World Gin Day celebrates gin the world over. And the latest concept from That Boutique-Y Gin Company celebrates it in the most literal way possible. The 7 Continents Gin, their 2017 World Gin Day release, features botanicals from all seven continents.
Angelica from North America
Coriander from Australia
Juniper from Europe
Lime from South America
Licorice root from Africa
Cinnamon from Asia
and….well salt from Antarctica. More correctly, salt from “waters from currents originating in the Antarctic ocean.” Technically speaking, a great deal of ocean currents originate in the Antarctic ocean. In particular many maps show that the current which warms Europe has its origins in the Antarctic. So perhaps somewhere off the Canaries, someone dipped their ladle into the ocean…
Well anyway, given that all of the flora of Antarctica are protected under the Agreed Measures for the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora (were once protected? Is this really no longer in effect after the 2011 expiration?! C’mon people), the fine folks at That Boutique-y Gin Company had to get creative to get all 7 continents in their 7 Continents Gin.
Lovely classic styled nose. Heady with juniper at the fore, quickly simmering to a gentle juniper nose with a touch of citrus and licorice. Still very classic, but those delightful juniper top notes are quite fleeting. Catch them while you can, right after pouring.
The palate is pleasantly bright with a classic gin accord evolving gentle. 7 Continents Gin starts with juniper. Citrus notes build at the seams; slightly orange tinted early but evolving into clean lime zest later. Angelica throws its weight behind the juniper late buoying it through the finish. Spice notes come on a bit later with coriander and a touch of sweet licorice poking through.
The finish is moderately long lasting with licorice, lime zest and a really faint brine note. The salt seams more evident as a dry out note on the palate. Long after the sip passes over your tongue and down the back of your throat, saline notes emerge from the corners of the mouth. It almost dries it out like the quinine in a tonic or the astringency of some gins.
I think the saline note is a little unusual, and although at first I’m torn about it. (I’m not sure that I like feeling like I need a sip of water to quench my thirst after a gin) But then I grow to appreciate it. 7 Continents Gin does something really unusual here that imitates a feature of other gins and gin cocktails. A couple of sips in, I begin to appreciate it as an experiment, as an artist drawing comparisons between two dissimilar things which bring about the same effect.
Let me put this another way. Technically, all of the flavor of gin is through retronasal olfaction. That is to say, nothing you taste in gin is using your sense of taste. It’s all your sense of smell. If you had no sense of smell, the only thing you would taste in gin is the bitterness of ethanol.
But that’s where 7 Continents Gin (and others, to be fair who have used salt) differ. Salt is one of the receptors on your palate, and although unusual, it excites your taste. Truly this is another boutique-y gin for gin geeks.
The folks behind That Boutique-y Gin Company have really done a good job bringing top notch limited edition gins to the market. I think 7 Continents Gin is no exception. I really like the classic approach, and the playfulness of the salt against such a classic botanical blend. The fleeting nose and quickly dissipating aroma might be my only exception with what is otherwise a really intriguing gin.
Recommended in its style.