Magellan Gin

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Magellan GinMagellan Gin had a “new coke” like experience in the mid-2000’s when they changed their recipe and became just another clear gin in a blue bottle.  Sales dropped, and fortunately the old recipe with the blue hue was brought back.

Not to harp too much on the color, but another thing worth pointing out for the organic-lifestylists and anti-food-coloring folks, that this eerie blue hue is not from chemicals. Its from the final part of distilling process where Iris flowers are soaked in the gin. Some of the flavor, color, and aroma comes through in the final product which is distinctly floral, but not overwhelmingly fruity.

Tasting Notes

Magellan gin has a bite to it that you might not expect upon first smell. Its a bit spicy and has more burn than other gins at this price point. Juniper is a background player here. When drinking it straight coriander (?!) shines through. Although made in France, it shares more in common with many of the modern American dry style gins than does it other European gins.

Magellan Gin has several other botanicals which work to good effect: Nutmeg, Cassia, Cinnamon and Orange Peel are among the more prominent and noticeable. Its profile is floral and peppery, which limits its uses somewhat.


Cocktails

It makes a good gin and tonic, a rather disappointing Tom Collins, but a top notch Aviation (Iris + Violet = match made in mixology heaven). As far as martinis go, I’m not thrilled with it as a sipping gin.

The blue color is distinctive and will surely get noticed at the bar; however, I think there’s better gins for the job. With the right vermouth, the iris flavor can be a real benefit. With some, it clashes.

Overall, Magellan Gin

Although I enjoy Magellan gin and would endorse it highly, I offer some reservations. Use it wisely, as it is an outstanding gin in situations where a more subtly floral gin is required.

17 thoughts on “Magellan Gin

  • This is my favorite brand for gin and tonics! I happened across it at a local liquor store and noticed it immediately. A blue gin, infused with iris from France? I had to get it. No regrets I even recommended this to the bartender I work with when I asked about which brands of gin we carried. Haven’t tried any other cocktails with Magellan’s but it certainly makes a fantastic blue gin and tonic.

  • Love this gin. One of my very favourites. Not easy to come by in the UK but I look out for it when I’m on holiday in Europe. It’s a must try if you haven’t already.

  • My favorite Gin to date. Add to fever Tree tonic water an ice cube and wedge of lime and this gin tastes like paradise. I would not want to add any mixtures they would only mask the flavor profile of this gin. It is the most appealing shade of aqua, like Caribbean waters!

  • Where can I purchase this blue gin in NC. Who can ship it to me? Thank you. mkk

  • Very nice and accurate review. I tried Magellan for the first time last night, in a dry martini. Thanks.

  • Accurate review of a very good gin.. But I hear it’s being discontinued?

  • I haven’t heard any official word on that – do you have a source that you can share?

  • Bev-mo and an online gin distributor.

  • Thanks so much for the information, I hadn’t heard that yet- good to know. It is too bad, because sadly I think that the color has kind of hurt it. It’s a pretty good spirit, but people don’t like their gin funny colors.

  • Hearing discontinued here in Texas. Distributors not carrying it. Went around and bought remaining large bottles. I love this gin.

  • Agreed! Very good review indeed and I thank you. I received a bottle of this gin for Christmas along with my usual brown bottled gin. The color threw me off from the get-go. I wasn’t sure if the bottle was blue or the gin. Of course it was the latter. Invited a friend over for a tasting. I did not care for it to sip but in a gin and tonic it was well nice. The fact that the gin’s color comes from irises was new and interesting to me. I’m sad to hear that it may be discontinued. It definitely would be one that I would keep in my bar. I will run out and buy a bottle or two before that happens.

  • IT IS A FANTASTIC GIN AND IT GETS IT COLOR FROM THE IRIS. WHICH I THINK GIVES IT ITS SPECIAL TASTE!!!!!!!!!!!

  • what is the closest location to Missouri to get Magellan gin

  • Perhaps I used a poor quality tonic water or the wrong ratio, but it made a very bitter nasty tasting g&t when I tried just a few months ago. On the other hand, I’ve found that it’s smooth and soft to drink neat. It’s a very unique and beautiful gin that I fell in love with. My only worry is that I’ll run out of it someday. It’s hard to find.

  • I like a Magellan and Lillet 4/1 martini – note the resulting chartreuse color. Drop in a kumquat.

  • Bought it at Bottles & Cases on Long Island, NY, thought it was the best tasting gin I’ve had….and fyi, contrary to the reviews, i definitely put this in the category of “sipping gins”

  • Long time lurker/browser, first-time poster… I originally purchased Magellan to use in the fabulous and (still Summer fave) cocktail “Cucumberous” from Post-Prohibition. That was, I believe, in 2014. It’s been a hit every time it’s been made (pain that it is, as a host for many people who almost all want seconds and thirds…) and it was always the “true blue” Magellan. The price of it has soared here in Quebec where we’re at the whims and mercy of the Provincial controlled SAQ for all of our liquor locally. It was in the low $30’s and is now nearly $44 (CAD, but still) and isn’t always available. I buy it when it is and store it away for whenever that specific cocktail calls to me. To be fair, I know other gins could match or surpass it’s ability in that particular cocktail (and if we’re going for colour only, then the Bleu Royal would “pop” more, though not without a significant change in taste) but for me it’s just a requirement for that specific cocktail and has, at this point, some personal nostalgia, even.

    Review is very accurate and nostalgia-aside, it’s definitely surpassed by many other widely available gins in every category. It does make a good G&T with the right tonics (I particularly like it with Fever Tree Aromatic, and not just for the color, but you’re sure to wow some guests with that alone!) and the Aviation, too, was a success. I still feel it’s more of novelty than anything else. All that said, I will always keep a fresh sealed bottle in the collection. Long as I can get it, at least. It’s one of those mid-level decent gins I overpay a bit for just to keep around for various reasons.

    My review says 3, but it’s a 3.5 for me and 4 for various friends/family who are less gin knowledgeable (simply having experienced less gins overall, not a knock or snobby comment!) who get a kick out of it and the drink I make with it.

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