Bathtub Gin is also known as Compounded Gin, which simply means that rather than adding the botanicals through distillation, the ingredients are added by simply infusing them in a spirit, often neutral, such as vodka.
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Bathtub Gin has a slight golden/umber tinge to it, something close to the color of cedar planks. The nose is heavy with juniper, cinnamon and cardamom; orange oil adds a touch if citrusy depth. Overall, the nose is quite heavy.
The palate builds quietly, with cinnamon, orange and juniper culminating all at once. As they fade, fresh cracked juniper berry gives way to notes of forest and clove. The finish is quite long with cinnamon and orange again dominating.
Very smooth spirit overall, but heavy on the spices and herbs. In cold compounded gins, you definitely get a side of common ingredients like cinnamon that you don’t always pick up when they are distilled. For example, the cinnamon in here rather than the high notes of freshly ground and the prickly sting of distant cinnamon-like spice, you almost get a more literal fresh-ground-cinnamon note in here.
Bathtub/cold-compounded/infused gins are fantastic for beginners at picking out tasting notes, learning how to decouple flavor accords. While distilling can be transformative and surprising (coriander for example), bathtub gins are much more literal to the ingredients in the way you’re used to tasting them. Right from the spice jar if you may have it.
…but I find that bathtub/cold compounded gins can be somewhat confusing when making cocktails. Bartenders will likely find the golden hue imparted to classic drinks distorts the color, often for the worse such as the Aviation which goes from a delightful purple to a murky swamp hue.
Flavor wise, this Bathtub Gin works well in a Negroni and makes for a spice-forward Gin and Tonic. Overall, it’s more of a sipper than a cocktail gin; however, in the right applications it can work, especially where you’re looking for more of a spicy color (holiday season gin cocktails perhaps?)
It’s nicely balanced for a cold-compounded gin and unlike others, the ingredients come together without feeling clumsy. It’s a nice spirit; however, it doesn’t really do much to say “why would you buy this instead of doing your own at home?” or “can it replace a regular gin?” (it’s different, almost too different)
Fans of contemporary style spice forward gins and budding spirit critics will find something here that merits a closer look. Others will find a well made curiosity that doesn’t do a ton to distinguish itself from what you can do in a make-your-own-gin-at-home-kit.
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