Revolution Spirits you say? Yes, the revolution is certainly in the glass here. Only six botanicals are present: juniper, rosemary, lemongrass, grapefruit, lavender and pink peppercorn, built on a base spirit of Missouri corn and bottled at an assertive, but not overdone 100 proof, Austin Reserve Gin is confident, refined, and like the name might indicate, pushing the envelope just a tad.
Revolution Spirits is just one name in a burgeoning Austin, Texas Gin distilling scene, which already includes Genius Gin and Treaty Oak Distilling whose Waterloo and Waterloo Antique have already set a high bar for Texas Gin.
While the Rosemary is the first thing you pick up on the nose of Austin Reserve Gin, there’s more in the background to reward the careful noser/sniffer/soon-to-be-sipper. Lavender and grapefruit zest hover on the fringes as well, with a resiny juniper note a little further back.
The palate is clear and crisp juniper at first dancing with fresh garden picked juniper. There’s a floral hint in the background as well where orris meets lavender, and tart citrus rinds make themselves known as well— imparting a slight pithy bitterness which lingers through the medium long finish rife with resiny juniper, dried rosemary, and basil/sage notes as well.
This is the United States’ distilled answer to the popular and also quite wonderful Spanish Gin Mare. If you are looking for an herbal contemporary styled gin, Austin Reserve is the gin you’ve been looking for.
First we tried it in a Gin and Tonic with a simple Schweppe’s Tonic Water. It was certainly herbal. If you’ve ever thought about garnishing your G&T with rosemary, or adding a rosemary syrup, this is certainly the right gin for you. It tastes as bright and fresh (to its credit) as fresh rosemary. I was quite surprised by just how “full” the rosemary seemed. But there’s something more here, with reisiny juniper and essential gin like notes in the background as well. There’s much more than meets the eye here, and plenty to reward the careful drinker.
The Aviation seemed like a tall order; however, we were suitably impressed as well. The violet and lemon were dominant and balanced up front, while the back end showed off the gin’s savory side showcasing intimations of rubbed sage, fresh picked basil and lavender blooms. Again, if you thought rosemary might bomb out this cocktail, I encourage you to think again. Balanced and quite nice. We recommend it.
The gimlet was more predictable, with rosemary on the nose, and rosemary on the palate. Resiny pine needles and a pithy citrus rind worked behind the scenes. Though this was a rosemary lime cordial if there ever was one.
Finally, capitalizing on the powerful aromatic properties of savory herbs, we made a Hot Toddy. This was our favorite drink of the night. Fresh and herbal, like an excellent tea, the lemon and hint of sugar complemented the bold flavors of the gin, so much so that it seemed transformed into something novel: this delightful melange of fresh, warming herbal notes swarmed the palate and nose, with intimation of blackberry and lavender leaves in the background as well. This drink was transformative as it was satisfying. Highly Recommended.
Overall, Austin Reserve Gin
Critics might dismiss this out of hand as a “rosemary bomb.” But I encourage you to look a bit deeper. There’s much more to than immediately meets the nose. It mixes well and the selection of herbs, citrus elements, and florals complements the juniper in a way that few gins do. One of the nicest herb-forward contemporary style gins on the market today. I recommend it for its confidence in vision, and success in execution. This is good stuff, that is if you’re down with a revolution.