Price: €32 / 500 mL
Distiller: Blackwater Distillery
Availability: Ireland, UK, Europe
Rating: Easy-to-sip classic gin with a historical tie to Nineteenth century Ireland. The story adds a little bit of spice to a classic, if a little by-the-numbers, gin formula. If you’re looking for a good classic gin, this is a solid addition to your home collection, and it’s one that we could see ourselves turning to as an alternative to Gordon’s or other big name classic gins. [Rating:3.5/5]
Whatever you do, don’t leave out the number 5 [like Coco Chanel]. Blackwater Gin is a rock band from Wisconsin. Blackwater No. 5 Gin is a spirit made from the botanicals which were imported into Ireland by the Whites of Waterford company in the middle 19th century; meaning that it was true to what Western European nations were importing from the Spice Islands during this time. We can expect that cinnamon and cassia might be chief among these, but other candidates for possible inclusion are black peppercorn, nutmeg and mace, cloves, and cardamom.
Juniper and spice on the nose, cardamom and even some citrus rising from the edge as well. Very classic in profile. The palate is somewhat surprising, the spirit is very smooth and quite mild overall. It’s really low on the intensity scale, so that by the time the botanicals arrive, you’re well and ready for them. Cassia and juniper, piney and clear juniper in the middle, camphorous notes of cardamom, bitter orange rind, and a warm spice driven closing. The finish is medium long and it never feels hot or sharp. It’s eminently sippable, and an easy quaff at that. It’s quite traditional, but nice in that perspective.
It holds up well against tonic in a Gin and Tonic, but tends towards being overshadowed in louder cocktails. I think its there in a Negroni, but it’s hard for me to say “yes! this gin above others in here.” It’s gin for gin’s sake, and sometimes, we’re spoiled for riches, and loud botanical profiles that sometimes I make it sound like there’s something wrong with that. Blackwater Gin No. 5 is a good classic gin that mixes well and has a good profile that works Neat or in a Martini best of all, and it’s a good mixer. It’s worth taking a look at if you’re looking for a new alternative to your go-to classic style gin or if you’re looking for a really mild and easy-to-drink gin with juniper and hitting all the usual marks.
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