Today it’s once again gin time. And I guess you will be little surprised by the fact that it is once again a gin from Germany where it has become the trendiest spirit of these days (as in many other parts of the world, too). This is of course not only the case because of the ever increasing number of gin start-ups and the correlating spirits, but also because of the inexorably high demand for gin & tonics. The increased interest for tasting seminars on the subject of gin (and tonic) fits the mould.
And one of the most prosecuted recipes for a successful new gin is, of course, to think of something innovative when it comes to the choice of botanicals. So the makers of today’s gin, which is called “Aloha Gin”, opted for another special plant to infuse their spirit. But more on that below. First of all, the name “Aloha Gin” might trigger some associations of the Polynesian world and take your thoughts to the shores of Hawaii but then I have to take you back to the North of Baden-Württemberg, to Heilbronn, where the Aloha Gin is actually made. It is produced there in an unspecified distillery and as the house gin for the local Hip Island, a “City Beach Club”. In the realization of the project also the online retailer “Gin in a Bottle” played a contributing part (which by the way recently also published an interview with me – only in German language, though).
Now we are gradually approaching the Hawaiian theme again because when thinking about a “City Beach Club” of course you are expecting (artificial) beaches, (artificial) palm trees and you willingly want to be taken into a holiday mood. So what could probably be a very exotic and holiday-like botanical to use in a gin? The people in Heilbronn think that the answer is “hibiscus blossom”. And so the hibiscus blossom became the special botanical of choice. According to the manufacturer, juniper berries, cardamom, rosemary, lime peel, and licorice are used. The Aloha gin is made in the style of a London Dry Gin and bottled at 47% ABV.
In addition to tasting it neat, I have of course also tested it in a Gin & Tonic. And since the way from Hawaii is not so far to Japan, where the Yuzu fruit started to conquer the bar world, I opted for a very special tonic water. In the sense of a broader, pacifically exotic taste experience I therefore paired the Aloha Gin with Qyuzu Tonic Water which comes with a splash of Yuzu juice.
Aroma: The first impression surprised me a little bit because I would have expected slightly less juniper. Although I would not really count the Aloha Gin among the “juniper bombs” but it offers a clearly perceptible and distinct juniper. As expected there are rich citrus notes, especially lime peels, a little clove, actually a fine hint of hibiscus blossom and herbaceous notes of pine, cedar and some licorice.
Taste: On the palate the Aloha Gin turns out to be the citrus gin that I expected, the juniper remains discreet in the background and leaves the field to the more fresh and floral tones from the very beginning. The herbal aspects are quite ostensible and there is an overall exotic touch that actually characterizes the taste of this gin. I am already looking forward to the combination with the Qyuzu Tonic.
Finish: fresh, just dry enough and floral
All in all it is a quite nice gin for friends of the rather fresh and flowery styles. Although the Aloha Gin (which actually is a New Western Dry Gin) in my eyes is almost a border crosser of the London Dry Gin-style, people who love exotic-summery gins will be pleased with this one.
In combination with the Qyuzu Tonic Water it works very well, as expected. The freshly and spicy exotic flavor of the Yuzu in the Qyuzu Tonic takes up the flowery citrus notes of Aloha Gin and offers a refreshing taste experience beyond the ordinary.
Buying sources: On the spot at the Hip Island or online at Gin in a Bottle.