Goodman’s is a newly released small-batch gin from the Netherlands: a partnership between Paul and Gerda de Goede and a historic artisan distiler. Goodman’s Gin was inspired by the Florida Keys, and is part of an emerging pattern of brands being designed to “drink neat,” but also “mix well with everything.” We’ve been drinking gin neat here for years, and its exciting to have more and more folks paying attention to that space, though for most bartenders and gin-drinkers, its the cocktails that still hold the most weight.
On the nose, juniper, sweet orange rind, a little bit of a cassia and grains or paradise as well. There’s a faint spicy, sort of sweetness in the background here. Quite nice, leaning classic.
The palate is strong and assertive, especially upon first sip. Juniper with a little bit of heat up front, quickly spreading to the sides. The heat is a little bit bracing, but the flavors of the other botanicals begin to shine through. Cinnamon, lemon rind present in the mid notes. Angelica comes on more strongly towards the low-mids. The finish is rife with bright violet, lavender and a bit of surprising sweetness. It then finishes crisp and dry, some juniper on the edges of the palate, a touch oily as it blends in with a faint afterglow of heat.
With a couple drops of water, we were able to get a little bit more of the floral hints on the nose, but it fades quite quickly before the juniper comes through more brightly. The palate brings a bit more juniper, and there’s an amplified spicy/sweet finish in the mid/low notes, reading a touch spice cake or spice bread. Still a little hot on the finish.
Overall, I’d say it leans a touch spice forward, though it’s not really strikingly contemporary in profile. It has a nice flavor, though for 88 proof it reads as a touch stronger than you might otherwise have assumed.
We began with the Astoria Bianco, which is a 5:2 variation on the martini with a dash of orange bitters. The herbal Vermouth dominates at first, before the gin comes in and brings a similar finish/flavor profile as it had neat. Juniper, cassia, grains of paradise, angelica, and a touch of heat. In my notes I just wrote “baking spice” because there was a lot of flavors combining to create the feeling, but never standing out as one on their own.
We then tried it in a Caprice Cocktail, which is a slightly modified Astoria Bianco [add some Benedictine]. The presence of the Benedictine played up some different aspects of this gin: Honey, cinnamon and a touch of cake again. A little bit of spice on the finish, and a touch of coriander/citrus on the finish. Balanced and nice, with a touch of heat to close. Quite nice, recommended.
Goodman’s Gin says it should work well in everything. So we pulled out a surprising challenge for it. How would it work in the Salmon Vesper. The ingredient which makes it the Salmon Vesper is Alaska Distillery’s Smoked Salmon flavored vodka, which coloring aside, primarily brings dill and smoke to the picture. We love the way smoke works with gin, and dill compliments herbal spirits in a really nice way, so this doesn’t seem as incongruous as perhaps at first glance. There was smoke on the nose, with dill, juniper, and lemon rind at first on the palate. The finish is smoke, with a distinct heat, and dry pine-forward finish. It was admittedly a little chaotic.
After going through our cocktail books for some new drinks to try a gin in, we went to an old stand-by which is becoming a recurring drink here: the Gimlet. Sweet lime at first, but an earthy depth compliments and rounds out he background, with cinnamon, a little bit of acidic lime leaning towards limeade at the conclusion. Quite nice and recommended.
Overall, it makes a good Gin and Tonic as well, and we felt that the botanicals of Goodman’s Gin seemed to shine through no matter what we threw at it.
Price: €43 / 1L
Origin: [flag code=”NL” size=”16″ text=”no”] Netherlands
Availability: Netherlands and Belgium [updates on Goodman’s site]
Rating: It’s a nice gin. I think it’s a great mixing gin, and it stood up well in every cocktail we put it in. Despite it having a little bit of burn, I think the botanicals and flavor-profile warrant a closer look. It’s a nice gin and a worthy addition to your bar cabinet. [Rating:4/5]
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