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Anthology of Gin

Written by Gin Foundry

Those of you who went to Junipalooza may well have come across our latest project - the Anthology of Gin tasting pack. For those who couldn’t make it - WHERE WERE YOU? - we thought we’d write a little more about the pack. If you already know all about it and would like to get your hands on one, please click HERE

In short, the Anthology of Gin is a beautiful pack containing four different 20cl ceramic bottles custom made by us to represent a specific style of gin. Each gin included has been created as an exaggeration of the style it represents. The Genever is malty and smooth. The Old Tom is sweet and botanically intense, the Navy Strength laden with spices, whilst the London Dry is as crisp as that stiff upper lip.

The aim of the Anthology of Gin pack is not to sell you the merits of four individual gins however, as they will never be available as individual bottles outside of the Anthology pack. They are there to help you, our beloved gin fans, to understand the styles of gin available and to discover the complexities of the spirit and its chequered history.

Each gin outlines a moment in the journey through time that has seen the transformation of the humble juniper berry into a much-loved drink. Gin’s history is more complex and intriguing than any spirit on earth. Beginning as an early form of medicine, evolving into the spirit known as Genever influenced by the Navy who shaped the botanicals used by the distillers. The story of gin moves into the London Gin Craze and the rise of an “Old Tom” style and finally onto what we know it as today, now reduced to an intoxicating mono-syllable: Gin.

Also included in the pack is a book that will help shed some light onto the gins, the history and crucially, some suggestions for which widely available gins you could try should you like a particular style. Whilst we’ve abridged, condensed but by no means diluted its story in the book - 24 pages is not long enough to recount 3,000 years of history - we have tried to act like a prism of glass, refracting a rainbow of historical colour and unveiling centuries of history in each drop. Yes, quite the task!

The Anthology of Gin pack is a pack for gin lovers for sure, but more so, for those who want to discover more about why certain gins taste a specific way and how that came about. Why bother distilling the gin ourselves and custom making each of the four liquids? We thought about this for a long time but we decided to distil ourselves as we didn’t want to use an existing gin to represent an entire category. That would be unfair on all of the amazing gin brands out there. We decided that if we created the spirit, it could be a true embodiment of a style, as opposed to being an advert for a single brand. In doing so, the contents are more helpful for those seeking to discover the quintessential flavours in the various types of gin as the gins we have created focus entirely on those signature botanicals.

We are not distillers intent on saying our gins are best - quite the opposite, our promise to you is that this pack, along with everything we do on this site, is to celebrate the category. Other than being able to focus on particular flavour profiles, making the tasting pack ourselves has removed any doubt as to whether it was because a brand may have “sponsored” a gin by being included as the representative of a particular style. As you might have guessed by now - we take independence and impartiality very, very seriously here!

Most of you may be looking at the images and wondering what all the drawings are about. You should. There is not a single element drawn on our Anthology of Gin pack that doesn’t have a symbolic reference. If it’s on there, there is a reason and a story to tell! From the plague doctors to the botanists, colonial troops, to the Mayflower, Count Negroni, the Old Tom Cat and the rise of the current gin boom - each illustration represents an anecdote in its own right. Even the small men hanging off the side of the boat (Gimlet), the cannon (French 75) and the little shed (Bols’ first distillery) have a reason for being included. The only question is, can you recognize them all..? We’re always on Twitter so give us a shout if you need help!

We’re finishing off the contents this month and the packs will be available to buy from our shop, going live from the first week of July 2014. Priced at £75, we hope that you will cherish it as much as we have enjoyed creating it. For months we have battled to never cut corners, to focus on quality and to improve it each time we thought it was finished. All of this so that you can keep discovering more each time you look at it or drink its contents.

Throughout our reviews we’ve often talked about a distillery having soul or character that has imbued into the final spirit and that’s what we have tried to do here. We’ve given it nothing but our absolute all and hopefully, you’ll be able to enjoy this and with it, our juniper soaked spirit (both figuratively and literally) distilled down into the perfect treat.