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Water of Life - Midnight Peat, StrangeLove and Seven Zero Eight

We have covered Bladnoch Distillery the first incarnation of its offshoot Pure Scot not too long ago. While Bladnoch has a history of more than two hundred years, its two blends, i.e. Pure Scot, and Pure Scot Virgin Oak 43 have only been relatively recently released and proved to be quite delicious as you can derive from our initial assessment.

Needless to say, I was intrigued when Australian Pure Scot announced the release of Midnight Peat, highlighting that they recognize peated scotches as an underrated component of cocktails and their ambition to not only change the perception but aid in elevating classic and modern whisky-based drinks.

While I was impressed with Pure Scot’s core range – specifically at its price range – the Midnight Peat Expression takes things to the next level

as it accentuates Pure Scott’s DNA with a peaty and warm layer with sweet and well-calibrated highlights courtesy of honey, ginger, and citrus notes.

I would not go as far as categorizing Midnight Peat anywhere near more complex peat whiskies, however, the maturation in ex-peated Bladnoch barrels for up to nine months, adds character and depth.

While it will serve its purpose perfectly as a foundation for cocktails, I find it extremely sippable as the melange of honeyed toffee apples and custard resting on a backbone of peat is hard to resist.

Cannot wait to experience future Bladnoch releases.

Change of gear – let’s talk mixers and sodas, shan’t we?

Every now and then an urge overwhelms me and has me reaching for a soft drink – mainly after long runs when my guard is down, and I feel like reaching for the most exotic and least wholesome concoctions in the soda department. A bit of planning, however, helps immensely in

swapping out a saccharine-filled soft drink for one of that tends to have a bit more to offer both in terms of lower calories, lightness as well as flavour profiles.

Enter StrangeLove.

Based in Melbourne, StrangeLove has been channelling its alchemy in the creation of not only a range of mixers but sourcing the most suitable ingredients and extracts that are rarely found in mainstream offerings.

Bottled in elegantly shaped glass bottles, the guilt free beverages come in a variety of flavours, with Double Ginger and especially the Smoked Cola ones being particular favourites.

StrangeLove’s Double Giner variant is not exactly one I’d have on a daily basis but when I have it, it provides an experience that culminates in a welcome warmth emanating from Fijian ginger with subtle zingy highlights.

A preferred go-to during the colder months of the year and a pick-me-up after long nights and early mornings.

Given my preference for everything Islay, it should not come as a surprise that my favourite of the range is Smoked Cola. Now, we have all had our shares of cola with a myriad of incarnations, however, StrangeLove’s one is made from scratch and the lime oil, which is added to the foundation of lemons, kola nut, cinnamon and nut meg, adds a “je ne sais quoi” factor, which is rounded out beautifully by smoking the result over Applewood chips – the perfect accompaniment to BBQs and other hearty meals.

I usually have my Islay whiskies neat, but could not resist to have a smoky cokey by adding a tad bit of Octomore 6.3 to StrangeLove’s Smoked Cola and the result was divine.

The Australian larrikin Shane Warne has been known for many things, however, quality libations were so far not amongst them. His recently launched Seven Zero Eight gin emporium is a juniper infused nod to his career as a cricketer, with the name of the collection being named after the record-breaking seven hundred and eight test wickets that Shane accomplished during his illustrious career on the pitch.

Seven Zero Eight comes in two variants: The classic dry gin clocks in at 43% ABV and tickles the nostrils with zesty and herbal notes with highlights reminiscent of thyme and sage. I find the core expression well suited for sipping as it offers a bit of a palate experience starting with sweet flavours, which seamlessly transition into what the nose promised, i.e. a transition into lemony and herbaceous territory, which culminates in a luscious, elongated reverberating finish.

The twist is that Seven Zero Eight also has its lite version with the alcohol content not only being halved but with 23 bearing the significance of having been Warne’s shirt number in limited-overs cricket. Given the lower alcohol and thereby reduced caloric content, this variant might be an alternative for the health conscious gin aficionado and proves to be ideal for sipping.

I like the design of the bottles and the overall theme of Seven Zero Eight as it finds itself on the more subtle and subdued end of the spectrum, which is a nice counterpoint to Warner’s public persona.

Summa summarum, Seven Zero Eight is an extremely enjoyable classic, smooth gin, which also comes in a mid-strength variant.


image from company website

T • May 31, 2021

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