I first tasted Biggar Gin last year at a gin festival. The enthusiasm of the team pulled me in, the philosophy behind their brand made me stay to chat and the taste of the gin made me a customer for life.
Started in 2018 by brothers Ewan and Stuart McVicar, The Biggar Gin Co proudly announce that they are a small batch gin with Biggar mentality.
What’s Biggar mentality? Small scale, rare, batch philosophy that reflects a passion, ambition and taste which is big. Having had such success with their headline gin they have since been pestered to create a navy strength to add to their collection. Using rowan berry, rosehip and nettle, their flagship gin is bold and diverse. I love the punchy juniper of their original recipe and wondered how this could possibly be improved upon. I was keen to find out. They wanted to use another local botanical and decided on hawthorn berries. The botanical name for hawthorn is Crataegus derived from the Greek, Kratos, which means strength. This turns out to be pretty accurate.
Biggar Strength is a high strength addition to their range. Being made in Biggar they really don’t have much of a maritime claim so decided to forego the usual Navy Strength name and stick with Biggar Strength. The crisp blue and white of the label is a nice nod to the naval origins however. Bottled at 57% this is no shrinking violet.
On the nose.
The first thing that hits me is actually a floral sweet note which I wasn’t expecting. I soon get the juniper sailing behind and a soft herbaceous tone. It’s a really welcoming scent and I don’t get the stong boozy vapour that can be commom with higher strength spirits. It has a bit going on and has me intrigued.
I still get the gorgeous juniper boost like I remember from their classic gin, but brighter. Tasted neat I got a tongue tingling burst of spice which is peppery and sweet. This quickly mellowed and a wonderful lavender floral note kicked in, a softening in the mouth. This softness lasted but then the juniper jumps in with a crispness that I wasn’t expecting. A lot going on, but each element working with rather than against each other. I have to mention the look of this gin, when I swirled it in a glass it had such legs that it made it look like I was drinking from a crystal glass! Gorgeous.
I only had a sample bottle so after a couple of sips neat I added a micro measure of tonic to see how it would open up. The tonic brought forward the citrus and left it feeling more herbal, the spice less prominent. I couldn’t forget how good it had been neat though, so for me my perfect serve for this would be in a martini.
I like them dirty and ice cold. A dash of olive brine and a few vermouth soaked olives were an incredible addition. I felt this gin brought a depth to the martini that I hadn’t experienced before.
Initially I wondered if the spice would be too much but I was amazed how quickly it opened up to the other botanical flavours. Just the right hint of herbal earthiness, just a note of sweet floral tones, a little citrus to wake it up and add freshness but underscored by the bold juniper crispness. I think I could see me sipping this neat happily but as a cocktail ingredient it will be hard to beat. I can’t wait to get some more to try a gimlet and I am kicking myself that I didn’t try a mini negroni!
If you want to know more about the Biggar Gin Co you can find them here – The Biggar Gin Co.
They donate 5% of online sales to Clydesdale Foodbank Group which I think is brilliant and an added incentive to get some purchased.
I want to thank Ewan and Stuart for sending me a sample to try out. Although I was gifted this sample the review and all thoughts are my own.
Have you tried many Navy strength gins? What are your thoughts?