This week we’re tasting two fantastically unique gins. Ferdinand’s, a team-up of three neighbors all residing on the River Saar (Avadis Distillery in Wincheringen, Dorothee Zilliken from the VDP Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken estate, and the marketing company Capulet & Montague) offers a real Romeo and Juliet pairing in their Saar Dry Gin and Saar Quince Gin --- steeped in tradition but full of the youthful desire to bring unlikely things together (with much more favorable results than the The Bard’s version). And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the handsome bottles wouldn’t look out of place in an abbot’s cellar.
Fans of gins dedicated to showcasing the local botanicals of their parent region will savour the dedication to illuminating each of the 30 ingredients included in the Saar Dry Gin. Very few gins (another great example being Monkey 47, Ferdinand’s German compatriot) succeed at keeping so many flavors distinct, and this results in a tastebud oriented veritable tour of the far west German countryside (we’re assuming there’s a german word for this sentence?). However, Ferdinand’s goes a step further: clearly unsatisfied with the already vast bouquet of botanicals, the gin is also infused with the region's old native wine, Riesling (quite literally steeped in… or with tradition).
As you can imagine, such an abundance of flavor is a little bit hard to pin down in words. We could tell you how this gin is lighter on the juniper, how it starts with a bit of lemon, transitions to lavender and rose, how the grape flavor subtly but firmly stands in the background, but really the only way to get an idea is try it for yourself.
The Saar Quince is wholly different experience. Instead of capturing the countryside, it beckons to be enjoyed on a sunny day in the countryside. With a decently lower ABV (30% vs 44%), this version is infused with a sweeter wine and a harvest of the region’s local quinces. This make the Saar Quince an excellent alternative to a Sloe Gin, with an experience more evocative of a lightly sweet, delicate, fruity white wine. It is unmistakably a gin, but one that plays with traditional spirit-roles.
Come by for a luscious pour this Thursday, 4:30-6:30