If distillation is both a science and an art of extracting flavours, then the team at Martin Miller’s are truly the Da Vinci’s of the gin world. The gin, both in its early stages of development and now its production, embodies an obsession for the very best. It’s made at the Langley Distillery in the Black Country using traditional methods and the aid of a beautiful pot still affectionately named Angela. They separate and distill the botanicals in two individual batches. The earthier botanicals are distilled apart from the citrus elements, giving Miller’s a certain freshness to the citrus elements sometimes lacking in other gins.
Not to be let down in their attention to minute details, once the distillation is over the gin is taken on a 3,000 mile round trip to Iceland to be blended with some of the world’s purest water. Naturally super oxygenated and with a higher surface tension, it holds in the volatile elements that can give other gins that “pine needles” scent and burn, giving the finished product a soft and gentle taste- so recognizable in Miller’s gin.
At 40% ABV Miller’s has full citrus taste, with the juniper notes emerging half way through and a clean soft finish. The 45.2% Westbourne strength has a richer, spicier feel in the mouth due to the more dominant taste of juniper.
The man himself certainly adds a distinct flavour of his own, self described as ultra-gregarious – Martin Miller has dabbled in many walks of life from publishing, photography, as a hotelier and now gin mogul. One simply has to take a step into one of his boutique hotels to see the attention to detail and eye for the finer things in life, something that seems to be echoed in the gin.
In an interview with MAN jr, Martin Millier describes the final steps in choosing the final botanicals and recipe – “In the final batches, which we tasted at a large party in Miller’s Residence, we had a favourite, sample 7. Nonetheless we wanted to double check. We had been working on it for so long that we were beginning to doubt our sanity let alone our taste buds! So we invited an audience of sommeliers, and barmen/mixologists and, making them work for their supper, made them taste all the samples and mark them. Luckily, number seven was the clear winner by a mile. It was the sample that had all the ingredients in place. Dual distillation, Icelandic water and the addition in Iceland of a tiny amount cucumber distillate used, not as a flavoring, but as a ‘drying agent’ to the finish. I remember at the time people thought it crazy and pure weird to use cucumber”.