In the sprawling world of spirits, it’s not every day that one encounters a Chinese distillery that challenges the traditional norms and offers a unique taste palette. And so, my experience with the Goalong collection from BBC Spirits felt nothing short of revolutionary. Let’s delve into this oriental trio.
1. Goalong Botanical Gin 40%
Originating from the heart of China, the Goalong Botanical Gin encapsulates the very essence of its homeland. Immediately, I was intrigued by the usage of local ingredients. Distilled from selected corn which is meticulously ground and combined with local water, the first sip promises purity and authenticity.
The infusion of over 20 Chinese herbs and spices is what sets this gin apart. The spicy notes of the Sichuan pepper effortlessly coalesce with the sweet, lemony overtones. The green tea infusion brings in a mild earthiness, counterbalanced by the warmth of cinnamon and the zest of coriander seeds.
Its versatility is commendable. While it certainly uplifts a martini or gin and tonic, sipping it neat is when you truly appreciate the harmonious dance of its multifaceted flavours. If you’re on the lookout for a gin that’s off the beaten track, Goalong Botanical is your spirited answer.
2. Goalong Single Malt Bourbon & Brandy Cask 5 YO 48%
The world of whiskies is expansive, but the Goalong Single Malt boldly claims its rightful spot. The first thing that strikes you is its golden hue, reminiscent of sunlit afternoons. Aged for five years in ex-bourbon casks, this whiskey pays homage to tradition while integrating the unique character of the Hunan region.
The temperature fluctuations of Hunan are its secret weapon. This natural dynamism accelerates the aging process, allowing for a deeper exchange between the whiskey and the barrel wood. And this is evident in each sip – rich, robust, and layered with complexities that belie its age.
With Chinese Single Malts emerging as the dark horses in the whiskey race, Goalong is certainly leading the charge. A true testament to the prowess of the East in crafting spirits that are universally relatable yet distinctively unique.
3. Goalong Blended 40%
Blend whiskies often stand in the shadows of their single malt counterparts, but the Goalong Premium Blended Whiskey is a force to be reckoned with. It’s distilled from premium grains, ensuring a consistency that is palpable from the first sip.
Aged in oak barrels, it inherits the wooden depth synonymous with seasoned spirits. However, it’s the blending that is the pièce de résistance. The hazelnut aroma is enticing, pulling you into its embrace, followed by the gentle caress of smoked oak notes. Its creaminess is juxtaposed with a textured complexity, a signature of Goalong Distillery’s craftsmanship.
For those who’ve yet to explore blended whiskies, this serves as a harmonious introduction. And for the seasoned aficionados, it offers a fresh perspective.
The Goalong collection, nestled within the confines of the picturesque Liuyang River basin and backed by the exquisite craftsmanship of Goalong Distillery, is a celebration of oriental spirits. It seamlessly merges tradition with innovation, proving that the world of spirits knows no boundaries. This trio is an embodiment of China’s vibrant spirit landscape, and I heartily recommend them to both novices and connoisseurs alike.