This month for Waterhead’s Gin of the Month, Anthony has selected Whitley Neill handcrafted dry gin, a gin inspired by the flavours of Africa.
Whitley Neill is an award winning, handcrafted gin that is distilled in small batches by Johnny Neill, a direct descendant of Thomas Greenall, founder of Greehall & Company. This gin brings together 8 generations of expertise and life-long love of adventure inspired by the beauty of Africa. The skilfully created gin is a result of carefully blending rare African botanicals and unusual aromatics, to produce an enigmatic experience to savour.
One of Johnny’s first experiences of gin was discovering the collection of bottles under the stairs at his grandmother’s house, all of which were graced with the Greenall Whitley family name. Johnny wanted to learn more about this delightful liquid his family had been distilling since 1762, and it was under his grandmother’s expert guidance that his fascination with gin making began. He learnt that by simply infusing the sharpness of juniper berries with a variety of other flavours & aromas, the taste could change dramatically.
Over the years Johnny has become intrigued by Africa and loves the tales that his African wife would tell of her homeland. The African Baobab tree would feature in some of these stories. The Baobab is also known as the ‘tree of life’ due to its capacity to store water in its wide trunk. Johnny experimented with this tree and discovered that the tart fruit pulp released a distinctive citrus flavour quite unlike any other.
This became one of the main elements of Whitley Neill and it’s distinctive roots-up silhouette can be seen on the bottle.
The fresh citrus Baobab fruit and aromatic Physalis Peruviana or cape gooseberries as they are known is South Africa are carefully blended with 6 other traditional botanicals. It is this secret recipe that Johnny Neill produces in small batches in his 100 year old antique copper pot still. It is from this unique blend of botanicals, African inspiration and the slow, deliberate distillation that he created the award winning gin that is know as Whitley Neill.
- Nose: Fresh citrus, peppery with exotic spices and distinctive floral aroma.
- Palate: Slightly softer than more traditional gins but very smooth with rich juniper
- Finish: Long with a subtle fade of herbs, cocoa and candid lemon peels.
Signature Gin and Tonic: 2 measures of Whitley Neill Gin, dash of bitters (optional), topped with premium tonic water, served over ice and garnished with 3 orange wedges.
Next Gin Tasting Evening
Our next event will be on Friday 24th April 2015 Hosted by Katie Read from The Lakes Distillery in Cumbria.
To keep up-to-date with all future gin tasting evenings at Waterhead take a look at Waterhead Events Page for our upcoming events.