The Revivalist is a gin brand that launched in 2016, produced in Elverson, Pennsylvania. Solstice is its “winter inspired expression” (apologies for the lateness of this review), the fourth gin in the company’s lineup. Like all its former expressions (none of which we’ve seen), it is available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Michigan.
The gin includes some unusual botanicals, including dried cherry, anise, and ginger, which are loaded atop more classic botanicals like orange peel “just enough juniper to invoke the season without overpowering the spirit’s balance.” After distillation, the gin is rested in Hungarian Oak Barrels previously used for aging Zinfandel wine — and giving it a distinct pink color.
The results are distinct and unique.
The nose is enigmatic, peppery, lightly winey, and rather floral, with a rush of aromas that include cloves, licorice, honeysuckle-dusted perfume, and maple syrup. The palate takes things in a rather different direction, pouring on the anise notes to the point where the gin comes across a bit like an absinthe. There’s a significant amount of fruit beneath that — strawberry and orange peel and a little grapefruit, plus notes of rose water. The finish is all anise and cloves, with some lingering perfume notes.
This is truly exotic stuff, and it’s bound to dominate anything in a cocktail, so use it with a careful hand… or, for kicks, consider it in lieu of an absinthe rinse in a Sazerac or another absinthe-light concoction.
B+ / $48 / revivalistspirits.com