Review: Caorunn Gin

Gin season continues here, with a true oddity: The only gin distilled in Scotland. [UPDATE: Errrr, so is Hendrick's. Sorry about that, folks.]

Scotland, the legendary home of malt whisky, is hardly a land known for gin, which must be seen as a bit of a girly drink for the pansies who live on the southern part of the island. So leave it to the Scots to do something a bit different: Triple distilled from grain and infused with rowan berry, bog myrtle, heather, Coul blush apple, and dandelion leaf (in addition to six traditional botanicals, juniper, coriander, orange and lemon peel, angelica, and cassia), it’s an odd duck from the start — and something fitting of this often harsh, wind-swept land.

Despite all the crazy-sounding aromatics, Caorunn (pronounced ka-roon) is a very pleasant and largely traditional gin. Juniper is quite evident, with citrus notes close behind. All that bog myrtle and dandelion seems to do something, altogether lending a fun vanilla note to the finish, but otherwise Caorunn keeps its clogs firmly planted in the London dry style of ginmaking, just a bit eased off on the juniper pedal and throttled a touch more toward the sweet side.

It’s a gin that’s hard not to like but doesn’t offer quite enough nuance or uniqueness to love.

83.6 proof.

B+ / $35 / caorunngin.com

Caorunn Gin Review: Caorunn Gin

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9 Responses to Review: Caorunn Gin

  1. Is Hendrick’s not distilled in Scotland?

  2. I stand corrected, Sam. Oddly I have a bottle of Hendrick’s here for review in the near future, as well.

  3. By the way, love the blog!

  4. There are more Scotish gins in the market. In the last 20 months, in Spain we are living a big gin-fever ;) Here’s a link to a review to a Scotish gin named The Botanist and distilled by the brand Bruichladdich http://www.locatamos.com/ginebra-the-botanist-islay-dry-gin/ (you can read it using google translate in case you don’t speak Spanish) ;)

    Congrats for your blog from a big fan!

  5. kallaskander

    Hi there,

    why the effort?

    http://www.laddieshop.com/acatalog/thebotanistsalesweb.pdf

    Greetings
    kallaskander

  6. Pingback: Review: Hendrick’s Gin | Drinkhacker.com

  7. I’ve been enjoying the reviews, thanks. Talking of Scottish gins, There is also Blackwoods Gin (http://www.blackwoodsgin.net/) which uses some botanicals from Sheltland, which is rather nice.

  8. I have to disagree with your final verdict on this gin. I really love Caorunn. I think it’s really well balanced and incredibly smooth, without the harsh and heavy flavours I’ve been seeing in gins lately. (Like Rogue’s – blech!)

    Great as a martini, gimlet or in a G & T, I think it’s quite versatile. Magellan is still probably my favourite, but I’ve really taken a shine to Caorunn. I think it deserves a little better than the short shrift you give it. IMHO. =)

  9. Linlithgow – B+ is still a solid product, but thanks for your comments.

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