It is natural to wonder what irises taste like. The famous blue flower is reportedly used as a digestive aid in some parts of the world. Here, it gives Magellan a distinctly blue tint (the bottle is clear)… along with, ahem, a dose of “certified color.”
Magellan, distilled in France, contains 11 botanicals. Aside from iris root and flowers, it features cloves, juniper, cinnamon, cassia, orange peel, coriander, licorice, grains of paradise, cardamom, and nutmeg. A couple of odd numbers in there, but nothing too crazy. The gin, inspired by the famous explorer and the spices he discovered on his trek around the world, is four-times distilled from undisclosed grains.
What comes through the most clearly here is the orange peel, tempered by a fair amount of juniper on the nose. The mid-palate runs into earth tones, driven by the cloves, coriander, and cassia, while the finish offers a touch of sweet licorice. Though it’s 88 proof, it’s not especially hot, and the finish is clean and refreshing, if a bit spicy. For something so artificially blue, I was surprised by Magellan’s balance and nuance. Don’t dismiss it because the color is so nutty.
As for iris, I never did find out what they taste like. But one thing’s for sure, Magellan doesn’t taste anything like flowers.
B+ / $30 / magellangin.com
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