super premium gin for a reasonable $30.00 per 750ml bottle, and it’s worth it.  It’s won quite a number of awards.  Now, I normally don’t place a whole lot of stock in those award competitions but I have personally participated in the San Francisco World Spirit Competition and I can vouch that they are top notch, very tough and have inter galactic participation and Martin Miller has won double gold’s for his gin three times among other competitive accolades.  Enjoy!!

 

By George Brozowski

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