New Zealand’s Scapegrace Gin is distilled in a 19th century John Dore whisky still just outside of the North Island’s biggest city. It features 12 botanicals and “water torn from New Zealand’s Southern Alps.”
Scapegrace Gin is also distinctively bottled in dark glass with with a shiny medallion in the center that may remind American gins drinkers of Brooklyn Gin.
Soft juniper immediately greets the nose when pouring Scapegrace Gin. Subtle hints of spice and citrus lend roundness— nutmeg and lemon zest in particular. It’s clean, clear and has a balanced classic-style gin nose.
The palate has a soft initial entry, but radiates with warmth towards the finish.
Initially Scapegrace Gin shows some orange, lemon and a mild pepperiness. Juniper with pine and green facets holds court mid-palate. The combination of spices begins to lend an earthy, complex warmth. None of the individual botanicals come through and dominate on their own. It’s a warm baking spice melange of coriander, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Despite being present in the botanical bill, notoriously aggressive botanicals like clove and cardamom add color but don’t take over.
The finish has a moderate note of licorice (but not anise). Warm and slightly rooty, juniper and mild spice hovers for a moderate length finish.
Scapegrace Gin finishes clean and dry.
The Rogue Society’s choice of botanicals lend itself nicely to cocktail craft. In fact, Scapegrace is an ideal choice for a diverse, juniper-forward gin to elevate a cocktail. The botanicals stand out and aren’t easily overshadowed. On that same note, they play well with other ingredients.
My favorites are the Martini and Negroni with Scapegrace Gin, but it wouldn’t be out of place with a good tonic water. I liked the pairing of Fever Tree’s Aromatic Tonic Water the best— but it worked across the board.
Overall, Scapegrace Gin
It’s not had to see why Scapegrace Gin has been awarded so many accolades over the past couple years. It’s a clean and bright classic style gin that uses a fairly extensive botanical bill for balance in an expert way. Juniper is the star, but not at the expense of balance.
I’m impressed. Scapegrace Gin is as good on its own as it is for high end cocktail making.