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Citadelle Gin

Citadelle Gin


By Robert Plotkin

Gin is the youngest of the major spirits and it is the only one originally created not to be drunk neat. No, gin has historically been presented in cocktails or mixed with a bracing portion of tonic. Citadelle Gin may well challenge that notion. It is an intriguing and thoroughly engaging spirit. A quick appraisal of its attributes supports the contention that this savory ultra-premium gin is going to enjoy a long and prosperous stay on American top shelves.

Citadelle is handcrafted by Cognac's Gabriel & Andreu, one of France's renowned producers of cognacs, liqueurs and fine spirits. The gin is triple-distilled in small batches in traditional copper alembic stills. The all important spring water used in production is obtained from the famous Angeac Champagne Springs in Cognac. It is made according to a centuries old recipe that combines a staggering 19 botanicals and aromatics sourced from 4 continents. Balancing these exotic ingredients—a recipe that includes French juniper, Moroccan coriander, Spanish lemon peels, Indian cardamom and cassia bark from Indochina—is a daunting challenge, one masterfully accomplished in this gin.

Citadelle is a highly aromatic spirit with a marvelously distinctive taste. Its light, fresh bouquet is laced with juniper, spice and citrus. The gin has a full, sultry body—unusual for such a delicate spirit—and a crisp, clean palate lavishly endowed with spicy herbal flavors. The vibrant flavor of alpine juniper berries is most predominant. The finish is relaxed and memorable. Citadelle Gin, 88 proof, is best appreciated with a slight chill and lemon twist.

Gabriel & Andreu also produces Citadelle Gin Réserve Vintage 2010, the third such release. The vintage-dated gin is triple-distilled in a Cognac pot still and formulated with 19 botanicals as well. The 2010 vintage is the first to feature a botanical mix designed specifically for oak aging. The recipe includes the addition of violet and iris petals for their floral aromatics and grains of paradise for added spice. Citadelle Gin Réserve is aged for 6 months in lightly charred oak casks and bottled at 88 proof.

The 2010 Vintage is a museum grade spirit. It has an alluring pale gold color and a generous bouquet laced with delicate floral, juniper, citrus and spicy notes. The entry is soft and gentle and gradually fills the mouth with the crisp flavors of vanilla, flowers, cinnamon and toasted oak. The soft, lingering finish features notes of cinnamon, star anise and vanilla.

There is no other gin in the world that can compare to the 2010 vintage of Citadelle Gin Réserve. Its production is limited to only 11,250 numbered bottles. So grab some while you can.