Danish-based Knaplund Distillery, makers of Texas Longhorn Gin drew inspiration from the United States for its line of products which they launched in 2018. Knaplund has taken the best from the United States and added a splash of Western Jutland.” [source]
There is a piece of grass in the gin. However, it is picked at Knaplund’s Denmark Distillery from the field where their three Texas Longhorn cows live. Yup, the grass is in such proximity to the longhorns, that they have to clean and disinfect each piece before bottling.
I will admit, I’m not clear on what kind of grass is in the bottle. While it is difficult to do a botanical analysis after it has sat in a bottle, I am guessing that it might be Blue Grass, a common cattle feed that grows easily.
Right out of the bottle, Texas Longhorn Gin smells a bit like fresh mown finger grass. It’s quite green and a bit unusual. There’s also hints of wet juniper and cracked pine needle in the background, though even those are a bit watery and kind of flat.
Sipped, there’s a bit of a medicinal note that last throughout unfortunately. I’m not quite sure where it is coming from as the bottle was well sealed and is capped with cork.
Beyond that, there is some intriguing gin flavor. Potent juniper mid-palate, baking and gin spices mid-to-late palate with a stronger than expected almond note towards the finish. Hints of watery birch beer and even a touch of bison grass lend it some unusual complexity.
Other than the piece of grass in the bottle, little suggests to me anything about Texas or longhorn cattle.
Texas Longhorn Gin works well enough in mixed drinks. Especially paired with sodas or tonic water some of the medicinal character is masked. Unfortunately, some of the other flavors are so slight as to be completely covered up in a Gin and Tonic or Gin and Ginger.
Overall, Texas Longhorn Gin
It’s becoming more unusual in 2020 to see gins from other countries highlighting aspects of another— but it’s even more unusual for a gin to invoke another nation or place and not really showcase a terroir, a flavor, or ingredient native to it.
It’s kind of novel to see a Longhorn Cow if you live in Denmark. But taking a piece of grass from a field they live in isn’t enough to really carry a product on its own.