Botanicals: Too much fynbos and other shrubbery mess with the punch 
Botanicals: Too much fynbos and other shrubbery mess with the punch Pictures:supplied

Black Rose Gin is locally made and comes in a lovely looking bottle. Unfortunately the taste isn't amazing and it's with a heavy heart that Phumlani S Langa reports that he doesn't enjoy this brand of gin. 

Black Rose Gin

About R299 for a 750ml bottle

. . - --

A colleague of mine deposits a lovely looking pink bottle of local Black Rose Gin on my desk to try for a taste test.

I decide to take it down on a trip to Cape Town and see how it treats me in the scenic surrounds of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden as well as the vibrant streets this puzzling city has to offer.

I was looking forward to nothing more than giving it a rave review.

Unfortunately, I can’t. It breaks my heart to say that the pink coloured gin might be among the first gins I haven’t enjoyed. Seagram’s takes the cake as my least favourite gin, but Black Rose is also a bit too strong.


I started off with just the usual tonic combo and I thought it had a bitter bite. I mixed less on the second round and still, the pink gin was coming through, loudly.

I tried other mixes, pink gin, OJ, pomegranate (which is an ingredient in the gin) and I even ran control tests with Bombay and Tanqueray just to make sure the climate hadn’t thrown my palate. Those were fine and as soon as I reverted to the Black Rose, the tart flavour clung to my mouth.

Locally we have taken to using botanicals to create this celebrated drink, but I think too much fynbos and other shrubbery sourced on the coast might mess with the punch.

I also feel that maybe less work on bottle design and more of an emphasis on the distillery process could do wonders for this brand. Think about it, the Bombay Sapphire gin bottle isn’t that striking, but the gin... 

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