A lot of great drinks have come out of Ireland over the years – Guinness, Baileys, Magners and of course ‘the water of life’, Irish Whiskey. So, how about milk gin?
Bertha’s Revenge, which launched in December last year is the brain child of school friends Justin Green and Anthony Jackson and is distilled at Ballyvolane House in Co. Cork in a converted cow shed. The resourceful duo, who champion a ‘grass to glass’ ethos, rather unusually use a whey spirit and 18 locally foraged botanicals to create their gin (which is delicious btw).
For those of you who don’t know, whey is a by-product of the cheese making process – the milk is separated into curd (which goes on to make the cheese) and whey, which is considered a waste product. To make the whey spirit for Bertha’s Revenge, special yeasts are added to convert the milk sugars into alcohol and following a few rounds of distillation, a quality whey spirit is produced.
The whey spirit is then added to a copper pot still and macerated with the botanicals for a short time before undergoing slow distillation and eventually being blended with Irish spring water sourced from the grounds of Ballyvolane House itself.
What does Bertha’s Revenge taste like?
In a word, superb.
It has a sweet (perhaps slightly creamy), spice forward aroma with cardamom, cinnamon and liquorice in abundance on the pallet alongside the familiar piney notes of juniper. It’s wonderfully smooth to drink neat and when served with tonic, the sweet and bitter orange really opens up for a longer citrusy finish.
And the name?
Presumably taking inspiration from the cow shed where the gin is made and the fact that Ballyvolane means ‘the place of springing heifers’ in Gaelic, the gin is named after a legendary cow from Co. Kerry called Big Bertha, known for being the World’s oldest cow when she died in 1993, aged 48. The bottle even comes sealed with a coven hoof imprinted in green wax.
Whilst the quirky marketing and idea of ‘milk’ gin may not appeal to everyone, Bertha’s Revenge is a beautifully crafted gin that should not be over looked and if you’re a fan of spice forward gins, this is a must have.
Price: £35.00 – available from Masters of Malt