A limited-edition gin aged in ex-sherry oak barrels has been released by London distillery Thames Distillers under the Fifty Pounds brand.
Created by leading master distiller Charles Maxwell, Fifty Pounds Cask at the Back is inspired by how gin was once transported in oak barrels, including some that previously held sherry. He kept the gin for seven years in a cask that previously contained an intense, fruity Pedro Ximénez sherry.
The result is a gin with an amazing depth of flavour, with notes of vanilla from the oak cask and a raisiny Pedro Ximénez background. It is ideally sipped straight up or with a drop of iced water.
The name refers to the barrels that were stored at the back of the warehouse where they remained for longer as they were more difficult to access than those at the front. The gin they contained developed a deeper colour and a slightly different character, especially those that were ex-sherry.
Distributed by Marussia Beverages, it has ABV of 43.5%. Only 500 70cl bottles have been produced.
Fifty Pounds Gin is distilled in small quantities and in single batches, using 11 botanicals including juniper, angelica root, coriander, liquorice root, grains of paradise, lemon and orange rind, and savory.
The name is inspired by the 1736 Gin Act which imposed a tax of £50 on businesses producing and selling gin.
According to Charles Maxwell’s tasting notes, the ageing in the American oak Pedro Ximénez barrel gives the gin a brilliant glinting old gold colour. On the nose the classic aromas of juniper and citrus fruits predominate, with hints of wood and toasted oak along with floral notes and delicate hints of raisins, prunes and nuts absorbed from the ex-sherry barrel.
On the palate there is a gentle and attractive sweetness at the start. It is warm, smooth, and very complex yet balanced, with a long finish which leaves a delightful sensation of roundness.