My most recent discovery took me to Chapel 1877 Bar and Restaurant, which is located on Churchill Way, Cardiff. It is a grade II listed building which maintains all its original gothic charm. The converted chapel is tastefully decorated whilst maintaining many original features. The building has an overwhelming feeling of grandeur due to its high ceilings and opulent furnishings. I was invited down to review their gold gin experience. I was very keen to indulge myself in this experience as I am a huge gin enthusiast.
I was presented with 4 premium gins which were Limbeck, Monkey 47, Sharish Blue Magic and Sipsmith VJOP. The first gin Limbeck is of Welsh origin and had powerful notes of blue ginger, Seville orange and Orris. This particular gin is rested in recycled burgundy french oak casks to develop a smooth texture. The oak casks leave a subtle peach colour, which will vary subtly with each batch, that’s craft!!! I chose to pair this particular gin with the classic Fever-Tree tonic water. It was a very earthy gin which would be perfect for a cold winters evening.
“The gin and tonic has saved more lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the empire”
The second gin Monkey 47, is of German origin and is made in the Black Forest, an area known for its outstanding natural beauty. Monkey 47 gin is made with 47 botanicals, that include angelica, coriander, and elderflower as well as hibiscus, citron verbena, pimento, and spruce. It is a truly unique gin and tasted superb. I chose to pair this gin with the aromatic Fever-Tree tonic water. This particular tonic water is blended with South American angostura bark and aromatic botanicals such as cardamom, pimento berry and ginger. It was a perfect pairing for such a floral gin.
The third gin Sharish Blue Magic was a favourite of mine. It really adds an exciting twist to the classic gin and tonic as it magically turns from bright blue to a subtle pink, when mixed with tonic. It had powerful notes of raspberry and strawberry to begin with and then stem ginger and coriander. I paired this gin with the exquisite Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water, which is blended with essential oils from Mediterranean flowers, fruits and herbs. I found it to be incredibly refreshing and would recommend it on a summers evening at the Chapel’s splendid terrace.
The final gin was the famous Sipsmith VJOP, which has an ABV of 57.7%!! It has very powerful notes of juniper berries (due to the increased use of them in this precise gin) along with dark chocolate. The server then proceeded to use this particular gin in what they call ‘the bar tenders surprise’. It was a truly delectable surprise as it was a cocktail that was mixed with elderflower cordial, mint and Prosecco and garnished with cucumber. This exciting finish was rightly alluring and invigorating.
I also have to mention the impeccable service from gin expert Alan, he was incredibly knowledgeable and a pleasure to interact with. The gin tasting experience is a perfect opportunity to go on a journey of the history of gin. It would also make a perfect gift for a true gin lover or gin novice. They offer two gin tasting packages which are the gold experience prices at £34.95 per person and also the silver experience which is priced at £24.95. The silver package still offers all of the above except the premium gins are replaced with standard gins.
Reviewed by Brett Salway
Chapel 1877 Bar and restaurant
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