Citadelle Gin Keeps it Dry
There's been a spate of gins released lately that are trying to take the grimace out of your gin drink. It seems like no one wants to taste like good old juniper anymore, and everyone's making gin that tastes like something else, from Beefeater Wet (which tastes like pears) to Tanqueray Rangpur (which tastes like limes), Bluecoat (which tastes like oranges), and Hendrick's (which tastes like cucumbers). All of these gins are great in their own way, but sometimes we want a gin that tastes like gin the way we remember it - up front, evergreen, sharp and dry.
That's where Citadelle comes in. Developed in France and taking a swing at being the Grey Goose of gins, it comes in a haughty bottle, packs a hefty price tag, and was created based on a 1771 recipe. Now that's classic.
The brand's pitch claims it uses more so-called botanical infusions than any other gin, 19 to be exact, including savoury, cumin, violet root, almond and fennel. That compares with 10 for the popular Bombay Sapphire. It's full-bodied (at 44-per-cent alcohol) and complex enough to enjoy at room temperature, though it's much better in an ice-cold dry martini. We're talking classic, assertive gin flavour here, led by a wallop of juniper followed by a complex and nuanced mid-palate, finishing with a peppery kick.
Read on at the Globe and Mail
Oh, and the Citadelle Website claims Citadelle makes the best gin & tonic in the world. That's a tall order - we hope they can back it up.
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Posted by Jake Jamieson at September 27, 2006 8:25 AM
Less up-front citrus than some of the better-known or trendier gins that try to play down the juniper; here, while the other spices definitely play supporting roles, the juniper is clear and up-front. For a martini, I'd suggest a healthy amount of vermouth if you have one of the really good ones (I go close to 4-to-1 with Vya or the like); otherwise, skip the cheap vermouth and stick to the gin with a twist. Good stuff.
At a product sample tasting, the reps displayed a curio montage of the very botanicals contained in Citadelle gin. I was awe-struck by it's authenticity. All of the herbs & spices deplicted on the bottle's label were present including what I recognized as apothecary grade casia (herbalist-medicinal-cinnamon). To which I pointed out "That is not cheap." To taste Citadelle gin is to time-travel to the age of exploration. During that period gin was augmented with far more medicinal herbs & spices. If such gin were sold today, you'd probably need a prescription.(Such is the case with the medicinal strength Chartreuse sold in Europe.) Citadelle comes in at a close second. You will sense the complex botanicals that constitute this potion but not potent to a medical effect. Still, for all the flavors in layers of essence Citadelle has in abundance, I find this to be an exceptional value as a premium gin. Which is why I heartily recommended it to my friends abroad in asia where they consume herbs & spices with great familiarity.