Day Five – Fresh Rain Gin
Style: London Dry
Notable Botanicals: Juniper, Beetroot
The Tasting Experience:
This is a concept gin. The inspiration behind this spirit wasn’t a flavour profile, or a specific cocktail, but a nostalgic sensory experience. I personally love concept drinks and spirits, as it opens the door for creativity, and to learn new methods.
This gin has a lot of oil interaction with the glass. The legs come down a bit thick on the sides of the glass. This could be residual sugar from the beets after distillation. To the best of my knowledge, beets are not often a botanical in gin. It’s more common to see beets as the raw material for neutral spirits like vodka.
The aroma of this gin is quite interesting. The first thing that jumps out is that petrichor; smells of fresh damp earth. This gives way to pine, and slight grassy aromas. Not anything like the punchy, citrus London Dry gins we know. This gin comes off almost soft.
The flavour doesn’t come off as weak. This is a nice contrast to the comforting aroma. Notes of pine needles, lime, and earth. It’s clean and incredibly fresh, but not overly bitter. There’s even a slight sweetness on the finish, probably from the beets. A nice addition to the London Dry category. This gin does remind me of those spring afternoons I spent in my backyard after the rain let up. It would pair perfectly with fresh moss between your toes. Please don’t water this gin down, but if you must, use soda water.
How can distilling a botanical change the flavour?
Now That Boutique-y Gin Company used beetroot in their distillation to replicate that earthy smell. The distillers wanted access to something called Geosmin. Geosmin is an organic compound, so it’s found in nature, that produces the type of taste and smell these distillers were looking for. With botanicals in gin, choosing the right botanicals is very important. When something is distilled it will taste different than the organic material the distiller started with. The essential oils often make it into the gin, but no organic raw material. Tasting a fresh juniper berry will taste different than distilled juniper. This often comes to the different sensory experiences with distillate versus raw material. The distillation will often taste very similar to the organic material, and that is why we often recognize the flavour. This leads to different botanical distillation methods like macerating versus vapour infusing.