James Bay Distillers Navy Strength Gin is a standard Navy Strength (57%) gin. Launched in 2021, it is distilled from a base of grain, botanically their gin features vanilla and elderflower, alongside juniper.
Aroma: Quite classic on the nose. Green juniper with hints of bitter orange and lemon. Below that some hints of spice, including cassia and coriander. Aroma-wise it’s botanically loud, but about par for the course with other spirits at this ABV.
Flavor: On the palate, sweet green juniper, moves into a mid-palate with heavy hints of vanilla. Edlerflower, custard, creme anglaise and bitter orange. It’s floral and somewhat sweet in impression throughout.
Mid to late on the palate, the juniper re-emerges from the background. Lemon, coriander and touch of earthy violet, suggestive of orris root comes through.
The first half is bold and contemporary with elderflower and vanilla. But the back? It reverts to a more classic style, albeit spice-forward, gin.
Finish: Very warm with a mix of spice notes, citrus rind, and some woody, resinous juniper.
Similar to other navy strength gins, James Bay Distillers Navy Strength Gin is well designed for cocktails. Mixed, especially in a Negroni or Martinez, I find the juniper coming through. In other drinks like the gin and tonic or gin and soda, I find its vanilla, elderflower, and confectionery mid-palate really comes through.
Overall, James Bay Distillers Navy Strength Gin
The vanilla and elderflower notes are nicely executed, and all the while James Bay Distillers Navy Strength Gin doesn’t forget about the juniper. I can see that split being divisive to folks who on only one side of that line.
But overall, James Bay Distillers Navy Strength Gin is a complex gin with a strong botanical journey, and nice balance on the palate. Secondly, it works well where you expect a Navy Strength Gin to work— in cocktails. I recommend this gin to those looking for a more contemporary navy strength gin for their next round of drinks.