Don’t look now, but some of the best gin in the world is coming not from the UK or the U.S., but Germany. (If you haven’t tried Monkey 47 yet, do so.)
The latest of these to hit our desk is Ginstr, a new brand that beat out 600 competitors at the International Wine and Spirit Competition to win the “Gin & Tonic Trophy” — the award for the best gin for a G&T. It was the first time a German distillery won the prize. 46 botanicals are used in the production, including juniper, rosemary, cardamom, coriander, liquorice, Kaffir lime leaves, orange and hibiscus blossoms, and pomegranate pits, to name just a few. Bottles are labeled by batch and individually numbered.
We were intrigued, so we had to give it a spin. Thoughts follow.
Served neat, the gin finds a boldly earthy nose, with modest juniper and dusky spices in the mix. Notes of dried flowers and a slightly salty, maritime note add nuance. The palate finds ample fruit, namely citrus peel, along with a fresher floral character. As the finish builds, lingering spice notes kick in, alongside a refreshing reprise of orange peel. All told, it’s an intriguing gin that is unusual enough to merit exploring alone, but not so weird as to come across as bizarre.
Naturally, since Ginstr won its prize for being best in a gin and tonic, we had to try it that way, too. Results: It’s a delightful combination, the tonic bringing out more of the citrus in the gin, as well as a gentle earthiness that complements it quite well. I didn’t like it at all in a martini, where all I could taste was the licorice and dried herb elements.
88 proof. Reviewed: Batch “Wolfbusch 2018, bottle 3.”
A- / $35 (500ml) / stuttgartgin.com