The “Sun” Gin took flight in late 2019. The brand launched at Sleeves Whisky and Cocktail bar in Shenzen, and shortly thereafter toured Singapore. It’s among a small number of Chinese craft gins that are starting to appear on the Chinese and International market (something they’re trading heavily on, it says “China Craft Gin” in English on both the front and back of the bottle).
So-called “Sun” because it is the last name of the gin’s founder— it came out of his time touring distilleries of the world. Self-described in the London Dry style, it combines “western brewing technology with the ingredients of China.”
The nose of “Sun” Gin is light with hints of tangerine citrus and cacao nibs. Early on, it reminds me a bit of the nose of Blanc Ocean Gin, with this slightly suggestive nose of orange flavored chocolate. There’s a slight green juniper hint to the nose as well. It’s quite welcoming and pleasant.
Sipped, “Sun” Gin has a bit of intensity to it— the base spirit adds a bit of heat to the palate. Succulent and exuberant citrus notes are all over the first impression. Lime notes are all over the place. Early it’s a bit more zest and fruit, mid-palate it becomes a bit more green with strong suggestions of lime leaf.
“Sun” China Craft Gin has a clear first half and second half. Almost exactly mid-palate it shifts.
The citrus notes give way to a much more herbal second act. Hints of shiso leaf, green tea leaf and mentholated cascara slowly segue into a fresh and delicate juniper note that lasts on the finish. There’s a relatively dry astringency to the finish. There’s nearly no burn on the finish, but the palate is noticeably dry after sipping.
The gin is quite citrus forward, but it has a nice balance and enough juniper to remind you what you’re drinking.
Bartenders can easily mix with “Sun” China Craft Gin if they think of it as a citrus-forward gin, similar to New Amsterdam Gin or Bluecoat Gin. I think it works nicely in a Gin and Tonic and Southside. It also has a nice citrus-forward side that shines in a Negroni garnished with a lemon peel.
Overall, “Sun” China Craft Gin
What a way to kick-off 2020. As a gin drinker, you’ve got to be excited to see how distillers the world around are reinterpreting the classic gin taste profile and making it their own.
“Sun” gin is fun and very citrus-forward. It would fit right in at nearly any bar that’s mixing with contemporary style gin. Classic gin fans might wish the juniper was more at the fore; however, that tangerine citrus note is one of the most distinctive and memorable notes on the market today.