Review: Sweet Gwendoline Gin
What do you get when you cross a creator of Sailor Jerry rum with “Queen of Burlesque” Dita Von Teese? Why, a new gin, made in the south of France!
Sweet Gwendoline is the brainchild of Larry McGearty, featuing a dominatrix-like character, complete with whip, on the front label. She’ll have you sipping this gin one way or another, won’t she? Made in France, the spirit is infused with fig and six additional botanicals –– juniper, cardamon, coriander, angelica, lime, and sweet orange — along with a splash of French white wine. The company makes the bold claim — rare amongst gin-makers — that no mixers are needed to enjoy the product.
So, let’s tighten our leather corsets and get ready to drink something different in the gin category.
First off: It’s a rather viscous gin, pouring into the glass with a lightly gummy consistency. But before we get to that, let’s take a whiff. The nose is indeed something different, melding green herbs with earthy angelica and a spicy note of lemon and lime rinds. The citrus builds with time in glass, eventually coming to dominate. On the palate, the formula is largely similar: Boldly green and herbal up front, then a citrus element that’s heavy on lime. Somewhat creamy — there’s that viscosity — with notes of vanilla and a more general fruitiness (is it figs?) on the finish.
Drink it straight? I doubt many will jump on that idea — though it’s no more aggressive than any other gin, and it’s versatile enough to work in most any home bars. There’s also no denying the label’s a conversation piece, to boot.
B+ / $40 / sweetgwendolinefrenchgin.com
I’m obsessed with this gin right now. For me it has such balance and elegance, it’s the perfect gin martini. And it’s a great conversation starter on the when friends see it on the shelf.