Metropologin is a “Minnesota Organic Gin,” which as the side of the bottle describes an evocative portrait, that it is designed to be enjoyed with the sun shining on your face at a lake [which is notable, given that Minnesota has 15,291 lakes*, 7 of which are named Elbow Lake and 14 Named Eagle Lake, but I digress]. Loon Liquors was the first distillery in Southern Minnesota in nearly a century. The base spirit is distilled from locally sourced Wheat and Barley, and the label reveals several hints that we might have a less than traditional botanical blend, indicating Black Currant, Rosemary and Cardamom. Though I mostly keep it to the product, let me just say: this is a beautifully designed bottle, with an Art Deco motif that suggests a prohibition era link that also, in the more recent cultural consciousness, strongly suggests the 2013 The Great Gatsby movie adaptation’s cover art.
The nose is warm and slightly grain heavy with thick floral/fruity undertones. Rosemary, lilac, and darkened lavender, with a strong intimation of woodruff. It’s those aromas without the high notes, it’s the dry out of a thick, heady floral perfume set to a back drop of a bread bakery. The palate is intensely botanical, with some surprises as well. A ton of licorice leaps forward! Certainly some notes of rosemary again here, becoming more strongly mentholated and piney, combining with juniper later on the palate. Hints of cardamom as well, bitter orange oils, and that slightly sweet, heady note of woodruff again. Dry, with a medium length finish, the warmth is warmly colored by the botanicals, but perhaps taken over by a radiating lasting warmth coming from the base spirit.
Overall, it’s an interesting flavor profile that I think will appeal to those in search of a complex multi-faceted sipping or Martini gin, but it may be too specific to be an ideal replacement for most people’s go to in their Gin and Tonic. It’s interesting, but quite off the beaten path, with plenty of the base spirit richness you get from grain to glass distilled gins and lots of the heady botanical melange you get from contemporary styled gins. Overall, I think it’s interesting; however, it might be a stretch to make it your go-to cocktail gin. Try it in a Negroni mixed 2:1:1 for an intensely warm, and floral/herbal drink, but I’m not sure I can recommend its complex flavor profile in the French 75 or Aviation.
Rating: Boldly botanical with plenty of intrigue in a heady melange of herbs and floral notes. Recommended for fans of contemporary style gins who appreciate a good sipping or Martini gin.
*Provided you establish an arbitrary limit of 10 acres/lake.
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