The Caorunn Scotland Gin Cocktail evening at Qbar..
It’s pronounced “ka-roon“.
And it was the first time I had ever laid eyes on its almost clinical looking glass bottle.
Ah, Gin… let me see. Not my favourite spirit, but I was willing to give it a go.
Caorunn Gin is uniquely served with a freshly cut red apple to enhance its invigorating, clean and crisp taste..
The wheel of five Celtic botanicals and the Caorunn Asterisk are embossed in natural wood material. The use of time-honoured Celtic botanicals, traditional gin plant and handcrafting process reflects its traditional influences.
Five Celtic botanicals give it its characteristic flavor – One part rowan berry, One part heather, One part bog myrtle, One part dandelion, One part coul blush apple
So, this gin Caorunn – fairly new in the market and it has been causing a stir. And for all the right reasons. Their unique copper berry chamber is used to infuse the carefully-chosen blend of six traditional gin botanicals and five Celtic botanicals. All this happens at the Balmenach Distillery which itself is one of the oldest distilleries in the Speyside region. It is a small-batch distilled gin controlled by the Gin Master, Simon Buley.
And as the bartenders whipped up the most amazing cocktails that night, I tell you, I became a Caorunn fan.
During the event I learned that a small batch is usually 1,000 litres and uses pure grain spirit instead of the more widely used molasses. This pure grain spirit ensures a good quality of gin. Once distilled three times, the pure grain spirit is vaporised twice through the round copper-framed chamber. Spreading the eleven botanicals over four trays in the chamber allows the grain spirit vapour to meet the botanicals on the largest possible surface during the infusion process.
Caorunn is uniquely served with tonic and a freshly cut red apple to enhance its invigorating, clean and crisp taste.. alternatively, the clean, slightly dry taste of Caorunn is the ideal base for the perfect gin cocktail – especially a Gin Martini
And then, the fun trivia begins.. the five celtic botanicals used are rowan berry, bog myrtle, heather, coul blush apple and dandelion leaf. These are used in addition to the six traditional botanicals which include juniper, coriander seed, orange peel, lemon peel, angelica root and cassia bark.
And for the Gin Cocktail Evening, we had the following cocktails (clockwise, starting at 6 o’clock)
1. Scottish Beemer (45ml Caorunn Gin, 10ml Joseph Cartron Mure Liqueur, 30ml Cloudy Apple Juice, 5ml Fresh Lime Juice); 2. Scottish Summer Berries Julep (45ml Caorunn Gin, 10ml Boiron Raspberry Puree, 5ml Joseph Cartron Marasquin Liqueur, 5ml Sugar Syrup, 6-8 no’s Mint Leaf, Crush Ice); 3. Scottish Passion (45ml Caorunn Gin, 10ml Boiron White Peach Puree, 5ml Sugar Syrup)
The spirit resulting from these unique processes and ingredients, is pretty special in its own right. Caorunn is bright and very clean in flavor, and has for me the rather odd effect of smelling lightly sweet while tasting fairly dry. The apple in particular seems evident in the nose and less so in the mouth. It is certainly no Tanqueray, but I think it is closer in character to a London Dry than it is to the hard to define “New American” gins.
Taking your second sniff and sip of gin neat, you will find it lively on the nose with lots of floral and citrus aromas. Rather sharp on the palate when it first hits, then develops into a long finish with hints of aniseed that dries a little. With the dryness of Caorunn, it’s perfect for many a cocktail including martinis and your classic gin and tonic.
And as the crowd mingles, the tapas starts to circulate..
cuban cigars go well with the occasion
the crowd warms up to the gin martinis..
and more caorunn
gin appreciation at its best
the only way to conduct a gin tasting – sip once and swirl. Sip again – on the second sip, the flavours open up and you can pick up a whole lot more of botanicals
gin tasting and appreciation session
And finally, it’s time to move on to Qbar’s MIGF dinner.. A great night out, I do believe I have found a new love for gin – Caorunn specifically.
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Qbar @ The Westin KL, 199, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur