Articles Tagged: France

Gin Reviews

The Gin Wife Reviews: Audemus Pink Pepper Gin

Hello friends, the Gin Wife here to talk to you today about a gin I happen to like very much! (Musical Flourish)

May I introduce Pink Pepper Gin, from Audemus Spirits out of France? Audemus states that there are Spanish pink peppercorns, juniper, and a variety of other spices in their gin. They suggest it served straight, or in cocktails.

First off – I love pepper. I put it on everything – salads, strawberries, meats, vegetables, etc. If it’s a food, I’ve probably tried to put pepper on it before. We own at least three or four pepper grinders, I sniff at pre-packaged peppers, and I’m aware that there are black, red, pink, and other varieties of peppercorns out there. I would get a tattoo dedicated to that wonderful, biting flavor if I could. So I felt like I was predisposed to enjoy this gin.

The first sip of gin had strong, but delicate, notes of peppercorn. (N.B.- pink peppercorns are not actually, well, peppercorns, but dried berries that resemble peppercorns in taste and appearance.) Juniper dawdled behind the peppery note, and it finished overall with some light hints of citrus.

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Gin Reviews

Citadelle Gin


Citadelle Gin is something of the “Elder Statesman” of the new style of gins. It’s been around long enough to have “always been there” to many, but that is to lose sight that at one point Citadelle was the bold, surprising, innovative new gin on the shelf. Their story is complex, but we’re going to try to make it as succinct as possible.

In our own < 100 Words

Citadelle is half revival, half new innovation: the revival is based on one the first gin produced in France at the “Citadelle.” The innovation is in the where and the how. Maison Ferrand Distillery and the SW corner of France is best known for its Cognac. But perhaps the boldest part was the revelation that during the offseason when they legally couldn’t distill Cognac, they could distill gin. The government finally relented in ’95, and so began the magic of open flames [don’t try this at home] and pot stills: Citadelle 2.0 was thusly born.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, hints of violet, sweet orange, coriander and floral brightness. Leans slightly citrus, but there’s another side here as well, with hints of a spicy/floral deeper notes: nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom.

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Tonic Water

Review: Schweppes Indian Tonic [France]


Some things strike me as just being plain “not fair.”

Here in the states we have one kind of Schweppes Tonic Water for sale. Its pretty much exactly what you expect: saccharine, sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, and overall pretty much indistinguishable from other plastic bottle tonic waters available in supermarkets across America.

But overseas, there is this other kind of tonic water called “Indian Tonic Water.” Which (spoiler) means the exact same thing. It is simply put, tonic water. However, taste-wise it is radically different from anything we have on the mainstream US market.

It is slightly sweet, with a syrupy undertone, cut cleanly by a brisk dose of quinine that tastes at least two or three times more intense than the Schweppes I usually buy. The less-intense sweetness means that when you mix if it with gin, a lot more of the gin flavor actually comes through. Overall though, it makes for a much more bitter cocktail.

This is the kind of tonic that really made the lemon/lime a requirement. With not a lot of sweet, it leaves room for the natural sugars of a citrus fruit to make themselves known; whereas with your usual tonic water you might not even need that.

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Gin Reviews

G’vine Nouaison

We’ll G’vine, we meet again. again.

Long time readers of the Gin is In will know that this was the first gin I officially awarded five stars too.

A lot of what I wrote about Floraison  is equally true about Nouaison, so let’s get on to the actual tasting notes, shall we?

The Scent The smell is a more muted variation on Floraison. A subtle floral bouquet, but no intimations of its strength (44% vs Floraison’s 40%) nor of its more juniper-like stature.

On the Tongue There’s some warm citrus notes a  powerful note of cassia. The floral notes are there but very quickly give way to juniper and a burst of London Dry style heat. But don’t be fooled. it’s not as intense as other classic gins. Its a muted, slightly floral take on it. In other words, I think its the ideal balance between the strong floral notes of Floraison and the juniper notes of a classic gin. If you’re a gin buff who didn’t really dig Floraison, Nouaison meets you half way.

The finish is a little bit of ginger, a little bit of cinnamon and a little bit citrus.

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Gin Reviews

rereview: G’vine Floraison


I would never turn down a chance to revisit some of my oldest gin commentaries. I think my knowledge of gin and my gin experiences have expanded greatly since that time back in winter 2009 when I decided that “since I had five gins in the apartment, why don’t I start reviewing them?!” Both varieties of G’vine’s gin were among those initial five. Although my initial review of Floraison was posted in August 2010, it was one of the gins that inspired me to take on this journey. Now, while well known, and having been reviewed by so many others, I’m to re-write my initial review and wonder “what can I add to the discussion of this wonderful floral gin?”

The Floral Nose The first thing one notices when they open G’vine is the intense sweet aroma which almost jumps from the bottle. Its immediately sweet smelling. No alcohol scent and no juniper sent present. The nose is very one note, but a memorable and enticing one at that.

A lot of this floral sensation comes from the unique base. Instead of using neutral spirits, G’vine uses  a wine grape base.

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Gin Reviews

Magellan Gin

magellan gin

The first thing I thought upon seeing Magellan’s blue gin was that it was a gimmick. Blue gin? C’mon people. color gin? Gin drinkers are classier than Vodka drinkers. We don’t need fancy colors to tell us a gin is good. If it’s good we’ll drink. Hell if it’s good, we’ll get two. Magellan gin taught me an important lesson: don’t judge a gin by its color. Blue or not, it stands up as a solid gin.

Not to harp too much on the color, but another thing worth pointing out for the organic-lifestylists and anti-food-coloring folks, that this eerie blue hue is not from chemicals. Its from the final part of distilling process where Iris flowers are soaked in the gin. Some of the flavor, color, and aroma comes through in the final product which is distinctly floral, but not overwhelmingly fruity.

Magellan gin has a bite to it that you might not expect upon first smell.

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