Today is a bit special, as this article is not only the 100th gin review that we have published on SummerFruitCup, but it is also the 300th gin that I have tried; so, naturally, we needed to find something special and we found this in Nolet’s Reserve Gin. I have a gin wish list, or “Most Wanted”, and ever since I first heard of it, Nolet’s Reserve has been at the top of it.
We reviewed the rather tasty Nolet’s Silver Gin last year and, in October, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bob Nolet at a Ketel One dinner for London Cocktail Week. When I contacted him and told him about my plans, he could not have been more helpful.
I happened to know that some of the folks at Grayling PR were heading over to the Nolet Distillery in Schiedam, Holland and the lovely Sarah (of Grayling) was kind enough to act as courier for me. Fast forward to today and in front of me sits a bottle of Nolet’s Reserve. So what is the story behind this rather remarkable gin?
Nolet’s Reserve was developed over four decades by Carolus Nolet Sr, who is from the 10th generation of distillery owners from the Nolet family. Nolet’s Reserve is made in very limited quantities in small copper pot stills. It contains a myriad of botanicals, including saffron and lemon verbena, and, in order to maintain the highest standard of quality, a Nolet family member personally tastes and approves every batch before it is bottled.
Now, on to the tasting. In order to appreciate the gin properly, I tried it first thing in the morning, before any breakfast, to ensure a clean palate. I even rose at 5am in order to minimise disruptions or interruptions. Carolus Nolet Sr recommends that Nolet’s Reserve Gin should be shared with cherished friends or enjoyed in quiet solitude – given the early hour of the day, I opted for the latter. This may seem like a bit of a song and dance, but I thought that for such a special occasion it was worth it.
This gin is light gold in colour.
Quite complex, with sweet floral and fruit notes; there are hints of rose and violet, as well as stone fruits, such as peach and cherry, with some dark chocolate, too. The lemon verbena develops over time. Like the Nolet’s Silver, there is also a touch of real Turkish Delight about this spirit.
Rich and silky, like liquid honey. The body and power of the spirit develops in a crescendo, boosted by its underlying alcoholic strength.
This has a rich, balanced and complex flavour; elements that I identified include: peach, rose, saffron, coriander, and juniper, towards the end. There’s a good balance of sweet and savoury notes and I get the sense that this is definitely a spirit that you could sip time and time again and, each time, pick out something new.
The more classic gin characteristics are strong on the finish, including: juniper, coriander and citrus. It’s quite a full finish, with additional of notes of vanilla, crème brûlée, crystallized violets and just a touch of maltiness. Quite dry and rather long, this lasted for over 5 minutes.
My special thanks to Carolus Nolet Snr, his son Bob Nolet and their distillery team in Holland and also to Sarah from Grayling; without all of your help this article would not have been possible and I would have only tried 299 gins!