Spirit Spotlight - New Age Flavored Gins

There's a new kind of Gin on the block and they are not your dad's or grandfather's elixir. These gins are produced like all gins, but with subtle changes, that is, with unusual flavors.

I just discovered "Bloom", which is now available in PA Wine & Spirits shops and quite nice. Here is a quick rundown of it's history, taste and flavor profile, and factoids from two different reviews. The gin is primarily marketed to women, who traditionally find gin to be aversive and astringent. The price tag is a bit heavy at $30 per bottle, but well worth it for something different and elegant.

Juniper, the defining ingredient of gin is both the reason why gin enthusiasts love the spirit, but unfortunately also why many non-enthusiasts are so. The production of the less juniper-forward gins that can appeal to a broad range of the market is therefore an understandably attractive idea.

Bloom is produced by Britain’s second largest gin distillery, G&J Distillers who produce a raft of different gins alongside their own brands Greenall’s, Bloom and Berkley Square.  Bloom is triple-distilled using honeysuckle, pomelo and chamomile in addition to the more ‘standard’ botanicals of juniper, angelica, and cubeb berries.

Review #1 -

Nose: Light and fresh but still juniper led. Floral on account of the honeysuckle and chamomile, but not in a sick sort of way. The result is pleasant.

Neat: In line with the intention to create a lighter gin, the juniper is delicately balanced so as to offer just enough to be firmly evident as a gin, but without alienating those whose palate seeks refuge from this bold flavor. The floral elements are the characteristic element, and although they never quite hit a violet sort of intensity, they certainly make themselves known. This is further enhanced by this being a relatively sweet gin, which might be too much were it not for a delicate spice in the background and the moderate citrus note.  As with the nose, complexity of flavor is not the winning feature of this gin but it is definitely one of the more enjoyable ‘light’ gins.

Mixing: Lighter and floral gins can make for a more challenging ingredient to mix with and consideration needs to be given to what is hoped to be achieved. A Negroni for example is pleasingly light and refreshing as the gin gives way to the bold flavors of the other ingredients, whereas a Last Word ends up too floral and lacking in backbone. Whether or not this makes for a successful Gin and Tonic will largely depend on personal taste, and although it wouldn’t be the first gin I would reach for, I do rather like it in a Tom Collins where the soda water makes the best use of the flavor profile. Spirits of a floral nature always make me reach for the honey syrup as a partner. Try it in your next gin cocktail or try this –

 

The Lonsdale

  • 2 oz Bloom Gin
  • ½ oz honey syrup
  • 3 torn basil leaves
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • 2.5 oz apple juice

Shake ingredients with ice and strain over ice into a highball glass. Garnish with a basil leaf and apple slice.

Review #2 -

It smells sweet and floral. Honeysuckle and citrus bright and on the nose. Very inviting and very not traditionally gin like. I’d say that the nose comes across as a floral vodka, but I don’t wan’t to invoke the pejorative sides of that taste description. Its sophisticated, certainly.

The taste is bold and unraveling. There are not a ton of botanicals in here: only seven. I want to say that each one of them clearly does their work in here and combined to create a luxurious rich flavor. The mouth feel is somewhat oily, somewhat thick. Begins quiet for a quarter of a second: nothing. Then the juniper jumps out at you. Honeysuckle and bright citrus, just a hint of peppery tea. If you breathe in deeply while tasting you get a bit of the chamomile. The finish is peppery without ever being sharp. The finish is long and flavorful, juniper lingering long and dry but never hot. The alcohol is understated, but at 80 proof that shouldn’t be altogether unsurprising. That is definitely the angle that it is taking.

It makes some nice cocktails as well. Its smooth enough to drink straight of neat. Add some ice and enjoy a rich luxurious floral flavor. But I have to say, cocktails really do this some justice. Tonics, martinis, aviations, French 75′s [highly recommended] are all great.

Bloom also produces a "Sloe Bloom" made from sloe berries and a "Strawberry Cup" made from strawberries, which are not yet available as of this post in PA shops. It is possible though to order them through select shops across the state.

Next up - Another new age flavored gin called "Magellan".

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