The bottle— I mean can— will catch your eye. There’s nothing like it on the shelf, at least externally. Engine Gin is distilled at Italy’s Torino Distillati. They are perhaps best known in the gin world for being the place the Malfy Gins are distilled.
Engine Gin features licorice, sage, rose and lemon, is vacuum distilled from a base of wheat and is canned at 42% ABV.
Aroma: Crisp sage, citron rind, and terpey juniper. Sage and citrus evoke hints of green apple and lavender leaves.
Flavor: Heavy sage leads an angular and heady camphorous palate. Somewhat bitter throughout, the heaviness conjures the flavor of singed, oily rosemary leaves. Creamy licorice root comes through late, as does a hint of lemon.
Finish: Pronounced heat from mid-palate through finish. Sage, camphor, and lemon pith.
Engine Gin is perhaps most at home mixed. some of the heady, almost overwhelming heat and sage notes are restrained and more balanced. I particularly think it works well in a somewhat herbal Negroni though it will be at home in a Last Word or 1:1 Martini.
I find that some of its more difficult qualities are emphasized in cocktails like the gin and tonic and the gin and soda. Both emphasize Engine Gin’s inherent bitterness.
Overall, Engine Gin
While a fun and novel concept from a packaging standpoint, the gin is likely to be a touch divisive from a flavor perspective. Firstly, Engine Gin is a better example of a more Italian Gin profile. It is a bit misaligned with American gin flavor palates, in terms of the bitter, overwhelming herbal flavors. It is a challenging mixer that requires attention to its flavor profile and expectation management with consumers acclimated to other gins.
Engine Gin feels and tastes unbalanced. However, it works well in the right applications– if you’re willing to give it some time and space to shine, it can. However, someone looking for a gin suitable for every engine may find