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Tasting Notes – Junipero Gin

Submitted by on March 3, 2011 – 4:53 pm2 Comments

It would be disingenuous not to not admit that I am a drinker of gin. In truth, gin and scotch are the liquid affiliations I most choose to keep. I enjoy gin and its company to the point that I have become a bit of a gin snob. While I will enjoy mixed drinks prepared with lesser members of the fraternity, I would always prefer a bit of the good stuff whether alone, with ice or in a martini. In short, I prefer good gin. It is with that familiarity and authority that I bestow the mark of my favorite gin (at the moment anyway) upon Junipero Gin from Anchor Distilling. Now that the award has been bestowed, the crowd is on their feet, the confetti has been dropped and the band is playing let me get on to telling you why.

20110303 112429 Tasting Notes   Junipero Gin
Junipero Gin is the product of the Fritz Maytag Anchor Distilling/Anchor Brewing crew in San Francisco. Their distilling line includes five spirits that are all handmade to best represent the ideal and historical accuracy of that particular spirit. They distill whiskies inspired by three separate time periods in American whiskey production, a Dutch style jenever and Junipero, a classic in the London Dry Gin style. That classic gin is named after Juniper Serra, the Franciscan Father who was responsible for the string of Missions commissioned by the Spanish government that run up and down California from San Diego to San Francisco. It is also is just a stones throw of a name from the word “juniper,” whose fruit gives so much to gin as a family that it is almost an homage.

Distilled from more than a dozen botanicals, Junipero has a classic London Dry Gin profile. There is the notion of juniper and citrus along with smaller herbal, floral and fruit notes that appear as well making a harmonious whole. Junipero is one exceedingly smooth gin. This in spite of the fact that it comes in at 98.6 proof. It is pleasantly vaporous instead of being “hot” in the mouth like lesser members of the gin clan. It has a real weight about it as well, a detectable viscosity that is substantial and gives the gin real presence. On the nose, Junipero offers juniper as well but also hints of thyme and apricot. That apricot tinge also follows through just slightly on the tongue and gives Junipero the hint of sweetness I find very appealing.

I tried Junipero in several cocktails and it performed admirably. However, it shined in the king of the gin cocktails: the Martini. Junipero makes a top flight Martini. So good, in fact, that it will replace my Hendrick’s Martini in the few establishments that carry it. I particularly enjoyed it in a Pink Gin Cocktail as well as straight over ice. Junipero is an excellent sipping gin and one that is good to have on hand at home as it will place favor on guests fortunate enough to sample it.

On the bottom line, though, the biggest compliment I can give Junipero Gin is this: I went to my local bodega tonight to buy something to consume this evening and for the third straight time, it was a bottle of Junipero Gin. I am a drinker of gin. After Junipero, I think that statement has never been more true.

article clipper Tasting Notes   Junipero Gin

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