From the St. Nicolaus Distillery comes a Borovicka with a decidedly gin-like interpretation. Borec Borovička Citrus adds a mixture of lemon, lime and grapefruit to their Borec Borovička. It is designed from a base spirit of fermented and distilled juniper which is then mixed with a grain spirit before sweetening and dilution bring it down to 38% ABV.
Borec Borovička Citrus certainly has citrus on the nose, but it doesn’t smell very bright nor authentic. I could compare it to the aforementioned gins, or lemon flavored spirit drinks. But the citrus is definitely there. There’s hints of artificial grape flavor as well. The nose is clearly citrus, but perhaps should be thought to be more like a malt beverage than a distilled beverage in terms of impressions.
The palate shows a well-rounded array of botanical notes— including a Suze like gentian note, slight hints of menthol and synthetic lemon oil.
The thing that caught me unaware at first sip was the way that a gentian note comes through quite vividly. Especially earlier on, Borec Borovička Citrus has a note that reminds you of an amaro more than a Borovicka. But then that subsides a little as the sweetening serves to elevate a tart, but somewhat synthetic tasting lemon note— something seems hard to pin down about it. It’s oily, dark, and becomes somewhat more orange— and more authentically orange— as it evolves.
The finish is long and moderately warm. Residual citrus lingers with the heat quite nicely. I’m impressed with the length here.
I’ll be the first to admit that I might have been wrong at first nose. Borec Borovička Citrus didn’t appeal to me and I was already thinking, “here we go again.” But that’s not the case with Borec Borovička Citrus.
There’s a nice balance of bitterness and citrus on the palate. Though there is still a slightly artificial air to the citrus flavors here, it seems balanced with some earthiness and bitterness that I think suggests that Borec Borovička Citrus would certainly appeal to fans of amaros like Suze or other gentian-led apertifs.
International Gin Exchange
Since 2010, David T. Smith U.K. based gin writer— creator of Summer Fruit Cup and author behind 2018’s Tales of the Cocktail nominated Gin Tonica— has been sharing samples of spirits that I can’t obtain stateside.
Thanks to him for this sample!