As part of Blair’s Valentine’s Day gift, I booked us an evening of gin tasting at The Tippling House bar in Aberdeen. So, I thought I would tell you all about it and if it is worth your time.
Let’s start with our meal before heading along to The Tippling House first though.
We headed to Zizzi Italian Restaurant in Union Square for a quick meal. Neither of us had been to Zizzi before and I’m not the biggest fan of eating meals in Union Square and prefer to visit local restaurants instead, but I actually really enjoyed it.
We shared starters of Wild Boar Polpette, oven-baked boar and pork meatballs in a pomodoro sauce with melted mozzarella, grated riserva cheese and chilli strands , and Arancini, hand rolled risotto balls with mozzarella cheese, peas in breadcrumbs served with a red pepper tapenade dip. Both of these were incredible. They were full of flavour and I’d go back to Zizzi just to eat those again quite happily.
For my main course, I opted for the Skinny Pizza Pollo Roquito, which is a pizza made on a wholemeal base with mozzarella, spicy roquito chillies, sun blush tomatoes and hearty chunks of chicken. This was served with a small caesar salad. This whole main course came to under 550 calories, which I think it great because it meant I could still stay on track with my healthy eating but enjoy a lovely meal out. Although it’s a smaller pizza than their usuals, I thought it was a perfect size. I finished feeling full but not so much that I’d have to loosen my belt.
Now onto the gin tasting. 12 of us were sat around a large table with a member of staff. Placed in front of us were 5 small gin glasses with 5 different straight gins that we were to try. The employee began by giving us a history lesson in the art of creating gin, all about where it came from and how it became such a popular drink. It was so interesting. I’m a bit of a history geek though and love learning new facts so I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his fun antidotes.
Our first drink was of Bols Genever, which is actually a Dutch drink similar to gin, and where gin was derived from. Again, learning about the history of this drink and why we incorporated this into our country is incredibly interesting.
The second gin was Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin which is a gin similar to those of the 1800s would’ve consumed. It’s a very traditional gin that is distilled in whisky barrels just as it had been back a few centuries ago. It’s a peppery, spicy flavoured gin that is perfectly smooth on the tongue.
Moving on, we then tried Hayman’s Old Tom Gin and learned about why all Old Tom Gin bottles have a black cat somewhere on the label. This was probably my favourite fact of all but I won’t spoil it for you. It’s rich in taste with strong citrus and earthy notes with hints of sweetness throughout.
Next was my personal favourite gin out of the 5 we had on offer, Hayman’s London Dry Gin. London Dry gin is a staple in today’s gin world, being the type of gin that is currently sold in the largest quantities. This gin contains just 10 botanicals, maintaining a simple and traditional recipe. This results in a fresh, slightly citrusy flavour with a hint of exotic spice. Delicious.
The final gin of the series was the Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin. This is a gin not for the faint of heart. It is 57% gin that was drunk by sailors way back in 1863. Their aim was to get drunk, hence the strength of this gin compared to the usual 40% alcohol content of gin. But, it is not a drink to be discarded. It’s a surprisingly well-balanced gin that tastes brilliant with some Indian tonic. There are also some entertaining stories that will be told about this gin but again I’ll leave that for you to find out.
Separate from the 5 gins that we expected to taste, the member of staff also told us about the gin created by the owner of The Tippling House Bar and we all cheekily helped ourselves to some as it was passed around. This gin is Jindea gin and is created using infusions of teas such as Darjeeling tea and Himalayan black tea. If you are a fan of flavoured, herbal teas then you might really enjoy this gin but I’m a breakfast tea only sort of girl so this one did not appeal to me, unfortunately.
Overall, I had a wonderful time at the gin tasting. It lasted for roughly 1.5 hours and throughout that time, there were plenty of laughs and of course, plenty of drinks. I think this gin tasting would be brilliant for a date night or a night out with the girls. It’s sociable and a pleasurable way to spend an evening.
And if you are like us, you’ll head out for more drinks after and end up drinking way too much but that’s all part of the fun!
Speaking of gin, I recently attended a Gin Festival, have you read that post yet? If not, check it out here.