We’ll tell you about new gin Willem Barentsz in a minute, but the man behind the brand is worth an introduction too. Not only is Michael Claessens’ family behind the branding of spirits like Bacardi, Johnnie Walker and Bombay Sapphire, but he’s been a race car driver, and now created his own gin. All by the age of 23…
Inspired by his Dutch heritage, London-based Claessens has created Willem Barentsz Gin, named, perhaps unsurprisingly, after a 16th Century arctic explorer.
The gin has a base made from both wheat and rye, and is infused with Chinese jasmine flowers. In addition, there’s a classic blend of juniper, coriander seeds, angelica, orange peel, liquorice, cassia bark and orris root. The jasmine is delicate but evident on the nose, and there’s a satisfying juniper hit on the palate, along with some citrus from the orange peel and coriander seeds.
It performs well in a G&T, or you can test it out in the signature Jasmine Fizz, combining the gin with lemon juice, jasmine flower syrup, egg white, soda and pomelo.
43% abv, £36/70cl, VDS, 0870 262 6506