Blackwater No. 5 Gin

Blackwater No. 5 GinWhatever 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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Cocktails

Blackwater No. 5 Gin 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.

Overall

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, Blackwater No. 5 Gin 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.

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Suggestions: how's the aroma? How about the mouthfeel? What would you recommend having this gin in?

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Readers' Reviews

by Shelly

I think your review is pretty on-target.My favorite gins usually give me a "green" experience--like hiking in the woods, or taking out across an open field of grasses. But the first scents out of this bottle transport me to a kitchen, instead, maybe with muffins baking: grain, cloves and cinnamon, vanilla, and sweetness. Really pleasant! And the taste lines right up with the fragrance.I think of this as a spring/summer gin--lightweight, not too complicated, but bright and refreshing. To tell the truth, I've never been able to move past drinking it neat, or in a dry martini. It always strikes me as too delicate to risk burying under a burden of cocktail ingredients; and too enjoyable on its own to bother with adding distractions. I wouldn't count it a "bucket list" gin--but certainly worth giving a try, if you cross its path.

Last updated December 3rd, 2015 by Aaron

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