I’m not a big fan of secrets. You know, sometimes its a little cold, – you’re on the outside looking in. So Nolet, what gives? You have some obscure botanicals: that much I’m certain of. The given list includes only Peach, Raspberry and Rose. I’m not going to claim that I can reveal the underlying secrets with my well-developed gin-tasting ability (I’m going to try though), but these three “known” ingredients are so obvious on their own, so overpowering and at the forefront- whether by suggestion or intention that they remain the focus of many reviews of this bold new entry into the realm of top-top shelf gins.
Where’s the Juniper?
The first thing that gin drinkers notice whether by scent or by taste is that the juniper is muted, almost missing. I definitely think there’s some juniper in here (and not just because juniper is essentially required to make a gin) but because there is an underlying mild spice that rings of juniper. It makes me think of the faint pine flavor that I once had in a Douglas Fir sorbet. Its pine, and I call it juniper just because its gin.
The Rest of the Botanicals
The floral scent is over the top. You smell rose when you open the bottle. The only comparable in this specific botanical is Hendrick’s. But Hendrick’s doesn’t take it anywhere near to the level that Nolet’s does. There’s notes of Lavender and other sweeter herbal notes.
The Raspberry and peach makes this taste very non gin like. In fact, it’s so very much non-traditional gin like that it just doesn’t mix well at all. I would go so far as saying that you probably don’t want to mix anything with this gin outside of a gin and tonic (straight, no lime) and a martini (light on the vermouth). Other than that, this is gin that excels in a glass neat or on the rocks. I know most people don’t drink their gin like that- but this is the gin that defies the convention.
It is very smooth for 47.6%. I know I say this a lot. I’ve called Caorunn very smooth. I say Miller’s is surprisingly smooth for the proof. I’ve claimed that Plymouth is very smooth (this makes me think I need some new words to describe the smoothness of gin) but this one for the proof puts them all to shame. It is the smoothest of the overproof gins in my opinion. It does not taste like a 47% gin. Considering it is at its best on the rocks of neat, this is a key characteristic which makes Nolet Silver a stellar “gin” that is rather unlike anything else that is out there.
Best consumed: Neat, drink it like you’re drinking Scotch.
Availability: Uncommon, but they have national distribution. So keep your eyes open.
Rating: I enjoy Nolet Silver a lot. It’s smooth, its exotic, its different. But I have a hard time giving a high rating to a gin that essentially does one thing better than any other gin, but doesn’t really work in any other way. Its a luxury gin that may have wide appeal, but should be treated as such in your liquor cabinet.
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This is a challenging gin for use in cocktails other than the suggestions the reviewer made. It likes the versatility of a juniper-forward London Dry gin. That noted, I recently tried a Walk The Line cocktail at Maison in New Orleans that took advantage of Nolet's unique flavor profile. I don't have their recipe, but have approximated it at home: 1 oz. Nolet's, 3/4 oz Lillet Blanc and 1/2 oz Aperol shaken over ice, strained and garnished with citrus zest (Cara Cara orange works well).