Sacred Gin, England

Profile: Spicy, sweet.

Taste: Cardamom, lemon peel, honey.

Recommended Garnish: Orange slice, grapefruit.

I approach this gin with solemn respect. Not because of the regal packaging. Not because of the spiritual name. Instead, because it is clear to me that there is divine passion in the makers of Sacred Gin.

This is a delicious spicy, sweet gin. Even the botanical blend evoke a warm spice religious pilgrimage that should involve frankincense and myrrh. More “Three Wise Men” than “Monty Python”.

What I’m really impressed with is the experimentation and paradigm-breaking behind Sacred Gin. This gin is vacuum distilled, rather than pot distilled. In a pot distillation, the botanical blend is boiled together with the base alcohol mixture; the infused alcohol vapors are then cooled and condensed back to liquid form, and possibly adjusted before bottling it up. By distilling in a vacuum, the alcohol will boil off at a lower temperature than at atmospheric temperature in the more widely used pot distillation method. This can preserve the freshness of the botanicals by avoiding excessive heat exposure. If you have ever had mint or basil that has been damaged by heat in food, you will recognize that there can be a bitterness or acridness that renders the herb unpleasantly far from its fresh original state. Apply the same concept to gin, and you can award 1 point to Sacred Gin for ingenuity and flavor preservation. It takes the Mad Scientist type to challenge the traditional ways of making gin. I also admire the range of different types of alcohol Sacred is making, such as a bottle aged Negroni, and am very much looking forward to trying them. (more on Distillation below)

gin sacredSacred grid

More on Distillation:

An additional benefit to vacuum distillation is that there can be greater control in regulating what you are distilling off versus with temperature control in a pot distillation. By keeping the heating of the gin mixture constant, and varying the degree of pressure in the vessel, there could be greater control in regulating which beneficial elements boil off into the distillate, and which heavier, less favorable elements are left behind in the mix. As an illustration, take crude oil for example.

Dinosaurs died hundreds of millions of years ago to leave large reservoirs of crude oil in the earth to power your antiquated energy needs. This crude oil is extracted from the earth, and then “cracked” in a process called fractional distillation, into a variety of different distillates. Gasoline, heating oil, jet fuel, lubricant oil, and wax all come from crude oil in the Earth. The crude oil is heated, and lighter “fine tuned” substances boil off first, then the heavier substances, while leaving the heaviest and ultimately unpleasant sludgy material behind.

In a heat distillation there can be greater variability in what elements or impurities boil off into your gin than in a vacuum distillation. I cannot verify this is an actual reason or case for Sacred Gin’s use of vacuum distillation. I also can’t guarantee this will always be the case, since the calibration, sensitivity of controls for the distillation vessels, and patience of the distiller will likely be the overwhelming factors for quality of the end product. However, it’s nice to ponder these things over a great G & T and think while you drink.

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