Back in June last year, I reviewed a popular Polish Gin, Gin Lubuski, as a part of my World of Gin series. Interestingly, this came from friend in New Jersey, who had sent it back over the Atlantic Ocean for me to try. When researching the gin, I discovered that they also made a lime flavoured version of their gin. Given the obscure way in which I sourced my original bottle of Lubuski, it is perhaps not surprising that the lime version was found when I made a trip to the Spanish seaside town of Salou.
I have been interested in Lime Gin for a while now, given that it is the most prevalent flavoured gin (discounting Sloe Gin, as this is more of a gin cordial*). I have tried both the Beefeater variety and that made by Seagrams; Tanqueray also make a Rangpur flavoured gin (notably controversial among some of the Diageo staff) and Ish (made at Thames Distillers) has relatively recently released Ish Lime exclusively for the Spanish market.
But, for now, let’s get back to Gin Lubuski Lime. This is essentially the same gin as the original, only with added lime essence. It is bottled at 40.0% ABV.
On its own
Nose: Juniper and lime.
Taste: Smooth initially, then a little warmth. This has a very basic flavour profile of juniper, angelica and plenty of lime, which resembles a combination of lime sherbert and melted lime sorbet. It isn’t overly sophisticated, but has a decent flavour that would lend itself well to mixed drinks, especially tall thirst quenchers. On the finish, there’s just a little soapiness.
Gin & Tonic
This is a natural and easy way to enjoy this gin. It’s very limey – there’s a surprise! – and reminds me of limeade; it is crisp, refreshing and very pleasant to drink, with a good, dry finish. There are some notes reminiscent of lime jelly, but, overall, this is a great thirst-quencher.
This makes for an interesting cross between a Martini and a Gimlet, but I quite like it. By using the diamond method of mixing to make this drink (use gin straight from the freezer), you can create a very viscous and even better cocktail. This would make an excellent aperitif, especially if you like lime.
A nice, simple drink, with good, strong flavours. The lime adds a great zestiness, reminding me of lime marmalade. I really like this; there’s a good bitter-sweet, tart balance to it that, again, reminds me of sorbet.
This is a simple, but tasty gin and mixes well. It’s not a 3-dimensional spirit and pretty much does what you’d expect; that said, I’d buy it again and happily serve it on a hot summer afternoon.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Ish Limed 41% ABV
#1 On its own
Nose: Juniper and lime sherbert (almost like Love Hearts).
Taste: Juniper upfront, then coriander, followed by lemon and a long finish of lime. Simple and bold.
#2 Gin & Tonic
This where this gin shines; there’s plenty of citrus, making it crisp and refreshing. There’s also no real need for a garnish, it’s that zesty.
Crisp lime on the nose, slightly caramelised. On the palate, there is plenty of juniper, followed by lime and some vanilla. The finish is quite crisp, but bitter, followed by very limey, citrus zing.
Again, this has quite simple flavour, which would benefit from some additional herbal notes (maybe via the use of a more complex vermouth than normal). It is, however, pleasant to drink, with a zingy finish that’s bitter-sweet.
Ish Limed is a little more sophisticated than the Lubuski Lime, but that comes with a bigger price tag. If you want something bold and simple for jug-fulls of punch or Gin & Tonic, then go for Lubuski, whereas, for the more sophisticated, individually made cocktails, I’d suggest Ish.
* There are some technicalities when it comes to flavoured gin; here is a rough outline:
Flavoured gin = gin + fruit/essence, but no added sugar.
cordial/liqueur gin = gin-based product with added flavour (either by infusion or blending), plus added sugar and a lower %ABV.