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Sheringham Seaside Gin

Review: Sheringham Seaside Gin    (90/100)
Reviewed by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted January 30,  2020

Sheringham Distillery is located in Sooke B.C., a locale which overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Southern Vancouver Island. The name ‘Sheringham” is an homage to the name original name given to the area in 1846. When the first postal service arrived and the first Post Office was built, the name Sheringham was shortened to ‘Shirley’ so that it would fit properly on the postage stamp. (The Distillery was originally located at Shirley B.C which is about 20 minutes north of Sooke.)

The folks at the Sheringham Distillery believe in the importance of strong ties with local producers. Applying this principal, they source local agricultural products from British Columbia and Vancouver Island. The by-product of their spent grains is distributed to local farmers as a healthy source of high protein livestock feed. The boxes their bottles arrive in are re-used for our distribution boxes. Sheringham Distillery re-uses, recycles and composts all they can.

The distillery produces two gins, Sheringham Seaside Gin which is a traditional juniper forward gin with a unique Island twist. They also produce the Eastern inspired Kazuki Gin which brings an oriental flair to the Sheringham style.

Sheringham Seaside Gin is produced from B.C. grown white wheat and malted barley, natural botanicals and sustainable hand-harvested local Winged Kelp (Alaria marginata). Named botanicals on the back of the bottle also include, Juniper, Coriander, Citrus, Rose, Anise and Lavender. The spirit has won a string of awards, a Silver Medal at the San Fransisco Spirit Awards in 2017, a CASC Gold Medal in 2018, and in 2019 at the World Gin Awards the spirit was named World’s Best Contemporary Gin.

I served Sheringham Seaside Gin at a tasting event I held for my friends, and some of the commentary included in the review includes their thoughts as well as my own. The spirit is bottled at 43% alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

Sheringham Seaside Gin is sold in the 750 ml bottle shown to the left. This is a flask style rectangular bottle with a medium long neck for easy pouring and a corked closure which adds just a bit of class to the presentation.

The label is perhaps a little drab. Shirley B,C, is known for the view of the Sheringham Point Lighthouse which was built in 1912 following the fatal wreck of the SS Valencia six years earlier. (The lighthouse it is still used for navigation today.) It would be nice to see some landmark such as this on the label which would relate the gin more closely with its South Vancouver Island locale.

I do like that the label includes the year the gin was bottled and the batch number. Sheringham is a small batch producer and incorporating this  information onto the label helps to drive that point home.

In the Glass 9.5/10

I gave each of my guests at the gin tasting a sheet to write out their tasting notes and thoughts. One of the guests decided to use smiley faces to describe each aspect of the gins we tasted. A frowny face indicated she was not happy, a normal face indicated that she was okay but not excited, and a happy face for the times she was digging what was happening. When I looked at her sheet after the event, I saw she had invented a new smiley. She called it the SUPER SMILEY FACE and it was the nosing of the Seaside Gin which earned the new smiley.

That pretty much summed up the feelings of everyone around the table (there were five of us). The Seaside gin was bringing a beautifully balanced aroma of juniper accented with bright citrus and spicy coriander into the air. There was a nice floral flair accompanying those olfactory sensations, and meandering within all of that was a light breezy quality that reminded everyone of the seashore perhaps even with a hint of salt.

It really was SUPER SMILEY FACE!

In the Glass  54.5/60

Seaside Gin is perhaps just a little restrained in terms of flavour. The juniper is just a more restrained than what we would expect in a typical dry gin. Citrus and floral flavours combined with somewhat spicy coriander carry the juniper flavour; but these flapours like the piny juniper are reined in just a little. Then there is this light savory quality unlike anything I have tasted in gin before. It gave the spirit an underpinning of earthiness that was quite delightful (I suspect the winged kelp is the agent responsible).

I mixed a gimlet style cocktail for all of us, (see below). We all enjoyed it immensely as the gin seemed to play very nicely with the bright citrus flavours. I also mixed a nice Gin and Tonic which was equally agreeable.

In the Throat  13.5/15

The gin exits with flavours of juniper and citrus followed by a lingering coriander spice and savoury kelp. Is that a touch of sea brine lingering as well? (The light spiciness of coriander bodes well for cocktails.)

The Afterburn  9/10

I think what has set Sheringham Seaside Gin apart from others I have tried recently is the winged kelp botanical. It seems to have bought a sort of savoury umani flavour into the traditional gin profile which is both unexpected and delightful. As one guest put it, Seaside Gin reminds us of our favourite gin while at the same time bringing us something new and exciting.

Perhaps the best way to describe my sentiments properly is SUPER SMILEY FACE!

You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Recipe

Lady of the Sea

1 3/4 oz Sheringham Seaside Gin
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
dash Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Lemon Coil

Place the five ingredients in a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Add a Lime Slice for Garnish

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret that score as follows:

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:

70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 

 

 
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