Whitley Neill is a London dry gin made in England but inspired by Africa. Created by Johnny Neill, who has 5 generations of alcohol distilling experience with his family owning the Greenall Whitley distillery dating back to 1762. Johnny had always wanted to create his own product range and it wasn’t until he was inspired by his wife to put a new spin on the gin world. Having a strong connection with his wife’s homeland of Africa, Johnny wanted to put the essence of Africa in his gin.
The Baobab tree is known as the tree of life, bearing fresh fruit that when distilled in gin, gives a real taste and experience of Africa. The Baobab fruit brings a balance to the flavours of the other 8 botanicals including the other Botanical that is from Africa, the Cape gooseberry. These are the two botanicals that bring the essence of Africa to the gin and the other 7 are your usual suspects, Juniper berries, Coriander seeds, angelica root, lemon peel, orange peel, cassia bark, Florentine iris (orris root).
Although the botanicals used are blended to bring the spirit of Africa to the gin, the distillation and blending method is English. The blending of the botanicals is done using 100% grain spirit and only the purest water. The method used is Batch distillation which takes place in a small copper pot still and it is only produced in small batches.
Since the release of this African inspired gin, it has won double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2007 and a gold medal for ‘Best in Class’ international wine & spirits competition 2007.
I bought this at Christmas just to try. I've never been a big fan of gin so didn't think I would like it, but figured used in a martini it would taste good and add another flavour. I was so wrong, this gin is perfect on its own, the flavours are beautiful and it is so smooth. I actually enjoy just drinking it neat over ice. I have been converted into a gin drinker.