Genièvre de Houlle
Price per bottle: £41-60 (US$54-79)
David T. Smith – 7.9
Nose: Strong toasted rye grain with a slight sweetness reminiscent of marbled rye bread. Super dark chocolate aromas and a little woodiness.
Palate: An earthy, woody bitterness, with sappy and with a distinctive menthol akin to cubeb berries or grains of paradise.
Finish: Menthol pepper flavours linger on the tongue, combined with hints of pine needles.
Comments: Strong botanical flavours. This increases its mixing potential; it’s great with soda or ginger ale. A natural match for an Old Fashioned.
Felicity Murray – 7.6
Nose: Sweet aromas of caramelised brown sugar and vanilla overlay those of pine forests and freshly cut wood. Dried fruits.
Palate: Sharp at first with gooseberry, rhubarb, grapefruit, pineapple and bitter almond before sweeter flavours of toffee and fruitcake emerge to soften the bite.
Finish: Sweet with vanilla, a hint of sultanas leaving a long whisky-like memory.
Comments: An acquired taste on its own but it could work well in cocktails – replacing traditional gins or whiskies.