Distilled and bottled in Madrid, Santamania London dry is handcrafted in small batches and looks to prioritise quality over cheaper quantity.
Making the Gin by hand means that the quantities are kept low – around 800 bottles per year. Compare that to the industrial quantities of the likes of Bombay Sapphire in Hampshire who produce nearly 2.4 million cases per year.
Quality and care are at the heart of production at Santamania – to illustrate it took 761 days from the first still to produce the very first batch – back in July 2014. Such are the pains that a group of obsessive men have laboured over to launch the final product.
Whilst Gin requires no ageing in the process it can be produced relatively quickly. This means all the flavour and the taste comes from the maceration process. This heady cocktail of botanicals are every master distillers most guarded secrets.
There are 14 in total, including;
- Plump juicy juniper berries
- Coriander seed
- Liquorice root
- Fresh Spanish lime & lemon
- Angelica & Orris root
- Spanish Pistachio Nuts
- White pepper
- Dry ginger
Whilst 14 botanicals may sound excessive, it’s worth bearing in mind that other greats gins may use more or less. Scotlands, The Botanist, uses 22 botanicals while Tanqueray uses less than 10 – it’s the combination of the ingredients and the process that lifts a gin from mediocre to great.
The botanicals provide a rounded flavour and a hint of fruity freshness to the gin. The starting point is plump, juicy juniper berries, which are uniformly ripe, while Coriander and liquorice bring some additional notes of their own – the flavour is finished off with hint of Spanish lime and lemon and a delicate touch of angelica. Spanish pistachio nuts add a light and original nuance, and a touch of raspberry lends itself to the fruit note they sought to achieve.
Santamania uses a neutral Spanish grape base for its Gin. Only a few distillers in the world use grape, whilst others mainly favour sugar beets or cane or potatoes.
Santamania is a London Dry Gin – this means it adopts a particular style. London Gin comes from ethanol of agricultural origin with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100% ABV equivalent. The flavours from the botanicals are introduced exclusively through the re-distillation in traditional stills of ethanol. The minimum EU bottled alcoholic strength for gin, distilled gin, and London gin is 37.5% ABV.
New meets Old
Young Turks often receive a poor reception from the establishment and Gin is a mature market. So new distillers especially need to bring something new and interesting to the still to cut through this crowded market place.
Santamania accomplishes this well by working very hard to produce a product that is obsessive about quality and taste. It has picked up nine awards since the launch in 2014.
Also bottle design is increasingly important in this premium spirits market. The team at Estal (http://www.estal.com) cleverly play on its craft credentials with an illustrated bottle design featuring quirky doodles printed onto frosted glass, with red colouring at its base for the London Dry bottle. In part this helps create an instant heritage. Their efforts were rewarded with a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Gin is on the move in the UK – significantly. In 2015 alone about 12 new micro-distilleries have opened. Consumption is expected to pass £1bn in 2017. So there is a strong appetite for good gin in the UK.
That’s why at Pure Spain we brought Santamania Gin to the UK. It’s without doubt a craft Gin – it’s not intended to compete with the Supermarket’s own or even the likes of Gordon’s. Santamania Gin is a small batch gin appealing to the connoisseur.
There are cheaper Gin’s available but this is an artisan hand-crafted Gin. If you like finding new and exciting Gins then it’s the price you pay for a quality product. This is premium white spirits territory.
Crystal clear – clean and bright.
Citrus, raspberry and the base of Spanish grape offer a subtle sweetness on the palate. These floral and citrus notes bring a fresh and smoothness that gently fades.