British distiller Silent Pool has launched ultra-premium expression Silent Pool Black Juniper Gin into travel retail, a bottling made with rare black juniper only found above 4,000 metres elevation in the Himalayas.
The unusual botanical has been sustainably sourced from Bhutan, the world’s only carbon-negative country with the planet’s purest air.
Silent Pool Black Juniper Gin was developed to celebrate Bhutanese heritage, in particular the fragrant smoke, juniper and tea associated with the Himalayan Puja ritual. The ceremony is held for climbers and sherpas before they set off on a trek to scale a mountain.
Production for the gin starts by smoking the black juniper with oud, ahead of a maceration process alongside coriander, voatsiperifery spice, grains of paradise, and Tasmanian mountain pepper.
Light, floral teas, including scarce Himalayan black tea sourced from Nepal’s Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden, one of the highest known plantations, are added for complexity.
Nepalese cherry blossom, Manuka honey and olive leaves round out the botanical recipe, before a final oud infusion takes place.
Producer tasting notes include perfume, incense and subtle smoke on the nose, a silky mouthfeel with agar wood, tea and caramel on the palate, and a long, complex finish with gentle smoke.
Suggested serves include a Neroli Martini (60ml Black Juniper Gin, 10ml dry floral vermouth and neroli oil drops to garnish), and a Sakura Martinez, make with Sakura vermouth.
Black Juniper Gin: incorporating Bhutanese culture
The gin has been made in line with Bhutanese Buddhist environmental beliefs. The distillery worked with a community of local foragers to optimise the black juniper harvest, leaving some berries on the evergreen shrubs to encourage future growth.
“Genuinely innovative projects are integral to us here at Silent Pool Distillers,” said Rhian Billington, Silent Pool Marketing Director.
“Working closely with Michael Rutland OBE, the United Kingdom’s Honorary Consul in Bhutan, this private commission of Black Juniper berries has allowed us to create a truly remarkable gin expression that exceeds the expectation of our discerning customers and fellow gin producers alike.
“It was also important to us that we could incorporate Bhutanese culture into each step of Silent Pool Black Juniper Gin’s production and we are excited to see the reaction to this truly remarkable spirit from Silent Pool Distillers, and where it may lead us to as an independent gin distillery.”
Silent Pool Black Juniper Gin is available now with a domestic RRP of £295.00 for a litre bottle. In GTR it is available from Heathrow T2 and T3, as well as Dubai Airport from 29 April.
Last year, Silent Pool won a number of GTR listings for its Green Man Wildwood Gin, which comes in a lightweight and fully recyclable cardboard bottle.