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Review

Zephyr Blu Gin

Distillery

Steve McVicar of Zephyr Imports LLC (KSB Holdings with Encore Brands Inc.), California, USA. Made by Hayman Distillers Ltd. (and Thames Distillery), London, - although the production and storage is in Witham, Essex, England, UK. Imported to the USA by Marsalle Company, Franklin Park, Illinois.

Website

Zephyr.

History

Unknown.

Production

The Gin uses a traditional 100-year old recipe. Presented in a tall clear cylindrical bottle with a blue colored “Splash” logo screen printed on the bottle, reflecting both the color of the liquid (sky blue) and the name.

Category

Flavored Gin - Elderberry.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$$. Available online, try: More Wines, Liquor Barn, Bevmo or K&L Wines.

Botanicals

The 18 Botanicals used include: almonds, angelica root, anise, calamus, cardamom, caraway seeds, cassia bark, coriander seeds, elderberry, elderflower, juniper berries, lemon peel, liquorice, lime peel, orange peel and orris root plus the Gin is infused with gardenia, iris flower and additional sweet elderberry post-distillation.

Name

Named after the Greek & Roman God of the (pleasant Spring) West wind. It was named thus to symbolise the fresh breeze the product represented in the spirits world, plus the blue color of the liquid and the packaging lend itself to the term “Blu”.

Tasting Notes

On the nose are aromatic fruit and floral notes with a hint of citrus and juniper. On the palate this medium bodied viscous velvet like drink has sweet but astringent berry fruit (elderberry) with a hint of melon, joined with juniper, citrus (lime) and savory spice (caraway, cardamom & coriander). The close is dry and lingering with some herbal, peppery and spicy warm sweetness.

By comparison to other flavored Gins this has more of a subtle favoring and many attributes of a London Dry. However, it different enough that initial tasting requires a little time to get used to but perseverance is worthwhile. The floral dominance in the Gin and the sweetness makes it interesting tasted neat or over ice but perhaps performs better with soda or tonic. A Martini is certainly unusual but makes for a pleasantly flavored variation, we suggest using a lemon twist for garnish rather than olives. Other Gin based mixed drinks should be chosen carefully to ensure more of the subtleties are not overpowered; we suggest trying a Gin Fizz.

Overall this will not be to everyone’s liking but favored by those who like floral Gins and sweet elderberries. We certainly found it likeable, with a depth and complexity, alongside its unique flavor profile – a true modern Gin. It is a novel summer Gin drink to share with guests. If your taste runs to the more traditional London Dry Style but with a hint of elderberry try Zephyr Black.

Awards & Accolades

88 Points, Beverage Testing Institute.

85 Points, Wine Enthusiast.

Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2009.



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