One of the most overpopulated spirit categories at the moment is gin, and whilst there are many great gins out there, relatively few are successful in pushing the boundaries of flavour beyond the classical botanicals. You can imagine my intrigue therefore when I heard about a ‘Mediterranean’ styled gin that was attracting a bit of attention for it’s interesting flavour profile. With rosemary, thyme, olive, and basil all included in the mix, this is a gin that not only offers something different, but challenges the preconceptions of what gin should taste like.
Gin Mare is produced in a small fishing village on the Costa Dorada in Spain using botanicals all sourced within the Mediterranean area. Alongside ‘traditional’ botanicals juniper, bitter orange peel, seville orange peel, lemon peel, cardamon, and coriander seed there are four that are not quite so common; Arbequina olives, basil, rosemary and thyme. All the botanicals except the citrus are macerated individually for 24-36hrs in neutral grain alcohol, before being distilled in a copper pot still, again individually. The three citrus botanicals are macerated as fresh peels in neutral grain alcohol for a whopping 300 days before distillation. It’s not until all the botanicals have been distilled individually that they finally get to meet one another in the blending process.
The four ‘Mediterranean’ botanicals are evident immediately upon nosing this gin, with the rosemary in particular standing out. However, the juniper is still playing a starring role and is complemented rather than dominated by the other botanicals. There is a lightness created by the citrus and basil with a savoury olive undertone that brings back memories of hot holidays abroad. The savoury, herbal elements are immediately evident when tasting neat, with the rosemary again taking centre stage alongside the classic juniper backbone. There is no denying this is a gin, and even hardened gin purists will be happy to accept this product into the category. There is a good depth of flavour and a lingering olive and thyme finish that certainly gets the appetite going. Admittedly, there is a mild burn to this gin, but definitely not enough to put me off mixing with it.