Nolet’s (not Nolet, mind you) hails from Holland, part of a new wave of ultra-premium gins flavored with unexpected ingredients. Nolet’s (distilled from the same wheat as Ketel One) lets you in on three of them — the rest are kept secret — but one of the big three immediately jumps out.
That ingredient: Turkish rose petals. Tasted neat, Nolet’s is a floral bomb, almost overpowering in its perfumy nature. Other revealed ingredients — white peach and raspberry — aren’t as forward, but if you try Nolet’s with a twist of lemon it will help to keep the flower petals at bay and allow the fruit to shine a little more clearly, along with a little bit of a citrus kick.
Nolet’s is obviously well crafted, but it’s hard not to think that the distillery overdid it a little bit with the flower petals. In cocktails and in other gins, floral elements tend to go an awfully long way, especially in an overproof (95.2 proof) spirit like this. The pale yellow color is enchanting, and over time the roses do start to fade (as with perfume) and you find a little more fruit and a touch of juniper in the mix. The finish, after an hour in the air, even starts to take on a dark chocolate character… but that’s a long time to wait to drink a glass of gin.
As a side note, Nolet’s is also the creator of one of the most expensive spirits — and easily the priciest gin — I’ve ever tried, Nolet’s Reserve Dry Gin. This limited edition bottling saw just 400 bottles produced this year, and if you can find one, expect to pay about $700 for it. (No typo there!)
I tried it. The character? Quite similar, but with a little more sweetness, some vanilla, and a bit less of the rose character on the tongue. Is it worth close to four figures for a bottle? I think the price is crazy — despite the saffron used to make it — but gin fanatics may feel otherwise.
B+ / $50 / noletsgin.com
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