Since we last encountered Edinburgh Gin over a decade ago, the brand’s portfolio has exploded with a bevy of gin expressions as well as flavored gins and liqueurs. There’s a lot to get to, but today we’ll take a small bite out of the lineup with a review of Edinburgh’s Rhubarb & Ginger Gin and the liqueur that inspired it.
Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur – This liqueur begins with a base of Edinburgh Classic Gin that is then macerated with rhubarb, ginger, and lemon zest (and then presumably sweetened). The aroma is floral and gently sweet, chock full of stewed rhubarb and a soft ginger spice accented by oily citrus peel. What starts out as rhubarb pie turns lighter and brighter as it opens in the glass with ginger candies and lemon oil. The palate is less elegant, syrupy sweet and cloying with a big red candy note, more strawberry than rhubarb, that quickly turns bitter as the evergreen notes of the gin base and the spice of the ginger arrive. A tart touch of lemon peel arrives on the finish and lingers with pine sap and a fading note of fleshy rhubarb. It’s a bit of a wild ride but not without some charm. Best used sparingly in a cocktail for a unique layer of flavor or cut with a generous amount of mixer for an easy spritz. 40 proof. B / $20
Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger Gin (2023) – Remove some sugar (perhaps), raise the proof, and you’ve got Rhubarb & Ginger Gin. The nose is far less vegetal than the liqueur with notes of sweet lemon oil and rhubarb better balanced against the dry, earthy, and evergreen notes of Scottish juniper and pine in the standard ginbill. As it opens, candied ginger notes begin to bloom with a slightly tart, citrus edge. The palate is surprisingly saccharine, not too far removed from the liqueur, but its complexity helps to distract from that fact, at least somewhat. Candy sweet notes of chalky peppermint and rhubarb pie filling evolve into tart lemon peel and bitter spices before dissolving into spicy, candied ginger and plump juniper berry on the long finish. Too sweet for even my sweet tooth, but it makes for a novel craft cocktail or G&T; just be sure to use a dry tonic. 80 proof. B+ / $35 [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]