I came across a miniature of this gin a little while ago, so it was great to have a chance to enjoy it in greater quantities.
Rudolf Jelinek is a drinks company that was founded in 1894 and has been exporting from the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) since 1934. Jelinek’s flagship product is Slivovitz, a plum Eaux de Vie, which is avaialble in various versions. They also make vodka, fruit brandies and a variety of other fruits and liqueurs.
When it comes to juniper flavoured spirits, in addition to their Dry Gin, they make two Juniper Brandies, one of which is aged for six months.
A little harsh on the nose, with quite a lot of alcohol and a little vanilla. On its own, the gin doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour; it’s rather understated, with any flavours being rather herbal.
Citrus (lime) on nose; tasting it blind, I could almost mistake it for a Gimlet. In terms of taste, there were strong notes of juniper, pine and wood. If there was ever a drink called a Forest Martini, this would be it. It was unusual, rustic and rather good.
3: Gin & Tonic
Light, with sweet citrus and a touch of anis or fennel. Refreshing, with some herbalness, a touch of ginger and cinnamon. This remind me of – the now discontinued – Gordon’s Distiller’s Cut.
4: Tom Collins
Some notes of juniper and some of pine, but the drink is overwhelmed by the lemon juice.
A bit hazy and disappointing; the flavours clash, creating a drink that has some freshness, but is, overall, below par.
6: Pink Gin
Quite sweet at the start with a bitter finish. This has the balanced bitter-sweet partnership needed for a successful Pink Gin. It was easy to drink and really allows the flavours of the gin to come through.
7: Gin Bump
Lovely flavours of pine and juniper. This is another forest-feeling drink, as well as one of the best Gin Bumps I’ve ever had. A great way to drink the gin.
Sweet and floral; the flavours are reminiscent of sherbet: quite nice. Dry in the middle, with a long juniper finish.
Not having tried any other Czech gins, I don’t know for sure that Jelinek Dry is a typical example, but it does seem to fit in with the area’s history of pine and juniper brandies. I’ve not tried another gin that is as reminiscent of an evergreen forest as this.
Cocktail highlights were the Gin Bump and the Martini.