When contending with a gin at 120 proof like Finsbury Gin, it nearly begs the question: What comes above Navy Strength?The Spectrum of Gins, click to enlarge
I’ve speculated in previous posts that such a place exists: the place where spirits are better suited for setting things ablaze than they are for drinking. But Finsbury Gin, dares tread in a place few have dared to go.
There’s a 130 Proof rum. A 151 Proof rum. Whiskeys and the like have been known to occasionally clock in above 120.
But the nearest parallel I can come up with New Jersey’s Devil Springs Vodka, a 160 proof monster. Has a similar low shelf appearance to Finsbury Gin [and similar price point]. While few folks use Devil’s Spring to drink straight it has some important uses. Powerful-little-goes-a-long-way additive for drinks and great option for infusion. Though Finsbury Gin 60% is only a hair above Navy Strength, this is uncharted territory and as it stands, this is one of the strongest gins I know of*.
The nose is strongly juniper with a hint of alcohol. It smells a bit potent, and a bit inexpensive. Yes, lots of alcohol. But it doesn’t quite burn on the nose. Good sign.
Juniper present immediately on the taste of Finsbury Gin 60%, bright citrus. Lemon and Orange rind. Lemon on the close, a good deal of heat that lingers and burns deeply in the throat and the edges of the mouth. A bit oily in character. The finish is more hot than it is long and flavorful. Juniper’s the last flavor to go.
Overwhelmingly classic with a good deal of punch.
At this proof point? It should be a mixing monster. It should be able to stand up to whatever you throw at it. With tonic it works exactly as expected, packing its punch, and bringing a good deal of juniper to the party. Quite nice, although nothing unusual and unexpected.
A little much for me in the martini, even with the generous 3:1 ratio. Lots of punch. But I generally don’t enjoy my Navy Strength gins in this way, so Finsbury 60% doesn’t seem to be a notable exception.
Lots of power in the Negroni. Brings the juniper up to the forefront, but adds little else.
Overall, Finsbury Gin 60%
Overall, I love the juniper punch it brings. It’s strong and classic styled. You’re going to love this if you love good classic styled gin. I have my reservations though. For my money, I think that Plymouth’s Navy Strength and Royal Dock of Deptford Navy Strength pull off the high proof juniper and citrus gin just a tad better. But for the price, it’s hard to go wrong.
*prove me wrong! But There are a couple of other gins at this point 60% point as well Blackwoods make one. But overall, this is rare air.