One look at Gabriel Boudier’s saffron gin and you are instantly intrigued. The king of the spice world married with spirits royalty?
The result is intriguing to say the least, but it’s unfortunately somewhere short of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier. I tried a tiny sample of Boudier at last year’s WhiskyFest but now that I’ve got a full bottle to tinker with, I’m delving deeper into the juice.
First you’ll note the bright, Tang-like orange color. Alas, it’s not all from saffron: The product “contains certified color and FD&C Yellow #5,” which is kind of a letdown. There is saffron in the gin, however, along with the usual botanicals, plus the curious addition of fennel, too. So that’s a good thing.
And on to the tasting. The nose is surprisingly traditional, with juniper taking center stage and some citrus notes beneath that. But sipping is a different beast. The juniper fades away and the saffron becomes clearer. Yes, the fennel is also there, and together with the traditional gin notes it’s quite pleasant sipping on its own. Very mild, on the whole, but different than most other gins on the market.
Doesn’t work in martinis, however. Even sans olives, this just doesn’t marry well with vermouth. Leave it on its own or try with tonic, as Boudier recommends. Definitely a curiosity worth seeking out if your a gin fanatic.