Cheap Gin. I don’t have a problem with it. In fact, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by many bottom shelf options I’ve tried. New Amsterdam is a bargain. Rather inexpensive but a good gin on its own. Not just for the Price. So I have an open mind. I’m not biased against a gin which is cheap for cheap sake. “Supermarket gin” is not inherently bad in and of itself.
So of course when David at Summer Fruit Cup told me this gin had a Molasses base, I was pretty excited. Experimentation with bases (things other than neutral grain) are among my favorite trends in modern gin. So how did this molasses-base hold up in tasting?
The beginning is rather pleasant. A tingle of citrus and a prickle of juniper. This all gives way to an intense and sudden burst of heat. The sharp heat blurs the mid notes and gives away to a finish which is lingering, slightly burning, and leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. Though the aftertaste has intimations of the juniper and citrus, its not altogether too pleasant. There’s not enough subtlety to say if there is anything in the molasses base which adds or subtracts from the drink. Unlike the whiskey mash bases and the grape bases, this one is neutral in character and if I hadn’t known ahead of time, I would have never guessed it was there.
But you’re not going to drink this gin neat like I am right now. It mixes nicely. The bitter juniper finish isn’t completely done away with, but a nice element of sweetness like a tonic water or some citrus cuts it. But the only way to really make it go away I guess is to use a super sweet sour mix or something. If you’re buying Tesco, that might be what you plan on using it with. If you’re looking for a gin for a proper Tom Collins, I might recommend you look elsewhere.
Best consumed: Mixed with something sweet and strongly flavored.
Rating: Its a cheap gin with a certain audience in mind. If you’re having a party and you need a lot of cheap gin, then you probably already know what you’re in for.
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