On 24 May 1948, Agnes Arber became the first woman to receive the Gold Medal of the Linnean Society, a world-famous institution dedicated to the study of natural history. As a botanical historian, she focused her scientific research on flowering plants under the wing of her mentor, morphologist Ethel Sargent. By the time of Arber’s death in 1960, she had published an extensive library of books on both botany and philosophy, ending with 1957’s The Manifold and the One, an exploration of the concept of universal unity.
It is with an appreciation for Arber’s work that Agnes Arber gin has produced this gin: a convergence of nine herbs and fruits and an infusion of rhubarb, distilled together in Langley Distillery’s affectionately named Jenny, one of the oldest working copper gin stills in the United Kingdom. The botanicals: All three expressions contain the same core botanicals, Juniper, cassia, coriander, grapefruit, iris, angelica, lemon, liquorice and orange. Then either pineapple or rhubarb is added to their corresponding expression. To taste: The original - lots of wonderful citrus flavours with grapefruit and lemon peel. Light on the palate with juniper, orange, grapefruit and a hint of liquorice root sweetness. A peppery and earthy finish with coriander seeds and warming cassia. Pineapple Gin - Lots of exotic and tropical flavours with aromas of pineapple, mango and grapefruit. Tropical, sweet fruitiness on the palate balanced with an earthy, citrus core. Rhubarb gin - fragrant aromas of rhubarb and citrus. Sweet rhubarb and citrus on the palate with a base of earthiness and peppery juniper. The combination is rather light and summery compared to others which are sweeter. Each was delicious in its own right and worked well in their recommended serves. The fruity gins with ginger ale worked superbly, especially the rhubarb. They also held their own with tonics with the pineapple being particularly refreshing. The bottle design really stands out and the artwork and the bottling have been done with Agnes Arber in mind. Also, the shape of the bottle is quite square to emulate the look and feel of one of her books. The bright vibrant colours are sure to be noticed on any gin shelf!