Spoiler: This gin does not contain conkers.
Conker Spirit Gin (website here) is distilled and bottled in Bournemouth in Dorset’s first gin distillery. Established in 2013 by Rupert Holloway who, following “an early midlife crisis”, decided to create a local Dorset gin when he noticed a gap in the market, despite his lack of experience in distilling. Conker Spirit is a small-batch distillery, producing up to 120 bottles a day. I received a bottle in my September Craft Gin of the Month box.
Details: A classic gin in the London Dry style (or Dorset Dry, as they have named it), with a subtle incorporation of local notes of elderberries, samphire and handpicked New Forest gorse flowers.
Bottle: I really like this type of bottle shape. A very solid, stoutly cylindrical bottle with a copper twist cap, each one bears a hand-signed label from the distiller Rupert. Basic, in a good way.
Serve: On its own over ice, or with a premium tonic (I’ve used Fever-Tree and also the BTW tonic that came in my gin box). Garnish with a twist of lime peel.
Nose: Sweetly citrus.
Tasting notes: On its own it has a sweetness and warmth to it, brought by the elderberries and gorse flowers. Once diluted with tonic it is more of a classic gin, with overriding notes of juniper, but still retains a smoothness.
Drink, buy or bin? I would definitely order this if I saw it in bar, although unless you’re in Dorset I’m not sure how likely you are just yet to come across it in your local.
Conker Spirit Gin can be found online at Masters of Malt for around £35 for 70cl.