Granite. A robust rock that’s been the foundation of many great things. And Aberdeen.* Our Granite North Gin review sees if this gin deserves its strong reputation.
Bottled at about 42%, with a standard 70cl bottle size, Granite North Gin is a traditional style dry gin from the north-east of Scotland. It has botanicals including lemon pith, grapefruit and Grand Fir needles. It’s a premium priced gin, priced in line with other quality gins.
* Before any Doric hate mail arrives, I’m only joking about Aberdeen – it’s a fine city that I was lucky enough to work in for 6 months. I’ve never had a bad night out there (despite many attempts!) For non-locals, Aberdeen is a city that’s nicknamed the ‘Granite City’ as it has many buildings constructed of this hard, grey local stone.
First up, we loved that the bottle we bought for our review came with granite gin rocks (see below). These can be placed in the freezer for chilling the gin upon serving. It’s a great touch.
Get your rocks off/in…
Granite North Gin review
Granite North Gin is described as having been inspired by the rugged Cairngorm Mountains from where the water used in its distillation is also drawn. It’s a small batch gin that’s distilled in the Highlands of Scotland by Head Distiller Sandy Matheson.
The botanicals listed above only tell part of the story. When opening the bottle, you’re immediately aware of the juniper and citrus on the nose. As a traditional gin that’s instantly a good sign in our view – the juniper is foremost, and the supporting cast are obvious.
What’s really pleasing though is that the taste follows through on this early promise. On first sip neat we were all struck again by the juniper and zesty citrus. That lemon pith and grapefruit are hard at work. We’re generally fans of gins that have a bit of grapefruit present, but we have found that it can sometimes have a bit of a ‘washing-up liquid’ effect. Not here. This is a clean gin that doesn’t taste like a cleaner!
What’s also interesting to us on the botanical list are those Grand Fir needles. We don’t think it’s just the juniper giving the ‘pine effect’ we all love – it seems that the needles are helping out here too. It’s like taking a stroll through a highland forest.
What did strike us upon tasting was the surprising spicy warmth. Not a jarring spiciness of anything unusual, but clearly some of the more traditional gin botanicals are here in good measure too.
How to serve Granite North Gin
Bad pun alert. Does Granite Gin work on the rocks? Yes it does, is the simple fact. It’s got a very solid and fresh flavour profile and can easily be taken with a chunk or two of ice. Or use those granite rocks too if your purchase came with them for a unique serve.
Granite Gin works well in a gin and tonic too. It’s versatile enough to be served to your own taste – we were ‘tonic quantity ambivalent’ here! As always, make sure you use a good quality tonic and plenty of ice. Garnish with some lemon or grapefruit and you’re onto a winner.
Cocktail wise, we imagine that Granite can again be used as a versatile all-rounder. That traditional and solid taste means that it won’t get lost in a cocktail, but not will it overpower.
Overall, Granite North is a very fine gin. Make sure you give it a try.
Buy Granite North Gin
Granite North is available relatively widely in the UK. We love the wide range of excellent Scottish gins – including Granite North – that you can get from Craft56. You can also buy Granite North Gin from Master of Malt or buy it here from Amazon.
I’m afraid that Granite North doesn’t appear to be available in the US or Canada yet. Try Granite North’s website for stockists who may be able to ship.