Every now and then as a gin writer you get an opportunity to try something that you never would have even thought about trying if it wasn’t for the writing. Or try something you didn’t know existed. Here’s one of those examples. Distilled, blended and bottled by the Peace Myanmar Group Co. Ltd. (established in 1993, and the gin(!) was one of its flagship products at launch), we have Myanmar Dry Gin.
First and foremost, a shoutout to my friend Angelo who picked this up for me while he was working on his own research in Myanmar.
There’s this absolutely crazy, unexpected top note in Myanmar Dry Gin. It fades really quickly, (<30 seconds after the pour, but when you first open the bottle- wow). Sweet lemon, orange, but heavier on the lime, redolent of candy- familiar in a really unexpected way. Recognizably familiar, but not really in the world of gin nose vocabulary. I also wrote down “fruit punch.” (the for-kids sweetened drink from the supermarket). There’s some more usual gin notes a bit buried at the end of the nose. But really weird, leaning contemporary at first sniff.
On the palate, it’s first worth noting that the quality of the spirit in Myanmar Dry Gin is a little lesser than we’re used to. Thin, quick finished, a little rough around the edges with a slow burn. Sightly harsh, but not completely undrinkable on its own. Juniper, with a peculiar vanilla/custardy background. Unusually sweet for a gin, but nowhere near as intensely odd as the nose. It sticks to the formula for the most part, the juniper is herbal and fresh, angelica and some orris hints in the lows, again quiet, and tough to really explore as they’re kind of cut of abruptly with the heat and quick finish.
A little rougher than I’d like in my Martini. It’s more of the same neat, with a quick finish and briefly interesting, but largely monotone. The overall quality of the spirit is such that it might need a touch of hiding. Myanmar Dry Gin is a mixer.
I thought the Gin and Tonic did a nice job of bringing about a counter point to the juniper, lightening and balancing it. It’s an acceptable gin and tonic. Myanmar Dry Gin doesn’t distinguish itself a lot here. I found the lift from a lime really necessary here.
Again, in an old favorite like the Negroni we had a little more of the same. While it didn’t add much, it surely didn’t subtract. It’s bottled at 40%, so if you go up to about a 1.5:1:1, you can taste more of the juniper, but the other ingredients really balance it out to where it just seems like a good drink. I think this works, and the bolder drinks with stronger other ingredients benefit. Myanmar Dry Gin has enough flavor to holds its own, but on its own it just doesn’t stand up to many of the other gins on the American and European markets at the time.
Overall, Myanmar Dry Gin
The base spirit of Myanmar Dry Gin is a little rough, and the botanical flavors taste like they are added essences rather than having been added through distillation. Sure, it’s a compound gin, but it’s perhaps slightly more interesting than others of its ilk because of the out-there nose. That being said, I think its probably best left a curiosity for collectors and travelers, rather than a must have addition to your home liquor cabinet.