I must admit that this gin is a somewhat difficult to find spirit, but since I left almost my entire stock of gins in G&T’s Really Really Nice Place last week, I had no choice but to dig in on my more exclusive stock. No worries though, as I wanted to treat myself to something special anyways, after the successful tour I did with Hidetsugu Ueno last week. We visited Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London for several masterclasses and we visited a fair amount of bars.
Back to the topic now, since it’s still Sunday while I’m writing this and it’s best to finish before Monday kicks in.
I already reviewed the ‘normal’ Citadelle Gin here in the mix with Schweppes, and if you’d like to learn a bit about the story of the brand, please follow the link or go to their site.
Having a gin with such a colour in your glass is something special in itself: pale gold reveals the influence of barrel-aging and I can imagine that a long time ago most gins carried this colour as a result of transportation and storage. The nose of this gin is more smooth and sweet than that of the regular Citadelle, although that one has already some great sweet notes in its taste: cinnamon, orange and liquorice. In the taste, the wonderful high and citric notes from coriander, juniper and lemon are even more balanced after the maturation: more vanilla and peppery notes have been added and all work great together.
Schweppes: I decided to keep this brand in the testing, as it is the one that is readily available all over the world, as opposed to the other brands of Tonic Water. And even though it doesn’t come out on top most of the times, it is good for reference.
The softness of the gin somehow rules out the strong bitterness that normally dominates a G&T with Schweppes. The main flavour I’m getting is orange, which is actually quick pleasing. Long citric notes, along with the spices and peppery aftertaste still come through, making this a nice drink.
Fever Tree: Again, I get that feeling of excitement when I’m mixing with FT. The taste is soft and lingers to the sweet side, although some bitter notes remain in the aftertaste. The taste is fruity and floral, yet very mature and the extra depth that has been given to the gin still shines through in the mix with this tonic.
Fentiman’s: I always enjoy Fentiman’s as their bubble is very powerful, sending the aroma of the mix into the air. I needed to adjust the gin:tonic -ratio a bot to find the right balance – a little more gin is required in this mix versus the FT & Schhh. But the mix couldn’t really please me this time: the taste of Fentiman’s is a bit overpowering, especially the strong presence of lime. Should you be a great fan of strong lime in your G&T than you might like this better, but another gin with it is probably the best option.
Thomas Henry Elderflower Tonic: I received a sample of this a week or so ago and I figured this is a good occasion to test it, since there’s so many nice floral notes in the Citadelle Réserve. It’s a fun addition to the drink, but it’s one that you would really have to want. The quality of the tonic water is good and the flavour of elderflower is not artificial
Conclusion: The Citadelle Réserve 2011 is a great gin to mix with tonic, although it’s also great to sip neat, or to create a Dry martini with. It requires a soft Tonic Water to accompany it and Fever Tree is the obvious choice. Need I say more? Don’t think so!