When you hear about small batch gins from the UK, you’re likely to hear a few names over and over. Ian Hart’s Sacred Gin is one of those names:
In our own (<100) words
Sacred Gin is distilled differently than many gins. Each botanical is distilled individually in a high-pressure/low-temperature vacuum still. The distillates are then blended to create the final product. Proponents of vacuum still say that not heating the botanicals during distillation creates a brighter, more flavorful final product. Sacred’s emphasis is on small-scale and craft as in “hand crafted.” Also distilled in London for extra “street cred,” so it’s got that going for it too.
The nose is as subtle as it is balanced: warm orange, vibrant springy juniper. Hint of spice, cardamom with a slight note of ethanol.
The palate is clean and dry initially. Quiet gives way to building intensity with bitter lemon, cassia and cardamom in the mid palate, roaring towards an intense crescendo, floral high. Baking spice again, nutmeg and cinnamon, but a faint resiny bitterness is left as the heat subsides. It definitely plays with some of the notes of contemporary styled gins while using the structure of dry gin as a template.
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Cardinal gin hails from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and from a small city which could once boast as being on the cutting edge of prohibition. Kings Mountain was one of the first places to officially declare itself a “dry city,” and yet they now find themselves on the cutting edge of craft distillation.
Southern Artisan Spirits proudly talks about their inclusion of “fresh” and “organic” botanicals. Though Southern Artisan Spirits does not make their list of botanicals available, we can make some good guesses as to what is in here as a couple stand out boldly.
On the nose is a warm whiff of juniper and a few complimentary floral notes. Hints of warm spice in the background which betray more of themselves on the tasting. The taste begins with a potent, but smooth burst of alcoholic with a hint of burn. Warm notes of complimentary juniper start to shine. The floral and spice which are present but not individually discernible on the nose reveal themselves, slowly unfolding. There’s a warm perhaps christmas-like combination of spice. Perhaps some cinnamon and nutmeg, but predominantly clove like. There’s a hint of citrus in there, before the juniper then begins to fade into the background giving way to an intense note of mint.
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