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Gin Review: Citadelle Reserve

September 24, 2011 1 comment

Citadelle Reserve - 2009 (Cask 18/21 -- Bottle No. 114) Citadelle Reserve Gin (2009)
Distiller: Citadelle Gin
Spirit: Cognac Barrel-Aged Gin
Price: $31.00
ABV: 44%

Nose:
A perfect balance of juniper, floral notes, citrus and grapefruit, with a subtle note of vanilla — this is truly delightful.

Taste: 
Juniper, flowers, grapefruit, and white wine (riesling) are up front, while citrus sits in the second row. Vanilla is in the peanut gallery. Incredibly, I can actually taste many of the 19 botanicals they use. Most gins use a lot of botanicals to create a couple main tasting notes. However, Citadelle Reserve manages to maintain an incredibly complex balance between every ingredient. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before.

Finish: 
As smooth as they come. Grapefruit and vanilla are more pronounced near the end, whereas juniper and citrus dissipate. Fairly quick finish – it doesn’t linger around, but rather disappears, leaving your mouth in anticipation of the next sip.

Cocktail: 
While this is a sipping gin if there ever was one, it is a chief contender for the best martini gin on the market, regardless of price. It brings a whole new level of complexity to cocktails which I had previously never experienced. As for gin and tonic, while it does a terrific job, I frankly prefer it’s less prestigious younger brother (Citadelle Gin) partially because I have a hard time justifying using this gin in anything other than a martini due to it’s limited release, and also because melting ice will overwhelm much of the subtle complexity of this gin. All this being said, you cannot possibly go wrong introducing this gin into any of your gin cocktails.

Please note: if you are having a martini with this gin, use a lemon twist, or perhaps, a cocktail onion; olives work, but to truly compliment Citadelle Reserve, citrus works best.

Bottle: 
This is one of my all time favorite bottles. I love that it is very similar to the original Citadelle gin, but with an added elegant luster. The nautical theme and foreign script transport me to a place where I am not simply drinking gin, but rather, a naval chemist’s concoction which required the traversing of the tumultuous open seas in order to discover necessary exotic ingredients. Finally, The black and gold lettering make the gin’s gold color pop which helps remind you that you are about to drink something special (this gin is aged in cognac barrels which give it its golden hue).

Conclusion:
Richard:
Firstly, I would be in the wrong to review this spirit and not mention what is obviously the most intriguing characteristic about it: the color, and the process by which it receives it. This gin has been aged in oak barrels from the Cognac region of France (where this gin is distilled); the oak barrels tone down the citrus slightly from what was previously a notably citrus-heavy gin, and they introduce a note of vanilla similar to that of a whisky. It also gives it a beautiful golden color which, in turn, creates a martini that is damned beautiful to look at. Secondly, this is by far  the most complex and perfectly balanced gin I have yet to taste. Actually, it’s one of the most perfectly balanced spirits I have ever had the pleasure of sipping. Not only is this gin something to which all other gins should aspire, but its perfect execution of form and style is something to which all spirits should aspire. Not a single flaw can be found in this spirit, and it leaves nothing to be desired; it fulfills every fantasy I’ve ever had about gin. From its presentation to its incredibly unique palate, it delivers an unparalleled Spiritus-Juniperus experience. Quite simply, there is nothing like this gin, and every gin enthusiast should, with incredible speed, attempt to attain a bottle for him or herself. This is quite possible the easiest 10-out-of-10 I will ever give to a spirit (and rightfully so, seeing as it is the most exclusive gin in the world with only 21 small casks being released in a year — 1,200 bottles).


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Categories: Gin, Reviews