Spirits brand Ethical Wine & Spirits (previously known as Fair) has released two new spirits, a rum and a gin.
The barrel-aged gin starts from the same liquid as the original Fair Juniper Gin, which is made using coriander, cardamom, grains of paradise, calamus roots and angelica roots, but it's then aged for three months in French oak barrels in Cognac.
You can't miss the juniper on the nose, nor can you the sweet spice of that little time in oak – it's got notes of vanilla and cinnamon, as well as plenty of coriander and peppery notes against some nice citrus characters. The palate's on the side of spice, warming and peppery with a mulled feel to it – citrus galore, cinnamon and clove-studded orange, before an aniseed freshness comes through on the finish.
Meanwhile, the rum also starts from the existing Fair Belize Rum, which is made from column distillation using molasses from Belize. However, this one gets 11 years' ageing in bourbon barrels, and is bottled at 50.7%. And with this as well, it's unashamedly what it is: big on the bourbon vanilla notes, against some rich, exotic fruit, creamy honeyed notes, and some raisin and cinnamon too; but there's also a lovely perfumed element to it. The palate is complex, with warming spice, some woody bitterness, a good dose of dried fruit and cigar tobacco flavours too. A really solid all-rounder rum.
Belize 11yo: £57.99; Barrel-aged Gin: £29.99, Ethical Wine & Spirits, email@example.com