Foxhole Spirits - Revisited
Foxhole Spirit Company was established in 2015 by James Oag-Cooper and Sam Linter, (of Bolney Wine Estate fame). You can read about their production methods and the story behind Foxhole Gin’s creation here.
The exciting part of using grapes in the base spirit is that the flavour profile changes year on year. The second batch of Foxhole Gin has just been released.
Trade Tasting & Competition
James and the Foxhole Spirits team recently hosted a trade tasting event, bringing together industry members and the thriving Brighton bar scene. They launched their first cocktail competition and kindly invited me to be a judge.
It was fascinating seeing the various creations the bartenders mixed up and ascertaining their knowledge of Foxhole Gin as a brand. It’s vital for producers to educate through every level and to ensure that the people selling and serving their drinks are enthused and knowledgeable. James is committed to providing training and sharing the ethos and brand identity of Foxhole Spirits.
Huge congratulations go to Elaine Larkin from Bar Valentino who won the inaugural competition with her cocktail entitled “The Cuss I Am”. The baked salt and pepper on the rim was outstanding!
The event was also the release of Foxhole Gin Batch 2, from the 2016 vintage. I was eager to see what differences, if any, the grape vintage made.
Batch One – 2014 Vintage
Aromas: Elegant perfumed aromas with tangerine and floral tones. An earthy juniper core with a touch of pink peppercorn and violet.
Palate: Elegant, smooth and rich in texture. A touch of nuttiness underneath an orange juniper tangy core. A touch of earthy cinnamon and rich liquorice alongside gentle white pepper. A touch of vanilla with a delicate red fruit back note.
Batch Two – 2015 Vintage
Aromas: Bright full juniper and black pepper with rich floral overtones. Spiced clove and orange appear on the back alongside violets and subtle wild meadow flowers. Complex and rich.
Palate: Silky in texture with fresh succulent juniper and gentle orange notes throughout. Rich meadow flowers and grape tones. Good weight and length showcasing softly spiced clementine on the finish.
The integrity and style of the gin remains consistent and elegant, but there are nuanced differences between the two vintages when tasted side by side. I find the 2014 vintage to be more earthy and spicy whilst the 2015 moves gently further into the floral spectrum.
Progress & Developments
Since writing my initial review there have been a few developments at Foxhole Spirits HQ. They now have a bonded facility on site so they can purchase their NGS under bond rather than paying the vast amounts of duty up front. This, accompanied by a higher yield in 2016, means that the cost per bottle has been reduced. I wrote that the original £45.00 mark was a little high, though justified, so I’m really pleased that this new batch can retail for £40.00.
I look forward to watching Foxhole Spirits continue to evolve and believe that their focus on bringing the wider drinks community together can only be a good thing.