I have been planning to write a Tappers Gin review since the very first time I tasted it. You know when you have something and immediately feel the need to share it with everyone? Yeah, and then you get know the brand and the people behind the gin (that’s you Steve and Sue!) and discover you just like everything about them? There are just some gin brands you fall in love with. Team Tappers hold a special place in my heart so here, at last, is my Tappers Gin Review.
An independent family business, Tappers Gin started in 2016. They wanted to produce an authentic gin to reflect their location in the Wirral Peninsula near Liverpool. They also wanted their gin to be bold and retain a deep aroma and flavor. Up until then compound gin was still relatively new to our generation. Having previously held a reputation for inferiority and the nefarious roots of prohibition, it is still a method of gin production that is often overlooked.
A compound gin is one that takes a neutral grain spirit and steeps botanicals to infuse the flavour without redistilation. The botanicals are then filtered out and you are left with a gin that is packed with flavour as well as retaining a certain hue from the botanicals used. In 2011 the stigma was well and truly shattered with the release of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Bathtub Gin. This really led the way for consumers to think differently about how gins were made.
Tappers use natural ingredients and source their botanicals as locally as possible. They really are a small batch brand, bottling between 40-100 bottles at a time. They also produce their gins from start to finish at their site. In a relatively short space of time Tappers Gin have released a myriad number of products and their range is impressive. Their first and headline gin is Darkside which has won awards at both the SFWSC and IWSC (which literally means the world’s foremost spirit’s experts have said its a bloody good gin). The term Darkside comes from the term given to day trippers to the Wirral seaside towns from the people of Liverpool. To travel across the Mersey was to travel to the Darkside. Good natured and typically Liverpudlian humour it’s brilliant to see some local history being kept alive.
Tappers Darkside Gin
The bottle designs for the whole Tappers range are unique. Squat coloured bottles that resemble a potion from an old apothecary. Even the font keeps the sense of history. I adore this, in a market where image is everything, Tappers stand out in a good way.
This is bold. There is no denying the earthy, savoury waft you get when you smell this gin. It’s dark and deep and very inviting.
Firstly, before you taste you can see the deep amber hue which is a suprise to many classic gin drinkers. Punchy. That’s my call for this gin. Juniper is loaded at the front but not the usually piney juniper flavour I’m used to. More complex and with it a sweetness from the red clover. Sea beet brings that herbaceous flavour I smelt. This gin is a rush. I get citrus but I get depth and a woody undertone. I get sweetness but it also feels dry. So unusual. Sipping alone I am able to journey through all the flavours and am left with an earthy character and rounded mouthfeel.
I’m a fan. Clearly. It is impressive in that it marries so many profiles together without one overwhelming the other. It might not be the gin for you if your preference is for clean sharp spirits. It is punchy, it is bold and it is adventurous. Happy to say that it is one of my favourite gins.
To throw an absolute curve ball, Tappers recently released a gin called Brightside. They were the first distillery in the UK to use two production techniques to make a compound and distilled version of the same botanical recipe gin. I cannot express how much this messes with my mind. To taste them side by side is a bit like watching a behind the scenes magicians show. Brightside uses the same coastal botanicals from Darkside but the end result couldn’t taste further from the same product. Crystal clear and citrus forward Brightside gin is stunning. Gentle juniper, really refreshing and crisp. You still get a little earthy undertone but it is paired back and the citrus shines through more. My husband is a lover of the Brightside so we compliment each other. There are two sides to every story …a Brightside and a Darkside. Which are you?
Alongside these stunning twin gins, Tappers have released seasonal expressions. Spring Fever, a wet and wild exploration of the start of nature flourishing again. Three Fine Days, singing with lemon balm and lemon verbena this gin is a delight. Haven’t met anyone who I’ve shared this with who didn’t enjoy it. Falling Leaves, blackberry leaves, rosehips and fennel seeds come together to bring autumn in a glass a great gin for mixology lovers it has a flavour that bursts through and work so well in many different ways. And finally Wintergreen the winter expression that started my Tappers love affair when I tasted it with my Ginvent box. I have extolled it’s virtues in my social media before and will do so again – its like taking a breath in an evergreen forest.
Tappers also have Figgy Pudding, Eggcentric and Hydropathic Pudding in their range, all of which are on my list to try when I finally get down to their tasting rooms. The Tappers distillery is a working distillery set in an industrial estate. The outside may not be so appealing but the inside is exactly the warm friendly welcoming place I’d expect from this team. You can visit the distillery by appointment only and the tasting rooms for events.
At a time when the environment is a main topic, Tappers are being pro active in their efforts toward sustainability. They recycle bottles from customers in their area, are part of Love My Beach campaign and are one of the few to send their spent botanicals and distillery food waste to be converted to green energy at a biogas plant close by. I believe that every little contribution helps and when companies do their bit towards being green and eco friendly and set and example it means a lot.
The team at Tappers celebrated four years of Tappers Gin this year and I wish them all the luck in the world for the future of the Tappers brand.
Seeing as its Negroni Week I couldn’t help but share one of my all time top favourite negronis using Tappers Darkside Gin.
•45ml Disgarded Vermouth
Hope you are all enjoying negroni week!
Can’t express how much I recommend that you go out and have a look at Tappers. Their range has something for everyone and anyone who has yet to try a compound gin should make this their first stop!
Find out more about Tappers Gin here – tappersgin.com
This post is NOT an ad, it is in no way sponsored by Tappers and any mistakes in the info, opinions and thoughts are entirely my own.