And again it’s about gin today and again it’s a French one and also again it’s a Citadelle I’d like to take a closer look onto. However, it’s a gin that I was really excited about. It is certainly a symbol of the friskiness and also progressiveness of a supposedly saturated market, but I am definitely not conservative in this regard, on the contrary: the gin promises to fully meet my taste preferences: Today it’s about the Citadelle Extreme Gin N° 2 Wild Blossom. (provided test product)*
I recently wrote a few lines about the background of the Citadelle brand in connection with the reissued regular bottling of the Citadelle Gin de France, so I would like to refer to this article if you are interested in this matter. But if you should primarily wonder why the Citadelle Extrême Gin N° 2 Wild Blossom bears the Number 2 in its name and what the number 1 is, I have to refer to the Citadelle No Mistake Old Tom Gin. This Old Tom gin is sometimes also sold under the name Citadelle Extrême N° 1 No Mistake Old Tom Gin, but apparently this has now been abbreviated so that only the No Mistake Old Tom Gin can still be found on the label. But the background of this sub-series is clear: we are dealing with classic but more experimental gins. So while the No Mistake Gin pays tribute to the old gin style “Old Tom” and also adds something quite unique, the Citadelle Extrême Gin N° 2 Wild Blossom is more of a member of the unofficial “New Western Dry” category, where botanicals besides or beyond juniper play the dominant role. However, it also is a Reserve Gin, since there is also a barrel maturation for this on. But one after another:
For the Citadelle Extrême Gin N° 2 Wild Blossom, in addition to juniper, génépi (musk yarrow), almonds, grains of paradise, iris, cardamom, lemon, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cubeb, oranges, star anise, violet, yuzu, fennel, cumin, cornflower, spice bark, angelica, licorice and savory are used as botanicals, so it is exactly the same recipe that is also used for the Citadelle No Mistake Old Tom Gin. Instead of barrel-matured sugar, the Citadelle Extrême Gin N° 2 Wild Blossom is treated differently after the distillation process: the gin is infused with wild cherry blossoms. But that’s not all: it is also matured for 5 months in wild cherry barrels (in contrast to the maturation in cognac barrels of the No Mistake Old Tom Gin).
Indeed that sounds very promising to me.But what about reality?
Aroma: On the nose, the Citadelle Extrême N° 2 Wild Blossom is clearly based on the floral and rather fruity side. The barrel characteristics of a Reserve Gin turn out rather subtle by bringing in fine spice associations. Citrus tones (especially orange and yuzu) and a touch of licorice accompany the subtle juniper core of this gin. The Wild Cherry Blossom infusion leads to a pronounced, floral note, which does not appear too ostensible.
Taste: The Citadelle Extrême N° 2 Wild Blossom basically lives up to the expectations. Here, too, the flowery-fresh tones dominate, a bit of cardamom and liquorice show up, especially the barrel characteristics are more noticeable. A subtle, fruity sweetness can probably be attributed to the wild cherry barrels. You can notice the close relation to the No Mistake Old Tom Gin, but without such a distinct sweetness, of course.
Finish: long, spicy and fresh, again with pronounced floral tones
For a Gin & Tonic, the Citadelle Extreme Gin N° 2 Wild Blossom seems to be a bit more difficult to use. Usually I refrain from using Reserve Gins when hosting a gin tasting since they really aren’t my first choice for the classic highball / long drink, (although there are quite a few exceptions). But if you like it spicy and also aromatic, you can certainly get your money’s worth here. Without further ado, I tried to pair the gin with the angostura bark-based Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic and was absolutely delighted with the result! Spicy, aromatic, yet sparkling fresh and floral, a truly multi-layered Gin & Tonic.
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online.
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.