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.
B+ / $35 / caorunngin.com