The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2018

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78  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2018 Our Annual Gin-uary Report According to legend, John Lackland—who reigned as King of England in the early 13th century—once saw a woodcutter's daughter bathing in a pool near the forest. He frightened the young woman further into the water, where she eventually drowned. Visitors to the spring-fed pool, located about 30 miles southwest of London on the Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills, claim they can still see the maiden late at night. Inspired by this folktale, the aptly-named Silent Pool Distillers—founded by a group of friends with a shared passion for spirits—calls this beautiful landscape home. In a nod to the past, the team decided to restore a 19th- century wood-fire steam boiler; a hand-built copper still from the Arnold Holstein Company of Germany and stainless-steel tanking from the Vipara Valley in Slovenia rounds out the distillery's specialized equipment. Silent Pool sources an impressive 24 botanicals for its flagship expression, and the distillery painstakingly introduces them to the base spirit to produce a complex and balanced gin. Bosnian juniper berries, licorice root, bitter orange, cassia bark, orris, cardamom, cubeb, grains of paradise, local honey, and bergamot macerate in the base liquid; a gin basket in the still with fresh orange and lime peel, dried pears, Macedonian juniper, lavender, and Polish angelica, meanwhile, brings bright citrus notes. The distillers separately strip the delicate botanicals—rose petals, Makrut lime leaves, linden, chamomile, and elderflower—of their oils and aroma before adding them to the gin, ushering in layers of floral notes. The expression all comes together in a multi-chambered fraction- ing column. Whether or not you believe in the story of the doomed swimmer, Silent Pool demands notice for its conscientious approach to distilling and a clear respect for its natural surroundings. SILENT POOL DISTILLERS On the Rocks (and Shore): SILENT POOL GIN

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