Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin

Flavor Profile

Gin Flavor Visualization for

From the makers of perhaps the world’s most famous color changing gin, Empress 1908 has expanded its product line with a rose and elderflower variety. The vibrant crimson hue is the result of maceration of both rose petal and black carrots. A simple botanical bill highlights floral botanicals like lavender and the flavor profiles of both the coloring agents— which are mentioned as botanicals.

Tasting notes

Color: Ruby or Crimson with no cloudiness. The colors are photosensitive so the exact hue of your bottle might vary based on its time on the shelf/in the sun.

Aroma: Hints of sweetness and spice that I didn’t expect. A touch of woody, sweet cinnamon, bold juniper and rose hips on the nose. It’s complex and slightly floral, but hardly a one note gin.

Flavor: Early, more fruit forward. Bold rose notes combine with lavender to create a note similar to hibiscus tea. Elderflower and pine-forward juniper come through on the mid-palate. Both hover gently as some of Empress 1908’s spice botanicals begin to come through. Dry coriander chiefly, but an echo of rose settles in at the back of the palate.

Beautiful texture and rich, soft mouthfeel. There’s not added sweetening beyond the maceration— the carrot and rose petal lend a botanical richness and an impression of the subtlest, quietest sweetening. But don’t mistake Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin for a pink gin. Color aside, it has nothing in common with the style.

Finish: Dry, but never warm. Hints of florals with a touch of spice linger satisfyingly.

Cocktails and suggested serves

The color of Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin is a star— try it in a French 75 or French 75 Royale. The pairing of lemon with this gin is excellent and extended to both mixed drinks and cocktails. Tom Collins? Gin and Lemonade? Gin and Bitter Lemon? Yes, please.

While I think there is a lot of potential for visual appeal with this gin, it’s important to not lose sight of the flavor. While a Negroni might not showcase the color (it’s already crimson!) the rose, coriander and juniper come through beautifully. This gin is not just a visual show, it is a well rounded, flexible gin works in range of cocktails.

The only shortcoming I can come up with for Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin behind the bar is that some drinks like the Last Word, where the other ingredients are hued as well, can come out looking brown and somewhat unattractive. Taste-wise it might work, but serve it in a tiki cup.

Overall, Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin

Close your eyes.

Put away what you think about Empress 1908’s flagship gin. There’s no gimmicks here. This is a well made gin with a tight balance that integrates floral, spice, and juniper. It’s a versatile mixer as well.

Open your eyes.

The color is quite beautiful as well.

Highly recommended.


Leave a Comment