Above the infamous Portobello Star bar at 171 Portobello Road you’ll find Ged Feltham and Jake Burger’s Ginstitute. London’s second smallest museum and home to the city’s smallest working copper pot still, the amusingly named ‘Coppernicus’, in which Portobello Road No. 171 was first conceived. Having created a gin they were proud of, the chaps approached Thames Distillers’ Charles Maxwell and they collaborated to produce the finished product. Portobello Road No. 171 uses eight traditional ‘London dry gin’ botanicals with nutmeg adding warming, aromatic, sweet spice. The nine botanicals used are: juniper berries, lemon peel, bitter orange peel, coriander seeds, orris root, angelica root, cassia bark, liquorice and nutmeg. The label has an antique London gin feel to it, borrowing elements from long-lamented brands such as Booth’s red lion.
Crystal clear. Elegant, floral nose with junipery lavender and camphor. Generous use of orris root imparts its characteristic parma violet and clean hamster cage while citrus aromas are subdued. Juniper is centre stage but not screaming, while citrus is way down the billing. As London gins go, Portobello is on the spicy side, but it’s a ‘warm interest adding’, rather than a ‘hot pepper’ spice, with nutmeg and cinnamon (from cassia bark) with savoury celery-like notes (angelica root). Lingering liquorice and nutmeg finish.