Indlovu Gin

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For such a large animal, an elephant’s gut is remarkably inefficient. It only absorbs less than half of what it eats. The rest? It ends up in their dung. About 80 kilos worth, per elephant, per day. And some of their dung ends up in Indlovu Gin.

Even if you’re not saying it, you’re probably thinking it… How is this safe to drink? The dung is first rinsed, separating the undigested botanicals from true waste. It is then dried and sterilized.

The botanicals in the dung are intensely seasonal. After all, an Elephant can only eat what is growing at a given time. In other words each batch of Indlovu Gin will have a different botanical bill based on the time of year that dung was harvested.

Tasting notes

Color: Cornsilk and perfectly transparent

Aroma: Green juniper, light grassiness— closer to fresh hay than dried hay.

Flavor: Juniper and some coriander led spice early on the palate. But it quickly segues into a mid-palate that is earthy, grassy and somewhat unusual.

Woodruff, woody vanillin— like you might get from a gently used barrel, hay, raspberry leaf tea.

Finish: Moderately long with some dryness and enduring notes of very dry hay and hints of saw dust. I’m surprised by how the botanicals in here conjure a suggestion of wood.

Cocktails and suggested serves

The story alone is worth the price of admission. With so much attention given to the seasonality of the dung, I wouldn’t suggest mixing— try it neat or in an Old Fashioned. In the latter, some added sweetening will bring out some Indlovu Gin’s creamy, vanilla kissed side.

Overall, Indlovu Gin

Novelty aside, Indlovu Gin tasted a bit unbalanced. The maceration overpowers some of the underlying distilled gin. A bit more of that core gin could go a long way towards balancing some of the hay notes.

While a challenging mixer (ignoring the cognitive leap one might have to make, once knowing the process), it’s an interesting gin that struggles to rise above its own great story to become a truly good gin. The flavor is rich, complex, and surely to be more of a “love it” or “hate it” sort of thing for most drinkers.

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