Drumshando Gunpowder Irish Gin 70cl

A mouthful, yes, and one of the more unique mouthfuls to come out of an Irish distilling boom that’s seen plenty of new whiskeys (more in the last five years than the prior 50), but also a surprising rise in the Irish gin category, which went from marginally inoffensive to the fastest-growing spirits category in the country.

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The “gunpowder” in the Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin name refers to Chinese gunpowder green tea, one of the four botanicals that are vapor-distilled into the gin (after it’s been pot-distilled with eight others). It might sound easy to get lost in a dozen botanicals, but the specific green tea Rigney chose for the gin lends a distinctive note to the final flavor, unique in the gin world, where juniper is more often primarily complemented by things like citrus, cucumber, and spice. And no, the tea has no ballistic uses; it’s called “gunpowder” because of the shape of the tea leaves, which are rolled into individual pellets for better preservation.

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