'Man o' War' embodies the essence of a complex Navy Strength Gin, delivering a wave of flavours that dance on your palate like the ebb and flow of the ocean. Despite its robust 58.0% ABV, this gin maintains a remarkable smoothness, revealing multiple layers of taste waiting to be explored.
The journey begins with a captivating blend of Juniper, Citrus, and delicate floral notes on the nose. As you sip, the transition unfolds, leading to a delightful fusion of sweet jam and subtle spice.
This exceptional gin can be savoured in various ways. Sip it neat to fully appreciate its intricate character, add a touch of water to unlock even more nuances, or enjoy it over a single ice cube to chill and mellow the experience. For those seeking a different dimension, pair it with soda, tonic water, or incorporate it into your favourite cocktails.
The carefully selected botanicals behind 'Man o' War' include Juniper Berries, Coriander Seeds, Grains of Paradise, Cubeb Berries, Orris Root, and Yuzu Peel. Each ingredient plays a unique role in creating this extraordinary gin, making it a true exploration of flavour for gin enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. Cheers to the sea of possibilities that 'Man o' War' brings to your glass!
What is Navy Strength?
"Navy Strength" holds two significant historical meanings, each revealing its importance in the maritime world.
The first meaning harks back to an era when the dryness of gunpowder was a paramount concern during naval battles. Stored in the bowels of the ship alongside gunpowder, alcohol had the potential to render the gunpowder useless if it leaked or diluted. This posed a grave threat in combat situations, underscoring the importance of ensuring that the alcohol stored onboard was always of high strength. To verify its potency, sailors and naval personnel devised a unique test. They blended rum or other spirits with gunpowder to form a paste. The crucial indicator was whether this mixture ignited. If it did, it signified that the spirit was at the correct strength, ensuring that the gunpowder remained dry and effective. Failure to ignite meant the spirit was watered down, a dangerous discovery in battle.
The second meaning underscores the plight of sailors who had no means of gauging the strength of their daily rum ration, a staple aboard ships. To safeguard their share of undiluted spirit, they employed a similar method. By mixing a portion of rum with gunpowder and achieving ignition, they could confirm the rum's authenticity and full strength. A lack of ignition indicated that the rum had been diluted, potentially depriving them of the desired potency.
Adding to this historical tapestry is the fact that "Navy Strength" spirits, including rum, gin, or other alcoholic beverages, were traditionally crafted to be 57% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) or higher. This benchmark, established in 1816 with the development of the Sikes Hydrometer, provided a more accurate means of measuring alcohol content. It was determined that 100 proof, as tested by this hydrometer, equated to approximately 57% ABV. This innovation revolutionised the industry by offering a standardised method of determining alcohol strength.
Intriguingly, gin, which incorporated botanicals and citrus, was often reserved for officers. It was believed that the presence of these botanicals and citrus elements had health benefits, including protection against scurvy, making it a practical choice for those in command during long sea voyages. These distinctions in alcoholic beverages served both practical and social purposes, shaping the traditions and practices of life at sea.