Nose: floral, unripe strawberries, fresh herbs, cracked pepper
Taste: fresh herbs, mild pepper, clean citrus, strawberry & prickly pear
Finish: mellow & warm
Azzurre Gin joins my selections for “Great American Gins” and quite deftly steals the crown from Bummer & Lazarus as Pick of the Pack.
There’s no easy way to break this to fans of my Booze of the Year for 2015, but my infamous Let’s Not Mince Words statement goes like this:
Azzurre Gin is nuanced, complex, warm, and mellow. It is the pinnacle of modern dry gins.
Yes, yes… we all know that modern Gins and American Gins would be nowhere without their Father: London Dry Gin. But where London Drys rely heavily on Juniper (with good cause!) American Gins traditionally rely heavily on citrus. Leopold’s, Cutler’s, Bluecoat, and so on, all go heavy on the citrus as a way of standing out in a field of London Dry-ish Gins. Azzurre Gin takes a different direction, and it’s brilliant.
Rather than adding flavors that replace Juniper or shut it off, Azzurre Gin amps up the traditionals (citrus, ginger, and rose petals) and then adds flavors that should have been there the whole time, like basil. The resulting flavor reminds me of my favorite old world Gins while staying firmly rooted in the Modern. It is glorious.
As I’ve mentioned before; to me, Gin is an old friend. And Azzurre Gin seems more like a cousin who’s come to visit. He brings me a lovely bottle of something. We sit on the back patio and talk about the days of our youth while 80’s rock plays in the background. The sun sets as we sip and reminisce…
I’d even wax poetical about Azzurre Gin; I’m that infatuated with it.
But back to the booze itself. Azzurre Gin isn’t a grain gin. Going the modern Gluten Free route, Azzurre is based in a blend of apples, grapes, and sugar cane. And I believe that blend itself is responsible for the fruit notes on the nose and palate. Rather smartly, the folks at Azzurre haven’t let the botanicals drown out those notes. The perfect base of Azzurre Gin is preserved, and that’s wonderful.
The finish is warm and mellow. It reminds me of the finest Platinum Tequilas I’ve tasted; that smooth/warm/herbal finish that lingers and beckons you to have another sip. Azzurre is a Gin I’d happily sip straight; no ice.
On my usual Gin scale of Citrus to Juniper to Floral, I’d say that Azzurre Gin leans to the floral, but only just. None of the Big Three really take control.
The perfect base of Azzurre Gin is preserved, and that’s wonderful.
Mixing Azzurre Gin would be a piece of cake. Please, sip it on its own first, but then, feel free to try it in these:
Thank you, Azzurre Spirits, for crafting this excellent Gin. I am a happy man.
Final Rating: 98 out of 100