Gin - Citadelle Reserve Gin
Pierre Ferrand Distillery, France
Citadelle Reserve Gin
Pierre Ferrand Château de Bonbonnet, Ars, France
Importer: W. J. Deutsch and Sons
PROOF: 88 (44%)
TYPE: London Dry
AGE: 6 Months
PRICE: $40.00 - 750ML
Notes: One of the only wood-aged gins out there at the moment the only others being Seagram's and Kensington (aged for two years in wood but can't find anywhere anymore). Imported from France with a 4x distilled wheat grain base and a blend of 19 botanicals from all over the world. The production of this gin is absolutely unique - not only the wood aging which is rare but the fourth distillation is done using equipment and methods no one else uses anymore.
The base wheat spirit is triple distilled in a column still then the 19 botanicals are added and it is distilled in a quite small (200 liter) cognac copper pot still using naked flame - which is a lot trickier than it sounds.
Appearance: Crystal clear almost shiny sheen to it. Color is a slight yellow gold like a very light lubricating oil. Thin scalloped edges develop on swirling, changing to tears after a long period on the side of the glass. Somewhat oily / thickness to body (sign of quality and lots of flavor).
First Impression: A complete departure from your usual gin. First point being juniper is not the first and defining characteristic, but is present among the other 18 botanicals - just not out front leading the charge. Cardamom, licorice, cubeb, cassia, savory, and grains of paradise wrap around nutmeg and citrus peels, with star anise lingering around the edges extremely complex, savory and luscious bouquet.
Taste: Complex interplay of the floral and spicy makes for multilayered gin experience. The savory is immediately followed on by a show from the star anise but it plays nicely with the citrus and violets. The savory and woody components then start to take hold leaving a lingering but complex dryness with an aromatic ending and a delightful tingling at midpoint of tongue and lips.
Drinks: Makes a outstanding martini of unparalleled complexity. Gin and tonics are brought to a whole new level with the complexities of the botanicals and wood notes playing against the tonic. (Note: Use Fever Tree tonic, not some cheap syrupy crap - its well worth the extra 50 cents.) Citadelle Reserve brings a whole different melange of flavors to classic gin drinks that make each one a new and delightful adventure.
Bottle: Clear glass, to highlight the extraordinary color of the gin.
Final Thoughts: A truly outstanding gin in flavoring and complexity, yet subtlety. Really explores and shows off what is possible when you take a careful , discriminating, and thoughtful approach to producing a spirit. With a mild and not overwhelming juniper presence balanced by the well chosen botanicals, outstanding distillation and oak aging. Unique color signature stands out in a drink so you can show that you are not drink the usual.
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