Cloves grow on a tall evergreen native to the Maluku islands of Indonesia, a.k.a the Spice Islands. Only one essential oil is responsible for most of cloves’ unique flavor. Eugenol is described as having a woody, spicy aroma. If you’ve ever had a clove, you know this flavor.
In gins, cloves can often be overpowering owing to the strong flavor of Eugenol. Cloves are best used in moderation, though for tasting novices clove can be one of the easiest botanicals to detect.