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Review

Gabriel Boudier
Saffron Gin

Distillery

Gabriel Boudier Company, Dijon, Burgundy, France. Distributed in the USA by 21st Century Spirits, Commerce, Los Angeles, California.

Website

Gabriel Boudier Company and 21st Century Spirits.

History

This excellent micro-distiller from the Boudier family has been producing fine spirits since 1874, even though taken over by the Battault family in 1936 (Jean Battault is the current president of the company). Their motto is “Excellentia praecepta imponit quae transigi non possunt”, which translates as “Quality is a principle which tolerates no compromises.” The company became the leading Gin specialist in France at the end of WWII, when it was awarded the contract to supply American troops in Europe.

Saffron Gin uses a 19th century colonial recipe, which was rediscovered in the Boudier archives and launched in 2006. It relates back to when both Britain and France claimed India as their “Jewel”, and thus seeks to combine British styled Gin and exotic spices, including saffron, found in India.

Production

Small batch production techniques are used with inefficient traditional copper pot stills. Boudier’s Saffron Gin is a dark yellow amber (almost orange) color, whilst the botanicals are all referred to as natural, artificial coloring is added. This is a real shame for those who like natural products, it would have been perfectly acceptable for a more subtle color rather than the florescent one it has.

Category

Distilled Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$$. Reasonable availability in the USA, try Sunset Corners or Hi-Time Wine Cellars for very good prices.

Botanicals

9 natural botanicals are used including: angelica seeds, coriander, fennel, iris, juniper, lemon, orange peel, and saffron.

Name

After the name of the founder Gabriel Boudier, and the key botanical flavor Saffron.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is juniper, citrus and spices with floral notes. On the palate this slightly sweet (honey like), oily and light bodied Gin starts with juniper and citrus. This gives way to the pleasantly bitter spicy warm saffron, with faint fennel notes, and finishes with an influx of spicy coriander and juniper.

There is a delicate complexity behind the forward flavors, making this a great Gin for sipping, either straight or on the rocks. It makes a good Gin & Tonic, even if the color may seem wrong. It is suggested one uses a slice of orange as garnish, to match the orange (citrus) flavor and color.

Unfortunately for classic Gin based mixed drinks (e.g. Martini) the sweetness is not always suitable but do not despair. Armed with this knowledge, there should be many other innovative choices in which to use this smooth Gin – start experimenting, perhaps with citrus based drinks: although be careful not to smother the saffron. Our contribution to these experimentations is a Pink Gin, using orange bitters rather than angostura.

Awards & Accolades

Bronze Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2012.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2011.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2010.

Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2009.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2009.

Silver Medal, Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competition, 2009.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2008.



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