Thursday, 18 February 2010


I'd seen it here I'd seen it there but never managed to lay my hands on any. The early reviews I'd read were great and the packaging looked stunning. Simon Difford had written and raved about BLOOM and its producer Greenall's in Class Issue 3 (July/August) and it had even won a Gold in The Drinks Business Design Awards.....

I now have some and have even shared it with a few fine folk in the industry. See the great Cocktail Sean at Callooh Callay made last week below.

Nose: Thankfully most definitely GIN - indeed, exactly as it says on the bottle - Premium London Dry Gin - light relief from the recent wave of 'boutique' gins that don't taste anything like gin. Predominatly Juniper with light, uplifted floral notes, which would be explained by the Chamomile and Honeysuckle botanicals. Sitting underneath all of that is a hint of citrus which would be from the Pomelo - a strange fruit that apparently tastes a bit like a mild grapefruit. This is all bound together by herbal and violet notes.

Taste: Incredibly soft and smooth on the palate with a silky mouthfeel and again most pleasingly GIN! Although delicate in style there is real weight given by the honeysuckle, notes of orange bitters and freshly cracked black pepper. The chamomile hits mid palate with zesty grapefruit and sweet violets, all neatly finished off with resinous pine and smooth spice.

White Lady with Absinthe Cocktail using BLOOM Gin

This fantastic cocktail was made in Callooh Callay by Sean Ware.

It was the first time I'd taken BLOOM Gin out to play and I wasn't disappointed!

20 ml BLOOM Gin
20 ml Cointreau
15 ml Fresh Lemon
1/2 Egg White
2.5 ml Absinthe (Pernod)
Dry Shake
Wet Shake
Double Strain
Star Anise

St Nicholas Abbey 10 yr old Rum - Barbados

Nestled in the highlands of St Peter in Barbados is St Nicholas Abbey which was built in 1658 and has remained unchanged for the last 350 years. It is only one of three Jacobean mansions remaining in the Western Hemisphere. This old plantation house sits in over 400 acres of sugar cane fields and has been fully restored to its former glory by local architect and current owner, Larry Warren.
The rum is produced exclusively for the plantation by R. L. Seale. It is initially aged in oak Bourbon casks at 65% abv for the first 8 years, after which it is batched and re-barreled into the same casks at bottle strength to be aged for a further 2 years at the Abbey.The 10 year old rum is bottled straight from the cask by hand in to a specially designed decanter which has an image of St Nicholas Abbey etched on to it. Each bottle is sealed with a mahogany topped cork and hand engraved with a number and dated.
Hand finishing this rum of such exceptional quality and provenance at the Abbey is truly reflective of its 350-year heritage. The rum is deep amber in colour with sweet aromas on the nose of fudge, vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon. The palate is incredibly smooth with notes of dried fruits, oranges and spice, the finish is long and silky smooth. Overall, St Nicholas Abbey is loved by rum aficionados as well as being a great introduction to the premium rum category for whisky and Cognac drinkers.