Pink Bear Gin is indeed Pink— the result of a post-distillation infusion of Hibiscus similar to Pinckney Bend and their Hibiscus Gin.
The Bouck Brothers were inspired by the developments in the beer industry when they opened their eponymous distillery. With a spirit of adventure and a willingness to experiment their whiskey and gin push at the boundaries of their respective categories. They look for new things— things that “no one has tasted before.”
The first thing worth noting is the color. It’s a vigorous, fiery shade of magenta. All of that is from the infusion of Hibiscus. But you wouldn’t be incorrect in saying that there’s few gins that can match this level of vibrancy of hue.
The nose of Pink Bear Gin is piney and bright. It smells like a fresh juniper berry tea with deep floral hibiscus on the edges with just a hint of spice. Nosed blind, you’ll certainly pick up on some of the Hibiscus, but there’s much more classic gin character of Pink Bear Gin than the color might otherwise suggest.
To the taste, Pink Bear Gin is sharp. Herbaceous juniper early and cinnamon red hots The mid-palate is earthy, becoming sweet, complex and balsamic. You’ll get notes of balsamic vinegar, hibiscus and chamomile tea, and earthy caramelized parsnip. The finish is the residual glow of cinnamon hard candy.
Far more than a sum of its parts, Pink Bear Gin is complicated, nutty and floral all at the same time. Hibiscus certainly dominates the palate, but there’s a great deal here that makes this a gin you can sip.
Personally, I think that although the Martini might resemble some of those garish brightly colored non-Martini drinks— this gin works so well with Dry Vermouth and herbal complexity that everyone with this gin should check it out.
But more generally, the Hibiscus works perfectly with lemonades or Bitter Lemons. The Gin and Tonic was one of my favorites as well. The Hibiscus really comes out, even more vividly than neat.
Overall, Pink Bear Gin
It’s a contemporary styled cinnamon and hibiscus flower forward gin that works surprisingly well in cocktails. If you’re a fan of floral and spice, you’re going to enjoy Pink Bear Gin.
Other than that, while the color is sure to get attention it can be a challenging across-the-board mixer, so bartenders should find a few favorites and work to its strengths. Because Pink Bear’s strengths are its vibrancy in flavor and the way it works a relatively concise list of botanicals into an intriguing and complex flavor palate.
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This gin certainly pops when it's placed on the shelf, and the flavor compliments any cocktail nicely. I've been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a few bottles of this gin, and believe it can truly stand tall by itself or in a complex craft cocktail. Keep this one in your collection!