It’s nearly Christmas! To celebrate, I have posted a slightly out of focus picture of a bottle of gin with a shiny red bauble next to it. It’s on a bit of a wonk, too. Although I’m not 100% sure if the problem is with the table or me. One of us was badly leaning in the wrong direction when I took this photo. I think it was the table.

Christmas, of course, means drinking. It means fizzy booze for breakfast, a sherry while getting ready, more fizzy booze with mid-morning Twiglets and cheesy footballs, a pre-lunch G&T, wine with lunch, port with the cheese, after lunch brandy and then Baileys Baileys Baileys until bedtime or unconsciousness – whichever comes first.

So, it seems appropriate to sign out of the year with one last visit from the Gin Fairy. This week the Gin Fairy is played by Conker Spirit, who distill gin in Bournemouth. They are Dorset’s first gin distillery (can you imagine being the last county in England to get your own artisanal gin distillery? It would be shameful) and they make gin with New Forest spring water, a wheat spirit and magic. But is it any good? Let us find out.

Day or night gin? It’s has an ABV of 40%, so it should be a night gin. But it’s Christmas, which means you can start drinking at 8am and no one will mind because Christmas. Christmas excuses everything, like airports and heartbreak.

What does it smell of? Sweet, like little model pine trees made out of rosemary sprigs on top of a Christmas cake, all dusted with icing sugar and edible glitter. There’s also something squishy, salty and ozonish about the gin. A tangle of seaweed soaked in booze and served with a lemon wedge and parsley sprig on the side.

What does it taste of? This is zesty with a twist. That twist being more zest. There’s an initial zing, like a squirt of lemon juice to the eye, and then a bitter wash of pith and orange skin. There’s plenty of knotty bark and a sparkle of spice. I keep imagining a garden, but one that has a lawn made of out lemongrass and is surrounded by a grove of miscellaneous spice trees, which have dark wooden trunks and waxy leaves. A badger lives there, and she is wise. (I’ve drunk quite a lot of the gin.)

Buy it? I love this for G&Ts. It’s dry, citrusy and sweetly herbal. It would be perfect in a G&T with a wedge of lime. Or, given how much I enjoyed drinking it neat, you could turn it into a cracking martini. You can but it from Masters of Malt for £35.95, which is pricey, But, hell, its Christmas and you deserve something nice to drown the festivities in.

I was sent my bottle of Dorset Dry Gin as a gift.

Tagged with: DorsetGinGin tasting