Lee Spirits Co. was founded in 2013, and their flagship gin is distilled on a hand-assembled stainless steel still; the botanicals are macerated for ten hours before being distilled. The botanical blend was perfected over 31 test runs, and while it doesn’t pull any surprised using seven of the eight most popular botanicals (Juniper, Coriander, Cardamom, Orange, Lemon, Angelica, and Orris Root), the range within every botanical can be immense. So never assume that the same botanical in the hands of a new distiller might taste like something you’ve had by ingredients alone.
The nose is quite lovely. Punchy citrus and orange, juniper with some piney notes forward, and a gentle green cardamom pod, freshly broken open, pushing forth a gentle Chai tea and vanilla cake note underneath it.
Cardamom a bit strong early, with again this suggestive hint of cardamom, pistachio and vanilla [the cardamom seems to build with each subsequent sip], distinct coriander mid-palate, hints of lemon and orange zest a bit later, juniper with a really crisp, dry character comes on late, but strong. Though it has many contemporary touches, juniper certain grounds the gin in its history. Cardamom notes a bit late again, with a pleasant and present warmth in the back of the throat. Fairly long finish with some really pleasant character. Some nice balance with all of the botanicals designed to be at the fore contributing nicely.
I’m always a fan of a good gin and tonic and Lee Spirits Dry Gin indeed fits the bill, though I found my favorite variation to be done with a dash of orange bitters and a fresh lime wheel for garnish. But perhaps I’m being particular.
The cardamom notes nicely shone with some citrus, particularly in tall drinks. Try the Gin Fizz or a Tom Collins. I didn’t find much that Lee Spirits Dry Gin didn’t work in, though I think for the small subset of gin drinkers which are not keen on the cardamom trend (which peaked say in 2013), its among the dominant notes and it comes through in cocktails. As a gin that features it, it’s well done. Clean and contemporary, with a good deal of juniper and a clean finish.
A good dry gin with a plenty of juniper and citrus, set apart with a distinctive cardamom note that tends to dominate the botanical blend without overwhelming, especially in cocktails. A good mixing and sipping gin in equal measure, fans of contemporary style gins that don’t forget their roots are sure to find a lot to like here. Recommended within its style.
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