As the number of aged gins multiply, distillers continue to forge ahead boldly and experiment with new barrel types. McClintock’s Reserve uses French Oak casks that held XO Cognac.
Maryland-based McClintock Distilling Company starts their McClintock Reserve from a completely different botanical blend than the other gins in their lineup. It is then rested in the aforementioned French Oak barrels for four months.
We are reviewing Batch 3.
Immediately, McClintock’s Reserve hits the nose with roasted fruit cake notes. Hints of juniper, raisins, prunes, and dried apricot. There’s a deep mulled wine note as well. It’s warm with a winter evening sort of feel.
Early on the palate there’s a surprising brightness— anise with some mentholic hints of caraway and fennel seed. Somewhat herbal before it moves on to its next stage.
Mid-palate McClintock becomes more robust and warm. Oak and juniper turns towards spiced citrus rind, stewed plums, and a clean wisp of citronella and camphor.
The finish is medium-length with a slight toasted wood note and moderate but non-tannic astringency.
McClintock’s Reserve is best at room temperature, neat as far as picking up the multi-part complexity that unfolds on the palate.
Those who absolutely must mix will find it solid in an aged gin old fashioned or even a Negroni. Though it’s not my preferred way to take an aged gin, McClintock’s Reserve is a better companion with a tonic water like Fever Tree’s Aromatic Tonic than most aged gins.
Overall, McClintock’s Reserve
The impact of the barrel and French Oak is subtle. This gin— unlike some aged gins with eccentric barrel choices— doesn’t wear it on its sleeve and scream out for attention. The effect of the Cognac barrel is subtle and tightly integrated with the botanical blend. Further, the attention to detail and design is evident. Choosing a botanical blend specifically designed around a barrel is a smart decision that pays off. Every detail of McClintock’s Reserve tastes well considered and intentional.
Fans of aged gins or whiskey fans looking for an aged gin sip on and get introduced to style would be recommended to take a closer look at McClintock’s Reserve. It’s an excellent aged gin from the nose down to the finish.