So, Portobello were originally going to have a launch do/general shindig for their Savoury Gin on the 21st June. As the general reopening of everything was postponed, so too was the launch do, though they very kindly sent me a bottle to have a try of. For reasons that are faintly inscrutable to me, I felt that it seemed appropriate to hold off giving my thoughts until general public socialising was once more on the horizon. So, now that we know what’s happening on the 19th July and this gin can be shared amongst friends as intended, my thoughts forthwith:
As previously established, Portobello know their way around a good gin, so I was very happy to find a bottle of their newest release on my doorstep. The notion for this release comes from the Victorian penchant for giving gins interesting and obscure names and colloquialisms, one the more florid of which was “King Theodore of Corsica”. Apparently this was more to do with the hold Theodore’s descent into a debtor’s prison had on the popular imagination than a deep appreciation of the Mediterranean island, but Portobello have run with the idea to bring us this bottle.
Starting with the botanicals utilised in their standard London Dry, the Savoury gin models itself around flavours from Corsica and the wider Mediterranean, boasting bergamot, rosemary, olive, basil and tiny pinch of sea salt. Whilst the name is a bit of a hint, the literature goes more explicitly into the idea that this is a gin to remind you of the sunkissed coastline of the Med, the aromatics heady and savoury. To drink though, how is it?
The nose is …fruity. Not at all in the manner of the multitude of pinks gins, but the rosemary and olive are lower in the mix than I expected, so you get bergamot’s delightfully luscious scent bolstering the citrus notes. In tandem with everything else, when sipped neat, it’s almost like melon? This translates well into a G&T, making for a fresh, summery long drink. Put into a sour however (I used their own recipe in this instance), and a lot of those savoury flavours reveal themselves gracefully, with subtle hints of the rosemary, olive and salt rounding out the marvelousness that is bergamot (we put candied bergamot into our wedding cake, so deep is my love for it), with the juniper and other standard botanicals giving a spicy complexity. I bow to few people in my love of a good sour, but the Savoury is now absolutely up there amongst my favourite gins if I’m knocking one together.