By “dialed up,” I mean Juniper Freak is bottled at Navy Strength, instead of Triple Juniper’s relatively mild 43% ABV.
By “vintaged,” we mean that there are annual versions of Juniper Freak Gin. This review is for the 2018 version.
Juniper Freak Gin treats the Macedonian sourced juniper three separate ways for each distillation.
- Juniper is macerated in neutral spirit for 24 hours, before distillation. The soaked juniper is removed.
- Fresh juniper is added to the spirit that had juniper macerating in it previously. That juniper is in the pot on the still.
- Wait, there’s more: Juniper in placed in a vapor basket.
Nose: Robust juniper leaps from the glass with pine and green facets. Douglas fir, with lemon and coriander. Not a one note wonder, but the signature note is a wonder.
Flavor: Complex and oily with a rich, unctuous body. White pine needles, heavy thick juniper ease into a woodier darker finish with rosemary, angelica-led juniper and a hint lemon oil.
Moderate length finish with restrained warmth and a long, woody/juniper finish.
The high proof lends Juniper freak Gin nicely to cocktail craft. The high ABV means the assertive juniper and pine notes come through. Fans of the Negroni, or even a bracing juniper gin and tonic (pair with a lighter, less sweet tonic water for one of the best juniper-forward drinks you can have).
While it’s ideal flavor-wise for a Martini, the effect of the dilution makes it resemble their Triple Juniper Gin. If you spring for the vintage, I recommend using it in applications that leverage it’s out-of-the-box intensity.
Overall, Juniper Freak Gin
It’s not a stretch to suggest that if you like classic-style gins, there’s no one in the world doing a better job of it than Never Never Distilling Co. All of their gins are winners— not simply because of the heavy hand with juniper. But because of the flavor they get out of the juniper and the balance with other botanicals.