43°N, 12°E, are the latitude and longitude (approximately) of Anonima Distillazioni, the makers of 4312, Aquamirabilis London Dry Gin. But these coordinates also take you to just outside Perugia, Italy (we’ve previously given a rave review to a single origin gin made of juniper from this region).
Most of the juniper that distillers around the world use grows in Italy. Anonima Distillazioni has the good fortune of making a gin right next to where most of the world’s juniper is grown.
In addition to the inspiration of being a truly Italian gin, from ingredients to final product, they also borrow inspiration from the world of perfume. “Aquamirabilis” was the world’s first alcohol based perfume. In the 17th century, Giovanni Paolo Feminis blended 95% alcohol with another 5% fruits, spices, citrus and other aromatics.
The back of the bottle has one of the best graphics I’ve ever seen on a gin bottle. They portray the structure of the gin using the olfactory pyramid more common in perfumery.
Aroma: Citrus, with bergamot, woody rose and an earthy, slightly herbal impression. The citrus is light and intensely volatile. After not long, the coriander and woody juniper emerges. Poured neat, 4312 evolves as a perfume. Though I’m a little sad that the top notes and heart don’t persist.
Flavor: Intensely citrus. Bergamot rind and tart citron segue into a mid-palate with neroli and herbal notes coming through. There’s a piney undercurrent here, that uses juniper to tie things together.
However, it’s not until late on the palate that the juniper comes through most intensely. Piney, green juniper and dry, slightly piquant coriander.
Finish: Dry and mildly astringent with moderate warmth. Dry coriander dominates, but at a rather low intensity. Pine terpenes hover on the edges of the palate.
P.S. The perfume diagram on the back is really quite accurate.
The evolving, unfolding palate makes 4312 gin an ideal Martini gin. Paired with a little bit of salt from an added olive or onion, the herbal heart could really sing.
The citrus in 4312 Gin is dark and rather complex. It contrasts starkly with another Italian gin like Malfy con Limone where the citrus is bright and sweeter in impression. Mixing with fresh citrus, especially fruits like lime or grapefruit which are not in the botanical bill, can really brighten the gin. Try a Tom Collins or Gimlet.
Overall, 4312 Gin
The complex combination of citrus and herbal components lends this gin and unique flavor profile. Juniper is like the bassist in a band. It holds the whole thing together, but the citrus is the star.
Boldly contemporary, this is a gin that will appeal to fans of citrus-forward gin. But fans of classic style gin will appreciate that the juniper is never far from mind.