A good friend gave me a bottle of Cotswolds Dry Gin – for a while I agonized over whether that name needed an apostrophe, but I let it go, I'm no pedant.
I drank the gin. It tasted good. It tasted, you know “ginny.”
Only when I was three quarters of the way through the bottle did I pay attention to a little tag that had been tied around the neck of the bottle, printed with “tasting notes.” Thus:
fresh notes of grapefruit with earthy coriander backed-up by sweet, piney juniper. A hint of perfumed Cotswold lavender.
clean, pine juniper spice with fresh citrusy grapefruit. A touch of dryness from the angelica root, with eucalyptus notes from bay leaf. Subtle lime and lavender.
Clean and balanced. Juniper, citrus and some cooling notes from bay leaf and cardamom."
Wait, it gets worse. There are serving suggestions:
"Delicious sipped over ice, this gin also stands up very well to tonic. For the perfect G&T, fill a large balloon glass with ice, pour over a generous measure of gin, top with a splash of classic tonic water, and garnish with a slice of pink grapefruit and a fresh bay leaf."
There's just no getting away from the bay leaf. And I thought how extraordinary it must be to manufacture a fairly good gin while simultaneously treating the people who buy it as either terminally stupid or terminally pretentious. Or both.
None of that in my local corner shop, which is now selling Lech beer, from Poland.
Does it taste of lechery? No it does not. In fact it scarcely tastes of beer but at least there are no tasting notes.