Blanc Ocean Gin

Blanc Gin
Picture courtesy of SummerFruitCup.com

Spain, once again you surprise us. Pushing the boundaries of what gin can be. Using ingredients that few ever thought of using in gin. Yes, Blanc Gin is the gin probably better known among the gin community as the “seaweed” gin, owing to its one rather unique botanical–

–well I should break in here. The list isn’t what you’d consider a standard list. A few surprising names appear on it. Bergamot, Lemon and Verbena, and three different kinds of citrus, including Key Lime. Different, but none of these botanicals get top billing, so although we’ll be tasting them later, this IS the seaweed gin–

The Nose and the Palate of Blanc
Interesting at very first scent. A bit of orange, but the distinct aroma of dark cocoa. The nose reminds me a lot of orange chocolate, the Easter candy. Not much juniper on the nose, and definitely not much to tell you this isn’t a chocolate vodka. Wow, not gin like at all.

Citrus at front, with a bright burst of cocoa. Rich, chocolaty, a little bit of burn, and a hint of juniper. Some earthy notes more towards the finish, a little bit of bitters punch from the gentian/angelica and rich creamy orange chocolate again on the finish.

This gin is surprising me in some wild ways. I expected brine and the sea, ocean and citrus. But far from that. I’m getting rich decadent desert, with just a hint of bitterness and salt.

Unusual Botanical Alert!
That name on the front of the bottle isn’t just a name from another language that you’ve never heard of.  In languages that you might be familiar with it goes by the names: samphire, St. Peter’s Herb, Beach Asparagus, Glasswort, or Sea beans.

Widely eaten throughout the world Sea Beans are stringy, very salty, and have a flavor somewhat like asparagus or spinach.

Although the bottle says “Seaweed,” Salicornia isn’t probably seaweed in the way you’re thinking of it. It grows in marshes, mangroves and other watery areas. But it’s not quite an underwater plant.

Sea Beans in their natural habitat

 

Mixing with the Seaweed Gin
With tonic, more of the cocoa notes come out again. There’s a little bit of bright citrus, not much juniper. The tonic doesn’t do much to change the flavor profile of this gin. As for a martini, I’m not liking the way these notes blend with the flavors of a vermouth. I mixed up a Negroni and I was disappointed that the chocolate and citrus notes didn’t come through as strongly as I had hoped. They’re here, but more on the close.

If you want to get more obscure, I’d suggest making up a 20th Century Cocktail with this gin. You get a hint of cocoa even before the Creme De Cacao enters. In fact, if I had to wager an inspiration for this gin, it would be this drink right there. Right out of the bottle, it tastes a bit like that drink. Citrus and chocolate with a hint of gin.

Suffice to say it’s really interesting. I think it might work best neat, or ice cold on the rocks. It’s smooth enough to work that way. But the flavors aren’t traditional gin and therefore this gin unsurprisingly doesn’t work like a traditional gin does. If you’re looking for a bit of cocoa sweetness in your gin, nevermind the seaweed on the bottle, this is the gin for you.

Rarely has a gin surprised me as much as Blanc Ocean Gin did. Just when you expected salt and brine. You get sipping chocolate by the sea. Not to say that’s not a nice vision, but you’re not going to be smelling the salt in the air. Though salted chocolate is delicious, so perhaps sipping it by the sea adds that note to take it to the next level…


Best consumed: 
 In a 20th century. If you wanted a gin with cocoa notes, finally it has arrived.
Rating: So it doesn’t do much that you might expect a gin to do. That’s fine. It’s boldly unique, wildly unlike anything else I’ve tasted in terms of  gin thus far. It may not be for anyone, but I think its worth seeking out for its unique qualities alone. 

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Last updated June 12th, 2013 by Aaron

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