Genius Gin is distilled in Austin, Texas; which is quickly showing signs of becoming a distilling hotbed, and specifically— a hotbed for craft gin.
Built Grain to glass with a local emphasis, Genius Gin is designed in part for the cocktail resurgence, but also with an eye towards a good gin which can be drank neat. Unabashedly contemporary in construction, it uses a “hot and cold” process to bring out the best in its botanicals. Half are infused at room temperature for 3 days, removed, and then that liquid is distilled with the remaining botanicals in a gin basket.
There’s also a higher proof, Navy Strength version of Genius Gin out for those who are looking for a specific cocktail-centric gin.
Sweet spice on top, a tad malty, grainy and bright, Zesty. Mid notes reveal more traditional gin profile, with lemon zest and just a touch of ethanol.
The palate reveals a pleasant, but never overwhelming warmth. Lime and citrus on top of the palate, but that fades nearly as quickly as it came on. The palate is dominated by sweet spicy notes: subdued rose, juniper, floral qualities, which crystallize more clearly on the finish. Hints of grass, a good deal of caradmom, citrus, lime and lavender.
Upon consecutive tastes, Genius Gin’s base notes start to reveal themselves more clearly, with a woody, creamy vanilla like undertone that is pleasant as it is subtle. It hides beneath the more powerful floral and spicy overtones but adds to the depth and complexity of the gin.
In the Gin and Tonic, Genius Gin came through a bit citrus forward with a distinct lemon and lime taste. A touch sweet, with some of the complexity experience when sipped neat is lost, but overall it is well balanced.
The Martini kept some of the sweet spice on the nose. The palate was dominated early by the herbal depth from the Vermouth, but as sip finished it revealed an array of rich forwards: lemon, a touch of anise, vanilla. Dry and a touch grainy on the finish again, with a slight juniper after taste.
For March, we’re going to be testing every gin in Ted Haigh’s Three to One. Three parts gin, two parts Apricot Liqueur and one part fresh lime juice. In the Three to One, I thought Genius Gin added a nice, warm, grounding notes to the floral character of this drink. Still finishes a touch sweet, but the mid palate notes have a rich creamy, cardamom character with just enough hints of juniper in the background to know it’s a gin. Recommended.
The Negroni was another good drink, but one where I left off wondering if I should have used their Navy Strength variety here [review forthcoming]. Added color up front, and spice, cardamom, cinnamon and grain notes on the finish.
The Aviation I found a bit surprising, because although the gin has a good deal of floral notes, they didn’t come through as strongly here as I might have thought. Warm spice notes again, but also a nicely balanced citrus character emerged adding some depth to the cocktail.
Overall, Genius Gin
Intriguing, contemporary and memorable. Works well in a lot of cocktails, and has depth and complexity that will bring folks to it neat as well.