So there I was. On my own, in a metal cage, hanging upside down. And as the wheel started to turn, a shudder went down my spine as I contemplated my own mortality…was this really the end?…
Sure, I’d climbed in to the cage voluntarily. Heck, I’d even paid to do so! It had seemed like a good idea at the time. But faced with the gravity of my situation, I was beginning to question my life choices.
Now. You may think that this is all getting a ‘little bit’ dramatic. Especially when the context of this horror scene was the local fete! But stick with me here.
I had always been a bit of an ‘adrenaline junkie’ as a kid. If a ride went fast, upside down or made you scream then I was game! So imagine my excitement when I clocked the ‘Ferris Wheel on steroids’ from the other side of the park. For this was no ordinary Ferris Wheel! Adorned with mini space shuttle style cages, designed for two willing passengers, this bad boy not only rotated as standard – but its daredevil passengers could also choose to whizz themselves upside down and spin their individual cages during the ride.
What a thrill, right?! Wrong!
I hadn’t had the foresight to realise that clambering in to the cage alone, due to no willing volunteers stepping forward from my friendship group, was to be my undoing. At age 14, I lacked the upper body strength to turn the allocated wheel to ‘decide’ whether I was to be upright or upside down for my journey to hell. And with no one sat beside me to counter balance the weight, suddenly ‘choice’ had gone out of the window!
Within seconds of the ride jolting in to motion, I was upside down. Permanently, and for the duration of the ‘experience’. And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse…the ride stopped, with me directly at the top of the wheel. I know I was still upside down at this point, as the ‘proverbial’ was coming out of my collar! I imagine in reality, I was probably suspended there for no longer than a minute. But with no form of safety harness around me (oh! did I not mention that part?!) it may as well have been an eternity. Terrifying!
I thought about a lot of things in those moments;
. Would I ever get to watch the WWF Wrestling I had set to record?
. Why had I chosen to wear Adidas ‘popper’ tracksuit bottoms?!
. Who would inherit my retro Spice Girls mug?
Fun fact: I was not a cool teenager.
I’m not a religious man. But it was around about this time that I started to pray – to anyone who was listening really (there was absolutely no way I was missing that Wrestling!). And after a few more excruciating seconds, the Holy Trinity did indeed intervene to get that wheel turning. Well, it was that or the spotty teenager (Trevor), who was inexplicably left in control of this ‘death wish on sticks’, who had decided to stop chatting up the girls at the bottom of the ride and get back to work!
With vomit in my lap, and a relieved smile on my face, solid ground had felt so good under my feet as I wobbled in to the sunset.
But why am I reflecting on the ‘good old days’? I hear you ask? And why does my time spent inside a giant washing machine feature so prominently as the opening to this blog? I’ll tell you, shall I?
I was recently gifted a gin that would go on to put my head in to a more pleasant kind of spin, thankfully managing to keep my feet firmly rooted to the floor at all times. And planted firmly on the front and centre of the bottle label was my saving grace from my previous encounter, and the name of this gin; Trinity. (No, not Trevor. Naming a gin after the 16 year old ‘Carnie’ would have been kind of weird). Welcome to the party yet another belter from ‘Pothecary Gin’.
What can I say about the team at Pothecary that I haven’t said before? Well. Very little actually, as I have said it all before! Having tried, and loved, previous efforts in their flagship gin, and 2018’s Thai Blend, I have evangelically raved about them ever since.
You can read more about their set up and raison d’etre in my previous reviews here:
I had been excited about the latest addition to the Pothecary range, ‘Trinity Blend’, since catching wind of the teaser posts on Social Media in January via Master Distiller (and one part of the founding duo) Martin Jennings:
‘A new Pothecary Gin Limited Edition is about to be released in February. I have created a very stripped back gin, classic, for want of a better word, in terms of style, and without any sign of a gimmick!
So, no colour, no sweetening, no glitter, no bubblegum, no angel or unicorn tears, and no rhubarb and custard or cherry bakewell in sight… just GIN. It weighs in at a hefty 49% abv, and has a stripped back, more utilitarian look too. And it’s organic of course. Hopefully of interest?’
This gin was promised as a retort to the seemingly ever growing pool of ‘jump on the bandwagon, not real gin, throw as many sparkling glittery bits at it as possible, hide the ingredients in fear, claim this is small batch/artisan/boutique product to boost sales, write craft on the bottle because it sounds good, best make it really colourful’ gins hitting the market (cough…excuse my rant while I climb down from my soap box). So a fight back in liquid form if you will.
And it’s about time too! It’s easy to become frustrated with the state of the market, and to post GIFs and memes on Social Media at the expense of faceless corporations who, in all reality, probably don’t care that much as long as they’re raking in the $moolah$ from unsuspecting consumers. Surely, this is the best possible kind of response, with Pothecary playing ‘the people’s champion’ in taking on the fight for the good of gin-kind.
But what kind of a punch are Pothecary packing with Trinity Blend? And can it really stand up for itself. It’s time to find out. LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!! (to be read in the voice of boxing ring announcing legend Michael Buffer).
‘Iiiiiiin the White Corner’
Wearing the white trunks, with silver trim, is Pothecary Trinity Blend. And by white trunks, I am referring to the stripped back approach to the bottle labelling. Crisp, classic and simple, the Pothecary name sits proudly in silver, on a solid white back background. The bottle is the same distinctive shape that has become synonymous with the Pothecary name, with the same wooden stopper as seen across the range.
What the team have attempted to do here is play on the simplicity of the gin within, keeping to a no thrills approach to design. But what they’ve actually achieved is something that looks elegant and sophisticated. It ironically stands out from the crowd more because of it!
And what of the name? Trinity, meaning three, refers to the botanicals used. ‘Whaaa?! You mean there are only three botanicals used?!’. Yes, my startled friends, precisely that. Juniper (and lots of it!), coriander seed and bergamot (to add a citrusy kick).
This is gin stripped back to its classic roots, removing all non-essential elements and placing the spotlight firmly on what gin is meant to be. There are no unicorns or pretty pink shimmer here. In fact, all you’ll find is 100% organic ingredients, something which has become a strong part of the Pothecary ethos and brand identity.
But can a gin, made up of three ingredients, really take the fight to the rogue traders? My sleeves were rolled up & the gloves were off…
Pothecary Trinity Blend to taste
On the nose, I get sharp grapefruit mixed with a limey zing and freshness. I get sensations of damp wet grass – there’s almost a mustiness to initial vapours, but not in an unpleasant way. BIG notes of piney juniper leap from the glass, slapping a massive smile all over my face. It’s all backed up by a suggestion of cracked black pepper, with a hint of spice and fire to the neat spirit, courtesy of the coriander.
The flavour profiles are clean and concise – each stands out in its own right. If you keep in mind that the complexity of the scent is being driven by three core elements, it’s really quite impressive! On the nose alone, this is refreshing, classic and bright.
Tasted neat, and I find oranges and limes combining with suggestions of cardamom and pepper to deliver a spiced citrus blast, with a satisfying heat and moreish longevity! When the heat subsides, it leaves a tingling freshness on the tongue that I can only compare to a milder version of the sancho berry used in Kokoro Gin.
On second sip, the citrus is there, but I somehow missed the huge juniper hit on the first go. God only knows how, because it’s absolutely massive! In fact, this gin is so full of juniper, you’ll be checking your glass for pine cones! It actually made me giggle it was so good!
Musty grass turns to fresh cut grass, with suggestions of lemon and coriander cutting through and adding a brightness and zip to the neat spirit!
Trinity most certainly packs a punch. And you know what’s just occurred to me?! This is 49% ABV! Sure, it’s got strength and weight to it – and so it bloody should at that ABV. But this isn’t ‘blow your head off’ neat. What it does provide is a rich and bold mouth feel. You can almost feel the oil of the botanicals coating your pallet.
I served Trinity alongside the equally awesome Light Tonic from Buzbee Beverages. Not only does this align well with the ethos of Pothecary, but the honey sweetened mixer really allows the gin to shine, with a blue juniper hum singing from the glass. It’s piney, with slight twangs of herbal goodness. That oil like quality of the hefty botanicals wash around the glass, with the orange garnish emphasising the the citrus notes of the bergamot.
It is nothing short of absolutely stunning.
This. Is gin.
The knockout blow
And with that. I’m sold. I don’t say this very often, for the sea of gin is deep and my pail is shallow – there are so many great gins out there to try that you have to keep moving. But this is a gin I can’t see myself being without. I want this as an ever present on my gin shelf. So much so that the title of ‘limited edition’ has the scares on me a little!
When people ask me what gin is really all about, this is what I would pour them and make them drink. Much like the Ferris Wheel of my youth, it’s turned things upside down and got me screaming, only this time…I’m not ready for it to end.
Not to disrespect the rest of the range, and they are all incredibly good, but it almost feels like Pothecary have been building up to this gin. The branding is on point, the distilling is a work of art and the message couldn’t have been landed at a more important time.
It would be easy to dismiss a gin that’s comprised of so few botanicals as being too ‘simplistic’. But that would be to miss the point entirely. This is simplicity in its most beautiful form and executed to absolute perfection, the botanicals mixed and balanced to olympian standards.
In the battle against mundanity, farcical insanity and ill conceived greed (let’s call it what it is) this is a big punk rock middle finger in the air to all concerned. Quite frankly, you can cry me a river of unicorn tears, because the battle lines have been drawn. Care to cross them?…
With thanks to the team at Pothecary for my bottle of their Trinity Blend gin!
Make sure to check out their website at http://www.pothecarygin.co.uk & follow the team across social media!
And don’t forget to stop by @theginshelf across all social media platforms for more blogs, reviews & event updates. Come and say ‘Hi’ & chat gin!
A totally banging ‘proper’ gin for sure (I just opened my bottle this weekend!) you’ve done a great job describing it Matt! 🙌😍
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