Michael Godard— for starters— is said by some to be the “Rockstar of the art world.” He styles himself in a manner that calls to mind comparisons to rock stars of the 70s and his art references several tropes often glamorized in the rockstar cliché: drinking, gambling, cigar smoking, gangsters and sex— all feature prominently in his work. If you clicked on the links you might have noticed that Godard’s work embodies a spirit of whimsy with unlikely characters featuring in starring roles. The strawberries are sexy; the olives are tottering about drunk; the lemons and limes are stewing in copper spa tubs on the bottle of Michael Godard Gin. The first thing you notice on the shelf is the stark black bottle with its quirky art. This gin stands out and there’s no other bottle that looks quite like this.
The gin itself is distilled in the Netherlands on an 850 liter still according to this press release. Although the bottle doesn’t elaborate beyond “Product of Holland,” the still size is a clue to identifying the distillery. A quick google of the term “850 liter still” yields only a small handful of results, most of them in Dutch. Millstone Dutch Whiskey is cited as being distilled in an 850 liter still and is also distilled at the Zuidam distillery, who also distill the rather good Zuidam Gin.
Otherwise, the base is described as “100% Grain Neutral Spirits,” which suggests that it may be the same wheat base as Michael Godard’s Vodka. Michael Godard Gin features Italian juniper, vanilla beans and three kinds of citrus.
The nose is warm, with clear notes of piney juniper, a bit of citrus rind and coriander. Michael Godard Gin smells rather classic in style. The citrus notes blossom with time.
On the palate, the base spirit itself is rather abrasive. There’s definitely a bit of heat and some lingering residual spirit character on the finish.
Wet slate at first, it slackens as citrus zest becomes the dominant note mid-palate, in particular lime. Pine and juniper are here as well— the finish is where this gin falls a bit flat for me. Botanically weak, and with some of those similar notes of chalk and slate. It leaves a dry, chalky and stony taste in the mouth.
Michael Godard Gin is an ample mixing gin— well suited for your suite of Gin and Tonics, Gimlets and Gin and Juice. But when it comes down to cocktail-craft, I find it a bit wanting. It will bring some juniper and citrus character to a drink, but ultimately the lack of balance and weak finish leave it a bit wanting for spirit-forward cocktails
Michael Godard’s Gin— while attractive on the exterior— it’s the interior that comes up a bit short for me. Lacking balance and depth, the botanical choice seems haphazardly chosen, and lacks base notes or harmony.
While classic gin fans will appreciate the starting point from which Michael Godard Gin begins, ultimately, it feels to me like a half-finished painting.