Portobello Road debuts oak-rested gin

by Alice Brooker

London-based producer Portobello Road Distillery is marking its 10-year anniversary with the launch of Special Reserve 101 gin.

The new expression is the result of 10 years of experimenting, and is being rolled out on a limited edition basis. Master distiller Jake F Burger said: “We are incredibly excited to mark our first 10 years with such an innovative and unique expression. "Special Reserve 101 is our attempt to make an innovative gin, pushing the envelope in every way we can, whilst remaining within the boundaries laid out in the London Dry gin regulations.” Portobello Road Distillery Special Reserve 101 is a potato-based gin, which has been rested in oak barrels. The gin is cut to bottling strength, 50.5%ABV, with Vichy Catalan – the ‘most heavy potable water in the world’, according to the brand. The crafting process of Special Reserve involves “essentially using oak as a botanical, so it retains all that rich, delicious flavour, but no colour,” explained Burger. Boasting a creamy mouthfeel, the liquid delivers juniper on the palate, which slowly gives way to citrus and spice. On the nose, the expression presents floral and perfume-like aromas. “It is a gin that we're incredibly proud of, a gin for gin lovers, still Portobello but Portobello with bells on... just in time for Christmas," Burger added. The new bottling retails for £59 (US$78.80). Burger co-founded Portobello Road Distillery a decade ago alongside Ged Feltham and Tom Coates. Earlier this year, the gin brand moved into the vodka category with the launch of four expressions: a Potato Vodka, a Golden Madagascan Vanilla Vodka, a Calabrian Bergamot Citrus Vodka and a Toasted Coffee Bean Vodka.