Regardless of what you think of their poetry, Poetic License makes a pretty good Gin.
The brand was founded by Mark Hird, who has spent over two decades in the hospitality and leisure industry where he started out as a chef.
Today he owns several entrepreneurial endeavours, including a hotel, a microbrewery and most importantly for us, a microdistillery.
The distillery is based on the north east coast of England, inside Mark’s Roker Hotel and with a bar attached, also called Poetic License.
This is where he makes all sorts of Gins, using his affectionately named still, Gracie.
Gracie is an interesting still as she is a hybrid, allowing Mark and his team to use her as both a column and a pot still.
Of course Gin is made using a pot still, where the botanicals are added and boiled with the spirit to allow the flavours to seep out.
Gracie is pretty good at this process and makes some damn fine Gins.
The Poetic License Old Tom Gin is of particularly high quality. It offers a nice twist on a classic.
As well as being slightly barrel aged, this Old Tom is infused with rose petals. Other botanicals include cubeb peppers and liquorice root to add a bit of sweetness.
The nose opens with lots of juniper and oak. The wood mixes well with the piney flavours of the juniper, like walking through an evergreen forest.
The rose petals can be detected but only slightly, they are subtle and come across with a delicate floral aroma.
This is a wonderfully fresh and easy going Gin, with all of the tell tale sweetness of an Old Tom, but without overwhelming the other flavours.
The palate is mellow, with more juniper and rose petals. Citrus fruits also make an appearance and add a lovely zest to the overall flavour.
Liquorice starts to come through more obviously now and mixes well with the oak wood.
The wood itself is slightly sweet and spicy, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon to it, making for a very interesting Gin.
The finish is full of floral notes and wood, wrapping everything up nicely.
This is a brilliant homage to a classic Gin style that has been around for over a century. Poetic License’s Old Tom Gin certainly does the category proud.