Vanilla flavored gin? That's different.
Review Puerto de Indias Pure Black gin.
Made in: Seville, Spain
Base: Molasses spirit
40% alcohol/80 proof
Botanicals: Juniper, orange blossom, lemon, vanilla, jasmine. (botanical list is likely incomplete but data on their list is hard to come by).
Style: Modern gin.
I have a soft spot for Spanish gins, they tend to be among the most cutting edge gins in the world and are full of flavors not just of Spain but of most of the Mediterranean. They tend to be heavy on botanicals, herbs, and flavor, and tend to be far from traditional. Some of my favorites include Wint and Lila, and of course Gin Mare (reviews will be pending). As this one only recently came to the US a chance to taste and rate it definitely caught my attention.
I had no idea when I picked this bottle that the Pure Black edition, is a vanilla, focused gin. So much so that they call it a vanilla gin. I grabbed the bottle anyhow, and in this case the gin grabbed me right back.
Made in one of the oldest distilleries in Spain it uses a molasses based spirit as its base, and spring water from Roman era springs in making of the product. By modern standards it’s a little low on the alcohol content, cutting down on heat and astringency in order to allow you to focus on the flavors.
This one is a sipping gin pure and simple. Like many of the better Spanish gins, it really doesn’t need a mixer to highlight it’s flavor.
That flavor is very vanilla and jasmine centric gin with a very subtle floral sweetness which compliments the subdued essence of orange blossom, and maybe a whiff of orris root, juniper, and citrus
The mouthfeel here is refreshingly cool and dryish which helps compliment the flavor profile, but it’s here I found the only small flaw in this otherwise excellent gin. It reminds me a bit of what appears to be a cold refreshing glass of water, which fails to quench any thirst. Perhaps gin shouldn’t quench thirst, but this just seemed a bit off.
As far nose goes, this is a very floral gin with plenty of orange blossom, jasmine, and lemon to be savored.
Traditionalists will hate this gin, but for those enjoying the renaissance of gin, with all the exotic flavor profiles, this one is a winner. All in all this is a remarkably easy drinking gin, so easy that you might not even recognize it as gin, if you didn’t know it., That’s because the juniper here is subtle. Happily because gin is not traditionally sweetened, the more subtle layers fo flavor can be savored by a discriminating palate.
I like this one, I like it a lot. No it’s not an elite level gin, but it comes close - it’s solid , very solid and far better than average for this who enjoy a more modern take on gin.
With high quality tonic (Fever Tree Mediterranean), it made an remarkable G &T and was really quite good with orange, mint, or basil it was very enjoyable- and the pure black made for a surprisingly good martini with just a hint of brininess that actually complimented the vanilla in the gin.
herbal/vegetal: 4/5 (Vanilla and Jasmine)
Overall rating: 86. Not for the traditionalist, or those who believe that london dry is the pinnacle of gin styles.
What you need to know about reviews: All my reviews are my honest opinions based upon my own personal tasting. I am NOT a paid reviewer, and no compensation was given, or expected. I may from time to time choose to do a second review and amend my opinion of a product, should I feel like it and find my review criteria has evolved, or that I’ve found it different at a later date. That said, as I’m unlikely to repurchase anything I thought was less than very good to excellent, it would be by chance or at the request of a distiller who though I rated them very unfairly - BUT even then, whatever you get will always be my honest opinion.