Articles Tagged: Albania

Other Thoughts

Final Thoughts, Origin Series Batch 1

We’ve reviewed all eight of the gins from the initial batch of Origin gins from Master of Malt. It was a lot of fun to try this range of gins from four very different places and I hope that they will keep me in mind when they come out with future batches including Kosovo, Croatia and Macedonia*. And better yet, perhaps I can claim the 100 pound bounty if my mom’s juniper patch ever yields 10kg of juniper**.

But we’ve covered a lot of ground here. And the origin series is a little expensive. 35 pounds for a 700 mL bottle, and for my American readers, Master of Malt does ship to the states, but expect to pay upwards of $60 for a bottle of the Origin gins. So say you want to buy a couple of bottles, or just get acquainted with the series. Let’s do a recap of where we’ve been:

If you are just getting into gin… Make sure that you get the Bulgaria one. Easily I’d recommend this to anyone, because this gin is shocking that this flavor is possible to come just from cold distilled juniper berries alone.

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Gin Reviews

Origin: Albania

albania origin gin bottles

Where are we today? In Albania, in the hills of an 8,000 hectare national park. The region we’re in is named for the Valbona River, one of the cleanest rivers in the country and the river whose meandering path over millennia has carved out the said valley. It looks rather beautiful from the travel website [Albania’s new frontier!]. Quaint, green mountains, cute little cottages and vibrant rivers. But we’re not there for this, we’re there for the juniper today.

Tasting Notes

A little quiet at first, building sharply. Almost sweet though, warm dark cherry. Rich, but bracing and still somewhat sharp. Clean long lasting juniper flavor hanging on the edge of the palette. Somewhat sour and bitter, but still clearly juniper. As a juniper forward gin, this actually kind of works. I could see it mixing nicely, though outside of a martini the really interesting notes from the juniper will be a bit lost.

This is the companion review to the Origin: Albania with botanicals ()

Vitals

Price: £34.95 / 700 mL Origin:  United Kingdom Juniper Terroir:  Valbonë, Albania Best consumed: Sipped neat to first appreciate the flavor of the juniper.

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Gin Reviews

Origin: Albania w/ Botanicals

albania origin gin bottles

This is the companion piece to the Origin: Albania with just juniper ()

Tasting Notes

Bright and citrusy. The warm dark cherry notes of the just-juniper variation are quite muted. The bracing juniper crescendo is still presernt, and the lingering after taste. The botanical mixture contains another nine botanicals [juniper withstanding]. Citrus predominates but doesn’t quite overwhelm the juniper.

Citrus overwhelms a bit, but the juniper is still there. The richness of the juniper in the initial tasting isn’t is somewhat obscured. Good, but not remarkable.

Vitals

Price: £34.95 / 700 mL Origin: United KingdomJuniper Terroir: Valbonë, Albania Best consumed: Sipped neat to first appreciate the flavor of the juniper. I could easily recommend a martini with this gin, and think the second one with botanicals would actually make for a rather good Gin and Tonic. Availability: Master of Malt online.Website:http://www.masterofmalt.comRating: Both are quite good, I prefer the straight up juniper version of this one due to the rich character of the juniper involved. I’d easily choose this provenance of juniper as the base of a gin I was distilling.  (3/5)

 

 

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