Black Beak “Juniper Tempest” Irish Gin 42% ABV
Tempest Flies Off The Flavour Dial
Black Beak “Juniper Tempest” Irish Gin is the latest version of this gin from the self-titled Flavour Mavericks of Blacks Distillery in Kinsale. And what a mouthful of complex and flavoursome spirit!
A superb contribution from the Juniper, of course, in a sextet of botanicals that also features Pink Grapefruit peel (fresh, not dried), Orange peel, Cardamon pods, Angelica root and Heather flower.
Juniper is quite forward here with its fresh and robust coniferous aroma (think Christmas tree, the real one!). More freshness is added to the mix by the Grapefruit peel, more citrus from the Orange (no lemon peel in this gin), spice from the Cardamon, light herbal and floral notes thanks to the Heather flowers and a warming earthy contribution from the Angelica root. Well done to the Mavericks for getting a delicious supple balance in this bottle.
Just like hops in good beer, juniper is an essential element in gin. Like hops, it can be overdone. Blacks have been quite bold here yet, but thanks to their shrewd use of the other botanicals, this Juniper Tempest has a beautiful balance.
Quite a bright and refreshing gin from the Flavour Mavericks and one of the best I’ve tasted over recent years. This rebrand has been in the works for the past few months. I’d be happy to see the improved Tempest hang around for a long while.
The overall deep flavour of the gin plus the tartness of the Pink Grapefruit would make Tempest an influential element in classic cocktails such as Negroni and Martini and equally in the traditional Gin and Tonic. It also has potential as a sipping gin but if drinking it neat is a step too far, why not try it on the rocks or perhaps use less tonic than the usual three to one. Up to you!
By the way, Juniper berries are used in a wide variety of culinary dishes and are forever linked with gin, being always the primary flavouring. But did you know that Juniper gave the spirit its name? Gin it seems is an adaptation of jenever (the Dutch name for juniper), and or the old English word genever
Blacks will launch the Juniper Tempest at AYE (9 Anglesea Street. Cork) on Friday 28th July (5.00 pm - 7.00 pm.