Tiptree Gin Liqueur Range
Back in 2016 we reviewed the initial Little Scarlet Gin Liqueur from the Tiptree range (made in partnership with Hayman’s Gin). We loved it, and ever since then we’ve been itching to take a closer look at the other expressions in the range, even more so since their recent announcement of a rhubarb addition… To read our full review of Tiptree’s Strawberry Gin Liqueur made using the farm’s iconic little scarlet strawberries, click HERE and rest assured that any new additions to the range in future will be added in below.
A quick Google informs us that the Wilkin family has been farming at Tiptree, Essex, since 1757, and making quality preserves since 1885. Rhubarb is one of the first crops of the year to emerge on the on the Tiptree Farm, so we’ll work with the land and crack on with that… (smoothly done… there were three tasty gins in front of us and we desperately snatched the closest one to us and guzzled it).
Tiptree Rhubarb Gin Liqueur to taste:
The Rhubarb is clear on the nose. Not artificial, nor overwhelmingly candied like so many attempts at infusing it can be, just farm fresh rhubarb by the wheelbarrow load. The sweetness is apparent on the nose too, it is a liqueur after all, but rather than an all-guns-blazing assault, it’s underlying, inviting you right in. Perhaps it’s the clandestine gardener in us that’s coming out here, but the English Garden Rhubarb Gin Liqueur is strangely evocative of greenhouses, with an undeniably nostalgic streak of wholesomeness about the aroma that reminds us of rhubarb crumble.
The back of the label states that it has a “distinctive sweet, yet tart combination” and we agree. Slightly orangey, candied rhubarb coats the mouth. The tart acidity pushes back towards the finish. This is no rhubarb pudding, super-sweet-treat. It is much more nuanced than that, with the underlying gin, Hayman’s London Dry, working hard in the background. It might not be the star here (to be fair, no one would expect it to be), but the juniper and orange peel forward nature of Hayman’s really adds considerable gravitas to the fruit and brings a three dimensional nature to the drink.
Tiptree Raspberry Gin Liqueur to taste:
There’s no need to get anywhere near the glass to smell this gin liqueur. It positively bursts from the moment the bottle is popped. Ripe, freshly plucked, perfect little raspberries are just incredible on the nose! They are so fruity, so sweet and so irrepressibly present that it makes you wonder just how it’s been achieved. It is like listening intently as someone smashes a symbol by your ear – the aroma is deafening, and it is one that is unmistakably of raspberries, rather than some hybrid “bit of this, bit of that”.
To taste, the volume cranks to eleven. The sweet fruitiness, the slightly tart green note. It’s like a cold, plump raspberry in your mouth and you can feel every dent and every ridge of the fruit, even the little fibres. This is an explosion of summer. Rather nicely, there’s also a cheeky, subtle yet noticeable white pepperiness on the finish. It reminds you there’s booze in there, and that somewhere in the depths of this rose-hued liquid is a gin that’s given this opera singer of a fruit a glorious stage, spotlight and a standing ovation.
How to serve this has us at quite a conundrum. With tonic, it remains a fruit explosion, and combining it with flavoured tonics also has some interesting pairing opportunities – Fentiman’s Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water in particular. A twist on a Tom Collins is what we are gravitating to here. The liqueur element happily meets the “Old Tom Gin” ideal that many recipe interpretations call for and the lemon juice cuts some sharp acidity into the mix. Don’t add more sugar syrup, though – just top with soda and let the raspberries offer up their delightful twist on the simple serve.
Tiptree Damson Gin Liqueur to taste:
Every Autumn, vibrant blue damsons bring a splash of colour to the orchards in Essex and tasty infusions to the table, or the bottle, for the rest of us. Though it’s not really noticeable in the on the shelf, in the glass Tiptree Damson Gin Liqueurs colours have a lot more wooded depth to them compared to the Raspberry Gin Liqueur’s rouge.
Jammy tones of red damsons are evident on the nose. A rush of fruit bursts onto the palate like an embarrassed blush flourishing across the cheeks – uncontrollable and impossible to stop once underway.
Deeper more pronounced damson tones emerge thereafter, while sugared almonds and that stone-caused marzipan note appear towards the finish. It’s rich and sweet, and if you love the enveloping, velvet sweetness of damsons with more than a hint of almond on the finish, this one is for you. The base gin is less apparent here, and it’s much more about the fruit than the gin.
Damson Gin Liqueur is one for neat sipping, hip flask filling action, although, just like Sloe Gins, adding it to a champagne flute and topping with bubbly would work wonders…
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