The distillation is more European (or traditional American) in that individual ingredients/components are distilled separately then blended. Uses only 8 carefully selected and sourced ingredients to maximum effect.
Notes: Made from a grain (corn) base (distilled 5x – for people who like to keep track of those things) in Malmo, Sweden using water from the Bolmen (a nearby protected lake) and ingredients sourced from many countries. The distillation is more European (or traditional American) in that individual ingredients/components are distilled separately then blended. While some gins pride them selves on using sometimes more than 20 different ingredients this one uses only 8 carefully selected and sourced ingredients to maximum effect.
This is also the (in)famous gin that had a 100-day run in Las Vegas before being widely distributed.
Appearance: Impecccably clear, sprightly, legs form almost immediately on swirling, which then become sparkling droplets on the side of the glass. Slightly oily appearance to body (sign of quality).
First Impression: A much more interesting mélange than the usual suspects. There is of course, juniper, but of a more aromatic and lighter kind than normal. The bitter oranges of the West Indies (with hints of lime) play off against the oily lemons from Sicily, the base notes of bergamot (think Earl Grey tea) , coriander and cardamom provide spicy notes wrapping around the black pepper from Borneo to form a unique bouquet.
Taste: Medium-to-light body ,sweetish almost Old Tom Gin-like entry, aromatic blend of spices, citrus and floral scents, mild tingling on the lips and tongue. Nicely done, clean distillation. Slight warming burn on the way down. Lingering finish with floral and citrus notes and the drying bite of the Sarawak pepper leads to a drying finish that cries for more.
Drinks: “Tastes good, less filling!” No, really! Sometimes gin can be a little too intense on the juniper and it leads to pallette fatigue.This gin is an interesting, spicy concoction that leaves you hankering for more. It breathes new life into some of the more classic cocktails and puts a interesting spin on a gin based cocktail.
Bottle: Wide cylindrical clear glass bottle with a short neck resembles an apothecary bottle from years past. Heavy decanter style bottom gives it a nice heft and balance. Complicated iconography (two stags rampant holding a shield with a crown?) is explained on the website. Large black diagonal stripe bears name and origins. Faux cork closure provides a nice seal and that pleasnt sound one gets from pulling the cork from a bottle (beats hell out of the grating noise from a screw cap. Rather distinctive and easy to spot among other gin bottles- makes it easy to find on a store or bar shelf.
Our sample bottle arrived in a real leather square box – embossed with the crest and with a stainless steel clasp (see photo)!
Final Thoughts: A very different gin from the usual and a refreshing break from the tyranny of juniper. A disparate number of gin forms seem to be welded into a immutable whole through this gin. It has the spiciness and grain roundness of a Korenwijn or Genever, a touch of sweetness reminiscent of Old Tom, and the bracing Juniper of a London Dry. A different, lighter, more aromatic and spicier take on one of my favorite subtle poisons without which life would become rapidly impossible. If you like Old Raj, you will love this gin.
Website is all Flash and somewhat retro noir, with some sweet groove music. Interesting, but somewhat light on hard information and a little frustrating at the same time.