Made from East India Company recipe, this gin's quality is definitely London Dry*, but the flavor profile is of a modern Gin
Review Wint and Lila Gin
Made in: Puerto De Santa Maria, Cadiz, Spain by Casalbor Distillery.
Water Bath (Bain Marie) method
40% alcohol/80 proof
Botanicals: Juniper berry, coriander, angelica, angelica roots, cinnamon, orange peel, lemon and lime, mint and orange blossom.
Style: Modern gin.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again Spain is a leader in high quality, and unexpectedly good gins. This one fits that mold well. The gin is named after Juan de Wynt and Margarita de Lila Blanco a couple who were married in 1645 to unite two powerful families who traded between Spain and America. They created a family business selling a lot of liquor made in distilleries along the Guadalquivir Valley in Spain. Perhaps to commemorate this they chose to put the gin in a replica ceramic type bottle.
This gin is made in a 200year old distillery using a bain marie water bath producing the gin in small batches from what they claim to be an East India Company recipe. If so it’s one with a very Andalucian twist, rather than the traditional British style one you’d quite expect.
This is a very citrus forward gin, rather than the juniper forward gins you’d expect to have found in an Indiaman of any of the seafaring nations.
Personally I found this gin rather good mixed with nothing but ice. It has a lot of depth, a lot of flavors, and so many botanicals hidden in the mix that you can taste it multiple times and find different things to think about. It has a strong tropical nature.
The nose is citrus and orange blossoms with an undercurrent of juniper. So much so that at first I didn’t know that there were other botanicals in the mix.
But when I tasted it my opinions drastically changed. The first things I tasted were mint and juniper. At first the tastes seemed incongruous but they melded, and produced a herbal/vegital heat. Then there was the sweetness of the orange blossom and angelica - plus the coriander, and a touch of cinnamon.
To be fair I would have expected this flavor profile to be jarring, botanicals like mint and cinnamon shouldn’t meld, but with the orange, lemon, and flowers, this gin somehow manages to do it in a very pleasant way.
The mouthfeel is sweet and smooth. and reminds me a bit of being in, or on the edge of the tropics.
A sip of this is a sip of vacation. Very different, citrusy, minty and tinged with cinnamon, and sweetness. And like any vacation, it’s not perfect, this is probably a love it or hate it type of gin. Personally from sipping it straight I liked it very much. So it was time to try it in some mixed drinks.
On the better side I found this made a pleasant tropical hinted martini, one of the better negroni’s I’ve ever had (and I’m not usually an negroni fan).
It’s perhaps a little too citrusy for drinks like a Tom Collins, Gin Fizz, or even a G&T (unless you use a non-indian style tonic).
I’d personally buy this one again, and I’d include it in tastings I put together when looking to highlight a tropical, Spanish, or just different gin. It’s well above average, and unique enough that curiousity would make me want to try this one in many different ways.
Overall rating: 87. A really nice example of lower alcohol Spanish gin which focuses on flavor.
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.