Gin-lovers, I find, are a friendly bunch and if there’s one thing we love almost as much as drinking gin it’s introducing our friends (and their friends!) to our latest discoveries and favourite tipples. So what better way to share the passion, and show the gin-lover in your life just how much you love them, than with a gorgeous gin gift box? Bottle in a Box offer just such a service and I was lucky enough to receive one of their beautiful boxes.
Bottle in a Box is a Scottish firm, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry between them, who specialise in, well, putting bottles in boxes. Vodka, whisky, rum (and more besides) are all available in fabulous gift boxes – as well as monthly Spirit Club subscriptions – but obviously I only have eyes for the gin. And the gin is good. I was somewhat surprised, and delighted, to find a lot of gins I hadn’t tried on their website in addition to the more familiar Bombay Sapphire, Hendrick’s and Pinkster. The less well-known gins include Hills & Harbour, Boë, Misty Isle and Wild Island Botanic Gin. There’s a good variety of options too; some boxes include one bottle, others two and most also promise a combination of snacks, chocolate or mixers.
I was lucky enough to be allowed to pick my own gift box and after a lot of consideration (and I mean A LOT) I finally settled on Kintyre Gin, which only launched this summer and was recently awarded Classic Gin of the Year 2017 at the Craft Distilling Expo (yes, I may have had some inside information on that one!). Kintyre Gin is crafted at the Beinn an Tuirc Distillery on the Torrisdale Castle Estate in Scotland. Beinn an Tuirc pride themselves on being sustainable distillers (a growing trend at the moment) using hydro-electricity to run their still, and fresh water from a Victorian spring located just above the distillery to make the gin, in addition to planting a tree for every case sold and pledging a percentage of their profits to community projects and local business start-ups.
In keeping with their commitment to reducing their impact on the environment, all twelve of Kintyre Gin’s botanicals are sustainably sourced. The two unique botanicals, in addition to the ten more commonly used ones (which include cubeb berries and almonds), are Icelandic moss (technically a lichen) and sheep sorrel (a relative of dock with tangy leaves), both of which grow on the Torrisdale Castle Estate in abundance. The stunning bottle also reflects this link with the land with its beautiful reproduction of the contours of Kintyre’s highest peak, which translates as “the hill of the wild boar”. There’s even a friendly little boar keeping an eye on all it surveys!
The box arrived beautifully presented but also, more importantly, well packaged and all intact. In addition to the full-sized (70cl) Kintyre Gin, I also received a 500ml bottle of Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water and a bar of Coco Chocolatier Gin & Tonic Organic Dark Chocolate. The box retails at £44, which offers pretty good value for money for the contents but it is a great shame that Bottle in a Box only offer free shipping on orders over £50, meaning this box incurs an additional £4.95 delivery charge (or indeed more for the Highland and Islands and Northern Island). That said, the box packaging is of a good quality and you’re pretty unlikely to put something like this together yourself unless you’re going to be hand-delivering it (and even then it’s a fair bit of bother).
Back to the box. The Coco Chocolate is beautifully presented and tastes truly delicious. I’d argue it’s not really gin-and-tonic flavoured at all but, in my opinion, it’s all the better for that. This Great Taste Award Star winner features single origin dark chocolate and juniper berry, lemon and lime oils and I, frankly, couldn’t get enough! Fever-Tree’s Elderflower Tonic is much more recognisable and, though it made a good G&T with the Kintyre, I did find it slightly odd that they didn’t chose to include the Mediterranean Tonic which Kintyre list as their perfect serve with a mint or basil garnish.
Clearly this is an increasingly competitive market but Bottle in a Box have got a good thing going with an interesting range of gins on offer and smart, but practical, packaging. A gift from Bottle in a Box will certainly earn you some brownie points while also taking the hassle out of being brilliant!
With thanks to Bottle in a Box for the complimentary gift box.