Come And See A Blind Tiger If You Want A Good Gin

The Prohibition Era must have been a terrible time to be alive; just imagine not being able to order a good G&T without the risk of being thrown in jail! Thankfully those days are long gone but some distilleries take inspiration from that time when creating new tipples. We all know about American Prohibition but did you know that Belgium also had such an era but it lasted a lot longer, 66 years in fact! A law was passed in 1919 stating  that only beer and wine could be purchased and consumed in public places. Spirits were banned from sale in this way but it was still legal to consume in the home. The law was introduced to try and combat the effects of something Belgians called Blue Monday where the majority of the country would be severely hungover at work on a Monday due to binge drinking all weekend. Spirits could be purchased from grocery stores but in quantities of at least two large bottles at a time and no more than 6 bottles. This was a cunning plan that effectively made drinking spirits unattainable for the working class due to the outlay needed to buy the bottles. Suffice to say that with drinking such a large part of the culture, the populace were defiant of the law and speakeasy's started to appear. Deluxe Distillery, the creators of Blind Tiger Gin, is located in a concealed distillery in western Belgium and embraces the Prohibition mantra of times gone by both with its hidden location and the name of its gin. Speakeasy establishments circumvented the Prohibition laws by selling tickets to see a blind tiger in the back room (of course there wasn't one!) and throwing in a complimentary gin cocktail. As no money was technically paid for the gin, it wasn't breaking any laws! The gin itself is rather unique by utilising unusual botanicals like malted barley and cubeb pepper and is crafted in small batches. The first gin in the Blind Tiger range was Piper Cubera launched in 2014 with Imperial Secrets being released in late 2015.

Blind Tiger Piper Cubeba Gin

The higher than average alcohol content carries bags of juniper and cubeb pepper which lingers on with zesty hints of cracked black pepper, violet, orange and liquorice. The waft of celeriac from the blinded botanical in the nose gives way to herbal and floral notes of orange blossom and some citrus on the first sip. The palate is complex with a peppery kick and the malted barley introduces a long and warming aftertaste with some more cracked pepper and cubeb and earthy notes of ginger, liquorice & cardamom.
Juniper, coriander seeds, malted barley, licorice root, angelica root, orris root, lemon peel, sweet orange peel, bitter orange peel, orange blossom, ginger rhizome, green cardamom, cubeb pepper, lavender and hops.
Blind Tiger’s full complexity is best to be enjoyed neat or over ice. Served as a Dry Martini with a twist, the Blind Tiger adds spice and notes of orange to this classic cocktail. In a Gin & Tonic, the spiciness is tempered by the sparkles of the tonic and the quinine emphasizes its otherwise modest citric character. Any dry & neutral tonic works fine.

Blind Tiger Imperial Secrets Gin

This smooth gin is distilled with three very unusual botanicals, imperial black teas from Assam, Cashmere & Yunnan. The subtle addition of carefully selected lemon peel, lemongrass, bitter almond & grains of paradise gives Blind Tiger Imperial Secrets its warming spiciness, which lingers sumptuously on the tongue. The highly balanced and surprisingly smooth Blind Tiger Imperial Secrets opens with a complex nose of matured grain spirit, juniper, and spice from grains of paradise and bitter almond. On the palate, higher notes of citrus, coriander, and lemon grass bleed through, backed up by a warming glow of both the imperial black tea and the 45% alcohol grain spirit which lingers on in the aftertaste. Aroma and palate are interspersed by floral notes from the tea which play a prominent role in the grand finale.
Juniper, coriander seeds, grains of paradise, angelica root, iris root, lemon peel, bitter almond, lemon grass, china, yunnan matured tea, imperial pu-erh, himalaya secret of cashmere black tea, assam black tea and harmutty.
Blind Tiger Imperial Secrets’ smooth and balanced complexity is best enjoyed neat, over ice or paired with a clean and smooth tonic. The full flavour of the Imperial Secrets is also perfectly complemented by a ginger ale and makes a star appearance in a hot toddy. Save