I came across Blanc Gin via the great folks at Infugintonic, the producers of Gin & Tonic infusion bags, which I reviewed here. They recommended a gin called Blanc, which they have been working with recently, creating two exclusive infusion bags to add to their excellent product line.
Blanc Gin is owned by the luxury gastronomie group “Blanc”, whose products include “Pearls of Aphrodite” (white caviar), as well as a range of other high-end food goods such as Souflé, Creme de Huevo, Olive Oil and, now, Gin.
Blanc Gin is bottled at 40%ABV and contains 11 botanicals, which are listed below. The spirit is distilled a total of three times, using a water bath to heat it.
The final botanical is rather unique and inspired by the sea:
1) On its own
Nose: A rich, citrus nose with orange and bergamot, plus some bitterness like that of dark chocolate.
Taste: Rather smooth, with plenty of orange upfront, followed by some darker herbal notes, including hints of dark cocoa. There’s some dry pine and then a little warmth, followed by creamy notes of chocolate orange on the finish. Very unusual, but a real pleasure to drink.
2) Over ice
Increasingly, more gins are being designed to be drunk over ice and Blanc Gin works well in this serve. The pine and chocolate orange come over well, along with the fragrance of the lemon verbena, as does a slight saltiness; this would seem particularly fitting if it was drunk on some decking on a terrace overlooking the sea.
3) Gin & Tonic
Very zesty with a citrus-heavy flavour to start, with dry quinine and juniper towards the end, with a finish of creamy orange verbena and a final, bitter lift. A lot could be done, in creative terms, with the garnish of this drink and I know that Infugintonic have made two infusion bags exclusively for this gin.
A lovely Negroni with plenty of orange. This is quite sweet, but still has some bitterness, hints of herbs and dark chocolate. Quite festive, with warm, spicy notes.
A good flavour: clean, but with a fair bit of sweetness; the flavour develops over time, with hints of violet, orange, vanilla and chocolate all appearing against a backdrop of dryness. Your choice of dry vermouth is important – I’d recommend Dolin.
Superb – rich and indulgent, with notes of chocolate (both white and bitter, dark chocolate) and orange. Most definitely dessert-like and brilliant!
7) French ‘75
Very unusual – hints of chocolate and orange, again, as well as a touch of freshly heeled shoes, but not in a bad way. Whilst this isn’t classic, it’s nonetheless very interesting and good for a different style of drink.
Not only does Blanc Gin have an unusual botanical at its heart, but it also has an unusual flavour, which means that it adds something new to gin cocktails. Notably, the verbena-chocolate notes are great in sweet or dessert-like cocktails, whilst the additional warm, spiced notes produce a particularly festive drink in the Negroni, which was very good.