Long Table’s cucumber gin sources local vegetables, even rounding out the botanical mixture with two peppers in addition to their BC cucumbers. It shares the same high quality base spirit and attention to detail that their other spirits do; however, it differentiates itself with its bright, and decidedly cucumber-forward approach.
Bright, crisp cucumber on the nose. Clearly vegetal with melon/honeydew undertones. There’s a hint of acidic lemon, green juniper and coriander as well.
Where I think it rises above the pre-conceived notions of cucumber flavored gin, or perhaps even the expectations set by some of the ways that cucumber has been used as a botanical as of late, is when it hits the palate. Crisp English cucumber hits at first, but the mid-palate is rife with many traditional juniper touches. Plenty of baking spice, earthy depth, a peak of coriander, and a green— but evolving into a more herbaceous/pine-like juniper note. The coriander spice takes over on the finish but is backed by waves of vanilla cream, honeydew and bell pepper. The finish is crisp and quite long, with more surprises in store. Spicy fresh cracked coriander gives way to some gentle vegetal complexity.
It’s incredible how tightly integrated the cucumber is into the overall story on the palate. It never reads as a flavored gin, but as a simply well made gin with cucumber on the palate. There’s an exceptional balance here, one that pays off for the patient sipper who’s willing to appreciate the spirit on its own.
As this is only an impression because we have a small sample, we are salivating at the prospect of getting some more of this to try it in cocktails. On its own, this is perhaps as excited as we’ve been about a spirit we’ve tried this year. Really great stuff, and we’re looking forward to see how it works in a Martini or G&T. Provisionally, this might be one of the best gins we’ve had this year.
Price: $49 CDN / 750 mL
Distiller: Long Table Distillery
Origin: British Columbia, Canada
Availability: British Columbia/Alberta
Rating: Lovely balance, and a sterling example of what cucumber can bring to a gin. More a contemporary style gin that features cucumber prominently than a true flavored gin, Long Table’s Cucumber Gin sets a high bar. Plenty of gin-like notes round out the flavor profile. Exquisite, bright, warm and welcoming. It may well be a five star gin, but I want to be conservative until I have enough to put it through the rigors a more thorough cocktail review. That being said, I’m feeling pretty bullish about this gin right now. Fans of Hendrick’s or Martin Miller’s Gin might find a new favorite here. [Rating:4.5/5]
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