Girvan New Make Spirit

Girvan: New Make Spirit (Scottish Single Grain Make Spirit: 42.6% ABV)

Visual: Clear.

Viscosity: Fast streaks.

Nose: Sugar dusting. Creamy passion fruit. Tropical fruit chunks. Old fashioned sweet shop. Slight viscous alcohol notes. Gelatine chunks.

Body: Creamy. Light oak. Passion fruit. Vanilla. White chocolate. Smooth. Lemon curd.

Finish: Dry oak. Lightly creamy. Kiwi fruit air. Gin air – juniper berries.

Conclusion: It is quite rare that I run into a make spirit. Rarer still to find one that I would recommend as anything but a learning experience. Make spirit can be fascinating, bright, alcohol bubbling through – but often you will find that they can be mistaken for hygiene products.

This, then, is a surprisingly smooth sugar dusted creamy spirit. The entire atmosphere of the thing feels like an old school sweetshop, with sugar dustings and hard fruit sweets aromas floating in the air. The more expected make spirit character is visible in an alcohol jelly style viscous character – which while warm is far from burning as you would expect. It does have a bit of a kick, and will make for a wake up call if you don’t expect it but it is far less intense than I would have guessed. Even there a few drops of water smoothes it down nicely – I am impressed with how smooth they got this thing. Guess they weren’t lying with their PR on the whole vacuum distillation thing.

Thus had with water this is a pleasant creamy, lively and clean feeling spirit. Having those flavours on an utterly clear spirit makes me feel like this is the tab clear of the whisky world. If you aren’t old enough to get that reference I hate you for your energetic youth. In a nice way.

I would say the finish is the weakest point – it is there that there is still notable alcohol hanging around, in a juniper or gin style, the remnants of this thing’s youth.

I also had the chance to try the full strength (ninety odd percent) make spirit which was…. an experience shall we say. Burning, warm, when had with a ton of water finally exposing the pleasant experience I have with this version of it. I can see why they bottle at 42.6%.

While it is still a bright faced experience and not for everyone this is probably the first make spirit I would actually drink for fun rather than just as a learning experience. Now, if they had the actual whisky version of the spirit available I would probably go for that instead, but this is fun.

It is a simple burst of creamy, hard candy and tropical fruit – and a gleeful experience as that

Background: First tried at the Girvan even I was invited to, with the notes complemented by the samples they sent me. So yes, disclaimer, Girvan have been providing me with items for review, and also covered the costs of visiting their distillery etc as covered in the recent article. Ok. Full disclosure done. I think this is the first Make Spirit I have done notes on – Whisky cannot be called whisky until it has been aged at least three years ( I think six for Ireland). before that it is called Make Spirit.