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Review

Magellan Gin

Distillery

Angeac Distillery, Cognac, France. Distributed in the USA by Crillon Importers Ltd, Paramus, New Jersey.

Website

Magellan and Crillon Importers

History

Unknown.

Production

Made from 100% Capet wheat grain from the Beauce valley, they use naturally filtered and demineralised water from the Gensac spring in the Cognac region. Distilled three times in small batches using a column still, it is then redistilled for a fourth time using a small artisanal copper pot still, where the botanicals are vapor infused. The Gin is colored blue by steeping the Gin with the Iris flower after this final distillation.

Launched in 2004, in 2005 they produced a clear version of the Gin but in 2006 went back to their original blue colored version. The final presentation is in a clear tall cylindrical bottle, with screen-printed images of irises and a sailing ship - no doubt depicting one from Magellan’s voyage.

Category

Flavored Gin – Iris.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

44% (88 Proof).

Price Range

$$$ - $$$$. A good price is available from Arlington Wine & Liquor or France 44.

Botanicals

Made with 11 sun-dried botanicals including: cardamom (India), cassia (Indochina), cinnamon (Sri Lanka), cloves, coriander (Morocco), grains of paradise (W. Africa), juniper berries (France), iris flowers (Italy), liquorice (China), nutmeg (Ceram, India), orange peel (Mexico) and orris root (Italy).

Name

Named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand de Magellan who was instrumental in opening up the world to the spice trade for the Spanish King – this Gin is inspired by the spices the voyage found. Starting out in 1519, Magellan was the first to cross the Pacific Ocean and the voyage was the first to circumnavigate the globe - he died in the Philippines before completing the voyage. Returning to Spain 3-years later, only 1 of the 5 ships and 18 people survived, plus a cargo bringing cloves to Spain for the first time.

The blue color of the Gin is said to reflect the blue skies and seas Magellan found on his voyage.

Tasting Notes

On the nose are strong floral aromas with citrus, juniper and some spice (clove and cinnamon) notes. Light to medium bodied, the palate discerns the bittersweet complexity of tastes including the floral qualities of the iris – some even note a fruity and/or pastry-dough aroma and taste - but alas, not by us. Next the juniper and spices (cloves and coriander) come forward, followed by a long pepper and creamy finish. The floral aroma and initial taste certainly misrepresent this Gin, there is almost a shock when the juniper and spice appears and a familiar Gin flavor recognized.

Not a great sipping Gin for us (but only because of the flavor profile) however many may like this. It is good in a Gin and Tonic, but less so in a classic Martini. As with many flavoured Gin’s, one needs to hunt and experiment to find suitable matches for mixed drinks. This it is well worth the time and effort with this one, especially as this is likely to appeal to a wide variety of taste buds. One very natural match is with violets, and a dash of Crème de Violette in an Aviation cocktail (made with Magellan obviously) seems almost too perfect; alternatively try a Negroni.

Awards & Accolades

88 Points, Beverage Testing Institute.

85 – 89 Points, Wine Enthusiast.



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