I’ve had this sample floating around my kitchen for awhile now. Reviewing a mini is a challenge for me, but I try to do it as best as I can, especially when David hooks me up with some samples from the UK. I prefer to mix a couple of full cocktails, try it in a few smaller drinks and really kind of get a sense of what the gin is trying to do. Well in this case I have about 50mL of a spirit. It’s hard to do as a complete a review as I’d like, but I’m going to take a shot at telling you what it tastes like and how it works w/ Tonic. But that’s about all I can do. If I ever am able to get a full bottle, I reserve the right to update this review with a more complete list of cocktails and tasting notes.
Okay, phew. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s get down to the first ‘micro-tasting.’
Blade: introductory notes.
Very intrigued by the fact that the base mixed a standard neutral grain base with grape spirits as well. Grape spirits have been used by a couple of other brands to great effect, but this is the first gin that I know of that has mixed these two bases in this way. Also, it proudly proclaims right on the website that it ” is NOT a heavy Juniper-forward London Dry Gin.” So I think we know what we’re getting: a California gin perhaps?
Lots of citrus on the nose, and a small touch of juniper. Nice, sweet and somewhat sedate. The taste is a swirl of a lot of different flavors and notes. Cardamom and citrus, black pepper and something herbal (cilantro?), a wave of somewhat sharp juniper accompanied by notes of mint. A bit of heat from the alcohol, 47% making itself a bit known. Finish is a bit piercing, sticking in the corners of your mouth, somewhat sour and acidic. Finishing notes of lemon, citrus peel.
Blade: w/ tonic.
It puts a bit of an emphasis on the after taste. That strong bitter citrus peel taste, and herbal notes. Pepper, but flavor wise, not necessarily the spice. Juniper kind of pushed to the background. It starts quite nice and refreshing, but a couple of those tail notes seem cloudy and unbalanced. Not refreshing, but a bit palette cleansing, souring and drying. Getting more of that cilantro note here. I think there’s something to be said for gins which take a different approach to what a contemporary gin could taste like, but I’m not in love.
I think there’s some interesting notes in here, and neat they seem to present themselves better than they did in tonic [in my very limited test]. I’d love to take a closer look at some point in the future, but sadly at this juncture based on my limited test I remain a bit underwhelmed.
Price: $32/ 750 mL
Origin: [flag code=”US” size=”16″ text=”no”] California, United States
Best consumed: [reserve the right to update in the future] neat.
Availability: California and Online. [see here].
Rating: In my limited taste, I was a bit underwhelmed. Lots of competing flavors, a little confusion/lack of balance. Among contemporary gins, there are a few that use a similar botanical combination and pull it off a bit more successfully.
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