The formal product name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but this new expression of Drumshanbo‘s top-shelf “Gunpowder” Irish gin takes the original formula and spins it just so. Again it’s a grain neutral gin that starts with the same eight botanicals as Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin: juniper, angelica root, orris root, caraway seed, coriander seed, meadowsweet (an aromatically floral herb), cardamom, and star anise. The only real switcharoo comes when Drumshanbo’s vapor-infused botanicals are introduced, with Sardinian citrus instead of Chinese lemon — plus the original inclusion of grapefruit, lime, and gunpowder tea.
Switching out lemon for Citrus monstruosa — a pulpy, bitter fruit found only on Sardinia — doesn’t sound like a huge change, but this expression feels noticeably more citrus-forward than the original Gunpowder, the nose melding a strong orange-like peel character with notes of black pepper, turned earth, and hints of tea leaf — though here not particularly green. The palate immediately comes across as much more weighty with the green tea character, the citrus emerging as indistinct and lemony, though again with plenty of earth in the mix. What I don’t get is any of the vanilla character I wrote about in my original review, for better or worse.
A bit brooding but bright enough to work in a variety of cocktails — and even sipping straight — this expression isn’t wildly different from the original, but it does offer enough nuance to keep both bottles on your shelf for those nights when you’re feeling experimental.