Malmaison Glasgow - Hi- Spirits Gin Lunch

The dramatic rise in all things gin recently has been nothing short of remarkable. Whisky has long been regarded as the most popular spirit in Scotland, but this may be under threat if gin's popularity keeps increasing at the current rate.

With our two favourite hobbies being eating out and drinking gin, an invite to attend a gin lunch with 'Hi-Spiritsat The Malmaison Hotel in Glasgow was too good an offer to turn down.

On arrival we were served a beautiful Langley's gin to enjoy in the Malmaison bar. This was served with tonic, basil and grapefruit. We were then invited through to the tasting room to start our afternoon of gin. Emily from Hi-Spirits explained that we would be trying four different gins. These were to be served neat to allow us guests to enjoy the flavours and the smell of the gins. We would then be served the gins in a recommended cocktail. The event was sold out, thus creating a very lively and enjoyable atmosphere for the gin tasting.

Here are the four gins we sampled:

The first gin we sampled was the interesting 'Scapegrace' from New Zealand. This is a gin made from twelve botanicals. On smelling the gin neat, we picked up subtle floral and lavender hints. On tasting we picked up predominately juniper, orange peel and deep spice. This was our first time trying this gin and we thoroughly enjoyed it's smooth finish.

Gin number two was the refreshing 'The King of Soho'. This is a London dry gin distilled in the heart of London using traditional methods. This complex spirit is crafted with twelve botanicals crafted to  its unique flavour profile. This has a clean and gentle nose which belies its strength, opening up to reveal classic juniper and pine notes with a refreshing zest of citrus oil. This gin seemed a firm favourite with all the guests, especially in the martini cocktail served with thyme. We particularly enjoyed the striking blue bottle with it's unique design and story.

The third gin was the classic Langleys Old Tom Gin. With this gin, Langleys have taken a classic recipe and redeveloped it for the modern era. It appered more botanically intense and a slightly sweeter style of gin. The sweetness is found from adding natural sugar, which worked well in the classic tom collins cocktail which was served.

The forth and final gin was the beautiful Blackwoods from the Shetlands. When smelled neat we picked up strong hints of citrus with gentle floral notes to follow. This was extremely smooth to drink, yet crisp with citrus, herbal and floral notes coming through on the palate. This was probably our favourite of the day.

The four gins we tasted were superb, however the highlight of the event was the input of the host Emily. Her descriptions of the spirit was superb and she answered the many questions from the audience with ease. Her passion for the industry was clear, and her knowledge enhanced the quality of the event.

We were then shown through to the dining room and were served two gin infused dishes:

The gin cured salmon had just the right amount of gin flavour, thus not overpowering the rest of the ingredients in the dish. We enjoyed the sharpness of the lemon in the dish, which really worked well with the salmon. The dish had a good level of contrasting texture which worked well.

The juniper crusted roast lamb was well cooked and was full of rich flavours. The thyme rosti potato was well seasoned and had a pleasant texture.

We thoroughly enjoyed the event from start to finish. There is clearly a lot of planning involved in organising these events. However, the team at Malmaison Glasgow consistently put on top quality events which run with ease. This event was easily the best we have attended in Glasgow in recent times. You won't be disappointed if you head along and try one of the many events Malmaison Glasgow has on throughout the year.