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Review

Reisetbauer Blue Gin

Distillery

Hans Reisetbauer of Blue Gin Handels GmbH, Reisetbauer Distillery, Axberg, Austria. Distributed in the USA by Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, New York.

Website

Blue Gin and Reisetbauer Distillery.

History

Initially a family farm, started in 1956 by Hans Reisetbauer Sr. and his wife Elfriede. Today the farm forms the basis of quality produce for the distillery set up in 1994 by Hans and Julia Reisetbauer, who took over the running of the farm in 1990 from his parents. Whilst perhaps better known for their Schnapps, this equally high quality Blue Gin (following 3 years of research and trial) was launched in 2008. Apparently Hans' wife Julia challenged him to make his own, after listening to him bemoan the general quality of Gin available. Tours/Tastings are available by appointment only.

Production

The base spirit is made from Mulan wheat grown in local fields and is twice distilled. The botanicals are steeped for 2-3 days before the third and final distillation. This small batch distillation process is carried out in bespoke copper pot stills using a secret source of spring water from the Upper-Austrian region of Hausruckviertel.

The Gin is produced once per year, between the months of February and May, and is thus in limited supply. Each annual production is given a vintage year. The gin is presented in a very simple cylindrical bottle, which we feel belies the true quality within.

Category

Distilled Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

43% (86 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$ - $$$$$. The overall low production levels make this hard to come by in the USA. Try online at City Wine Cellar, K&L Wines, Drink Up NY or Mid Valley Wine & Liquor.

Botanicals

27 botanicals are used including: almonds, angelica root, cardamom, celery, chamomile, cilantro seeds, cinnamon, clove, coriander, curcuma (turmeric), hops, juniper berries, lemon peel, liquorice, orange peel and pepper (black & white), from over 10 different countries.

Name

This is a clear Gin, so the name does not refer to the color. Instead, the aroma is said to resemble the smell of a clear blue sky on a fall day after a night’s storm and thus is called “Blue”. We will happily give them the artistic license of this description because it is such a fine Gin.

Tasting Notes

On the nose are sweet juniper, spices and floral tones - difficult to define further (see following details). On the palate are juniper, citrus (lemon), spices and floral tones, it is hard to break this down much further - the large amount of botanicals make for an harmonious complexity. All we can recommend is that with this very smooth delight you keep sniffing and tasting, clearly not all at once...well, perhaps just one more! The finish is long and is slightly sweet and peppery (liquorice and spices).

This is certainly one of the best sipping Gins and it's almost (only almost) a crime to mix it with anything - it does however make a truly wonderful, very dry Martini. Hans Reisetbauer is said to be partial to a Gin & Tonic and developed this Gin to be available across the world, for - you guessed it - a Gin & Tonic. So, who are we to disagree with a man of such notable taste - try it in a G&T and make up your own mind!

We have only tried the 2008 vintage and are not aware of any discernible differences with other vintages (the recipe remains the same but the climatic variations on the botanicals may have some influence); we'll just have to try some more!

Awards & Accolades

Distillery of the Year, 2012.

Falstaff Spirits Trophy, awarded to Hans Reisetbauer, Master Distiller of Austria, 2012.

Falstaff Spirits Trophy, awarded to Hans Reisetbauer, Master Distiller of Austria, 2011.

Falstaff Spirits Trophy, awarded to Hans Reisetbauer, Master Distiller of Austria, 2010.

Bronze Medal, International Wine & Spirit Competition, 2008.

Photograph of Hans Reisetbauer by Manfred Klimek.



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