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Monday, May 04, 2009

Review: Port of Barcelona Gin

I have a bottle of this and probability is that you don't.  I'm sad for you.  Let's talk about it just like some guy who just came back from The Bahamas in the middle of winter telling you every single detail about his days on the beach.

Port of Barcelona is a small batch gin made by Esmeralda Distillery, the same geniuses who brought you Obsello Absinthe.  The gin starts with malted barley and goes on to triple distillation and infused with Wild Juniper, Iris Flower Root, Star Anise, Coriander Seeds, Orange Peels, Sweet Almonds, Hazelnuts, Lemon Zest, Chebub Seeds, Black Cardamom, Orris Root, Ginger Root, Nutmeg, Cubeb Root.  That's quite a mouthful.  Let's fill our mouth with it.

The Bottle
The bottle is short and squat and a bit reminiscent of Hendrick's.  Lately, I haven't been even talking about the bottle because, really, who cares?  Unfortunately, this one has a problem.  When you put a bartender's spout in to it, it doesn't pour.  I tried multiple different kinds of spouts and none of them worked.  That means that you have to use a measure for every pour which is not always the best thing.  I only say this because that will create an issue when it tries to get adopted in bars.  Fear not, intrepid gin drinker, our problems end here.

The Nose
When I poured this in to the shaker it smelled like I think Megan Fox's perfume would smell if she was walking through Heaven.  The gorgeous Juniper smell makes you think that it's going to be about as "gin-ny" as you can get.  I tried and tried and all I could really pull from it was the Juniper.  Keep in mind, this is not a problem for me.  It's nice to have a gin that's not trying to be a vodka or a liqueur or tasteless enough to only be served at TGI Fridays.

The Taste
I'm not even sure where to start so I'll just come out with it:  Port of Barcelona Gin is easily one of the best tasting spirits I have ever rolled across my tongue.  I figured that I would try a bit of it neat as I always do in a tasting just to make sure I knew exactly what it tasted like all by itself.  I found that I just wanted to keep drinking it neat so that I can enjoy the opulence and flavors that fell across my tongue.

Let me just tell you, this is not a review anymore, this is a love letter.  As I sipped this gin, I found the Juniper flavors quickly fell away and I got hints of the star anise, the coriander, and my favorite, the butter.  It's very clear to me the love and care that went in to building this spirit and it shows that B. Alex, the distiller, put not only his heart in to it, but a piece of his California native soul.  I've always considered Spain to be the California of Europe and it's clearly treating him well as it comes across beautifully in this gin.

Let's be clear:  This gin will taste fantastic in a lot of cocktails but it needs absolutely nothing at all. NOTHING.  It's almost a shame to spoil it with other ingredients though I know that geniuses greater than I will use premium additives and come up with something that makes it even more amazing.

The gin is a bit higher in alcohol content than we're used to but you won't feel a burn, you'll only feel the silk as it finishes on the back of your tongue.  I'm looking forward to the day when this reaches everyone so that we can all have the shared experience of this gorgeous gin.

The gin launch is already a bit behind schedule, so look for it soon. Look for it in San Francisco, Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas starting next week.

Port of Barcelona Gin - US$30

1 Comment:

mer said...

I'm glad I stumbled across this. The Barcelona gin sounds exciting, and I look forward to seeing it this area (on a diagonal between NYC and Phila.) so I can give it a try.