Distilled in the Cognac region of France, Yu Gin is one of many gins distilled in one place and inspired by another. Even I’ll admit to having misread the name— I saw Yu and I thought Yuzu. Indeed, Yuzu is one of the signature botanicals. Inspired by Japan, distilled in france, they are inspired by Wabi-Sabi as a philosophy and therefore emphasizes simplicity.
Aroma: Clear citrus. Especially orange and lemon marmalade with plenty of pine to round it out.
Flavor: Intensely literal, with strong notes of yuzu, but also kumquat and limes. Citrus stars; however, piney juniper is strongly present as well. Mid-palate, Yu Gin shifts to more of a spice and citrus flavor. Piquant, the sichuan peppercorn invokes flavors of black pepper, cubeb, and coriander.
Finish: Smooth and clean, with very little warmth. Kumquat notes especially persist on the edges of the palate, with lime and pepper facets.
Cocktails and suggested serves
Yu Gin is a flexible mixer behind the bar. In almost any gin cocktail, the distinctive citrus and juniper flavors can be picked out. While I liked it best in a gin and tonic with Indian tonic water, I also enjoyed the yuzu notes in a Negroni or Aviation.
Fans of citrus-forward contemporary Martinis will like how the simplicity is rounded out by the complexity of dry vermouth.
Overall, Yu Gin
Within the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi is ‘appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” in nature.’ Within my review, I can find no better metaphor for my primary critique.
Lacking in complexity, Yu Gin is simple, austere, and feels like it has room to build out a more complete gin. Citrus dominates with a nice juniper flavor; however, the entry on the palate and the finish are strikingly quiet. Might some other botanicals have been able to round it out?
I suggest that perhaps— however, as an embodiment of simplicity and being a versatile gin behind the bar, Yu Gin hits a lot of marks.
Recommended to fans of citrus-forward contemporary style gins.