The combination of seventeen botanicals in Damrak Gin is said to date back to a recently discovered recipe found lying about the esteemed Bols Distillery in Amsterdam. Now, I’m not normally one to challenge these assertions; however, its botanical collection— including honeysuckle— suggests either an incredibly prescient distiller from the past or a more recent invention.
Damrak Gin is distilled from a base of grain neutral spirits and is named for the one-bustling Dutch port of Damrak where many of the spices that have dominated gin botanical bills since the age of Exploration arrived into Europe.
Creamy citrus forward nose with sweet orange rind, candied lime peel, dried California figs and a touch of pine. There’s a sweet spiciness that reminds of Cucidati Italian Christmas cookies with Hints of rum, cinnamon, raisins a well. Damrak Gin has a lovely complex nose that although the notes suggest the non-traditional, it clearly reads as gin.
The palate of Damrak Gin evolves on the palate in a few exciting acts. At first, there’s lime and orange notes. Then a rich body wherein the citrus turns to grapefruit, and almost floral juniper blossoms from the background. A creamy citrus supported richness ushers in a finish with a touch of tea and the slightest hint of anise. Juniper hovers on the palate for a fairly long time on the finish.
Damrak Gin is a contemporary citrus-forward gin that is grounded squarely in the traditions of the classic style. It makes a nice citrus-forward Gin and Tonic, but it’s best qualities may be in its diverse range as a powerhouse mixing gin that still works well in spirit-forward offerings like the Martini.
Try Damrak Gin in a Tom Collins, Aviation, or Negroni. It brings a nice citrus and juniper note to them all.
Or combine it with grapefruit for a good take on the Finnish Long Drink.
Bartenders will appreciate Damrak Gin’s versatility behind the bar. It has a wide appeal to both contemporary and classic gin drinkers. It also works well in nearly anything you put it in. Bars looking for an unusual statement as a well gin would be wise to consider Damrak Gin among their options.
Damrak Gin is a lovely well-balanced gin of the citrus forward style. Fans of New Amsterdam Gin might find Damrak an upgrade to their usual tipple as a still reasonable cost.
But overall, one just has to appreciate Damrak Gin for its legibility as a gin and the masterful execution of what it set out to do. Damrak is a good gin from a distillery known for good gins (and genever).