Cocktails with… Filliers Barrel Aged Gin

I have written a fair bit about yellow gin recently and I’m very excited that more varieties seem to be coming to the market. Followers of the site may also recollect my article on Filliers Dry Gin from Belgium, including my rave review of it mixed in a Negroni with Martini Gran Lusso – a simply superb drink.

As such, it was wonderful to see the two subjects – yellow gin and Filliers – come together in Filliers Barrel Aged Gin. Bottled at 43.7% ABV, this is made using the same recipe as the Filliers Dry Gin 28, but it is aged for around 4 months in ex-Cognac
barrels.

Filliers Barrel Aged Gin Bottle - Yellow Gin

The Taste

On its own
Colour: Very pale straw yellow.
Nose: Juniper, citrus, coriander and a little cinnamon and wood; quite light.
Taste: A lovely, thick texture with the classic gin flavours such as juniper, angelica,
coriander and citrus upfront, followed by more mellow notes of vanilla, nutmeg
and oak. The finish is long and dry. This is a great example of a classic
yellow/aged gin, with a good balance between the gin and the wood.

Dry Martini
A good, bold-flavoured Martini with crisp juniper and citrus and then a more mellow finish of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla from the wood. This is an excellent example of what a traditional yellow gin Martini should be.

Sweet Martini
A lovely flavour, with a great mix of sweetness, herbal and spiced notes. The finish is good and dry, with just a little citrus. My suggested garnish would be a cherry or orange twist.

Frozen
The chill improves the texture without the gin losing its character; very viscous and silky. There are some good, crisp notes to start, a warm and comforting middle with a little light spice – like cinnamon sugar – and some light wood notes, followed by a long, dry, slightly bitter finish.

Negroni
Full of strong, bold flavours, with some very bitter, woody, herbal notes, too. The aged gin works really well with the vermouth,
which brings a rich mouthfeel and complexity. An excellent aperitif after a long day.

Seagram’s Sunday – Seagram’s Distillers Reserve

Introduced in 2006 and bottled at 51% ABV, Seagram’s Distillers Reserve is a blend of the best batches of Seagram’s Extra Dry, post-mellowing and bottled at cask-strength.

Colour: Very light, straw yellow.
Nose: The nose seems less intense than the original, with some juniper and citrus.
Taste: Firstly, the texture is quite different: viscous, silky and smooth. Most of the panel agreed that this was unusually smooth for a gin at 51% ABV. As well as juniper, there was sweet liquorice, floral and citrus flavours.

Although other Seagram’s gins are aged for the same period of time, the oak notes were far more pronounced in this version. The oaky flavour became even more pronounced when a drop of water was added to gin.


Gin & Tonic
A very fresh and crisp Gin & Tonic, with good levels of juniper and citrus with a well-rounded finish courtesy of the cask-resting. Very good.

Martini
This was a strong and bold Martini: it’s a bit spicy with some nice vanilla and woody elements. Very satisfying, with just a hint of anise at the end.

Negroni
A rather tasty drink: intensely bitter-sweet, with powerful juniper flavours and a creamy, oak finish. Delicious.

In Conclusion
I think that the basic Seagram’s is a decent gin, but the Reserve is even better: it has a good balance, a strength that makes it extremely mixable, and the process of cask-resting really makes a difference to the spirit,  making it a yellow gin and something of a rare species.