Behold the Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris). Growing across Europe, it can be found in the Mountains in Southern Europe, and in lower regions as you go further north. Distinctive in its own right, forests can be found of this majestic blue-green needle bearing tree across the continent. The folks at Filliers Distillery in Belgium, best known for their Genevers, have taken their Dry Gin 28 (also quite excellent, but you’ll have to check out my forthcoming book for that review**) and added the buds of the Scots Pine to create an absolutely splendid gin that earns the badge “piney.”
The nose is (as you might have guessed we would say) piney.
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Thirteenth Colony Distillers unsurprisingly hails from the United States’ thirteenth colony, and the nations’ fourth state. The gin is called Southern Gin and it comes from a land probably best known for its peaches and pecans. I will say that, and just to dispel the notion that just because a distiller is so proud of their heritage that their distillery is named after the place it comes from; their gin is named for the region they come from, but its not so literal as that its pecans and peaches all the way.
Instead, Southern Gin is refreshing classic styled gin. Bottle and name pays tribute to the self, but the drink itself pays tribute to something even further back in Georgia’s history, that is the place that Georgia’s founder James Oglethorpe was born: Merry Olde England.
Tasting and the Nose
The nose is sweet and inviting. A fair amount of juniper. It smells mild and pleasant, with nary a trace of alcoholic burn on the nose.
The taste actually is remarkably true to the nose too. The profile is affable, sweet juniper which fades into warm citrus. Lemon up front but hints of other citrus as well, intimations of grapefruit.
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Have I gone off the deep end?
Have I gone mad?
This is a gin blog! I’ve spent the entire time writing this blog trying to diffuse the notion that gin tastes like burning pine needles. And now? I have the audacity to review a liquor that tastes like fir specifically because I think this particular Eau De
Tasting:Vie will appeal to folks who enjoy gin. Let me make the case that if you are going to serve an aperitif/digestif this holiday season, this is the one to choose.
It immediately and recognizable smells like pine. Up until this point, the only time I had ever had anything flavored like fir had been a sorbet I had at the London NYC. That was subtle, but distinctly pine. This is a little more in your face. It reminds me of the smell of that place where we cut down our own Christmas tree a few years ago. And this is where I think it makes a good accompaniment to decorating the tree, or other holiday festivities.
To those who dislike gin because it “tastes like burning pine needle” (in 2012, can we put this false notion behind us?) they will likely dislike this for that reason exactly.
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