On the Northern Shore of Lake Ontario sits Canada’s Prince Edward County. Owing to its proximity to major cities like Toronto and Montreal, the once quiet farming county has emerged as a culinary destination because of the wide array of cideries and wineries in the region. This county is where the Kinsip House Of Fine Spirits— makers of Juniper’s Wit Gin— calls home.
Similar to their Juniper’s Wit Barrel Aged Gin, their flagship gin features locally sourced botanicals, hops, juniper and lavender among them. It is distilled entirely grain-to-glass on site.
Equal parts a bit malty with hay on the nose and sweetly floral, with lavender buds, sweet lime zest and chewy licorice root— Juniper’s Wit is more “wit” than juniper at this point. The bold nose is a nice harmony of botanical and base spirit at play here.
The palate is brightly fruit-forward. Licorice root builds to a slightly vanilla-tinged mid-palate with notes of sweet woodruff and bison grass. Lime marmalade hovers in the background towards the finish. Juniper, with some nice pine-forward notes comes through a bit later. Juniper is far from the dominant note here. On the finish some spice comes through, along with further jammy, floral notes.
Juniper’s Wit Gin has quite a long finish. Part of this owes to the rich, smooth and oily texture of the base spirit. There’s a pleasant and nicely distilled base wheat character at play here.
Juniper’s Wit is bold and loud, and can be a bit persnickety behind the bar. While some of the flavors work well with citrus and lemon in particular— think lemon meringue pie notes in the Tom Collins— it’s a tough too jammy for my liking in a Negroni. With so many other sweet, and flavorsome ingredients with flavors in similar places to Juniper’s Wit, it’s a bit less successful.
Fans of contemporary style gins will appreciate how the great base spirit and viscosity serves Juniper’s Wit in a Martini.
Overall, Juniper’s Wit Gin
The comparison between Juniper’s Wit Gin and Juniper’s Wit Aged Gin is a perfect study in how barrel aging effects a gin. Many of the light top notes present in Juniper’s Wit have volatilized in the barrel. The barrel aged variant is much more spicy and herbal whereas this one is a bit more citrus and floral. Barrels can be dramatic in how they effect a gin.
But that being said, Juniper’s Wit stands on its own. A bit eccentric, it has a rich flavor that’s sure to appeal to fans of contemporary style grain-to-glass gins. Others who prefer a drier, closer to London Dry will find a gin that is a little lighter on juniper and heavier on base spirit character than those gins.