Once again: Gin is still on the greatest roll since its original historic triumphal march through England. Even if the end of this development is prophesied almost every week and the “throne” of being the trendy spirit these days is regularly attributed to other spirits, the demand for gin is still unabated. Against this background it is, of course, particularly important to stand out from the masses of other gins. Today’s gin succeeds in this respect in a quite innovative way.
Already the very sounding name of the distillate is absolutely programmatic. As an allusion to the indigenous South American people of the Inca, this name was quite appropriately chosen because we are actually dealing with a gin from Peru. This is more than unusual in several respects. On the one hand Peru usually arouses little or no associations with the juniper distillate – the name “Pisco” is all too large in the country. On the other hand – and this is certainly the most remarkable circumstance – there is no juniper growing in Peru at all. So why make a Peruvian gin and what makes it different from other gins?
First of all, the GIN’CA Peruvian Dry Gin is a gin that is made in the increasingly popular style of a New Western Dry Gin. The basis for the distillate is 100% alcohol made from sugar cane, when it comes to gin this is rather a curiosity. With the exception of the juniper, which, as already mentioned above, does not occur in Peru, however the GIN’CA completely relies on regional products and uses exclusively Peruvian botanicals. While the juniper is imported from Macedonia, the sugar cane alcohol is also infused with Hucatay, lime, Minneola, Peruvian pepper, rosemary, black pepper, rue, cinnamon and lemon verbena. What an exotic list which makes me very curious as an open-minded connoisseur. (This gin may be a challenge for conservative purists, but luckily I am not such a person.)
Before bottling the gin is brought to 40% ABV with glacier water from the Andes (according to the manufacturer).
The gin is distilled in the Inca Distillery which is the first distillery specialized in premium distillates in the country (also according to the manufacturer). The column still is made by a German manufacturer and there are only a few bottles of GIN’CA per batch (160 bottles).
So there is still the question “why a Peruvian gin”? Ultimately, I would always be inclined to ask the question “Why not?” But apparently the people behind GIN’CA are up to innovate the Peruvian spirits landscape sustainably and of course to prove the high quality. Not an easy task for a gin in the home of the Pisco. But after all, in 2015 the GIN’CA was awarded “Best Peruvian Distillate”.
But now the really interesting question: How does the GIN’CA Peruvian Dry Gin taste? And how does it perform in a Gin & Tonic?
Aroma: On the nose the GIN’CA is very well balanced. Juniper is there and also the citrous side is clear and bright. The latter is particularly interesting as it brings with it an unimaginable spiciness and tangy aromas which I would ascribe to some of the Peruvian botanicals I know only a little about. In the background there is also a nice, mild pepper. Over time, the GIN’CA turns more and more into an herbaceous, exotic direction without overpowering the nose. A very nice and promising aroma.
Taste: The GIN’CA is pleasantly mild on the palate but still shows a certain amount of vehemence from the herbs. Again, the citrus-juniper ratio is nicely balanced and after a short time I can taste more and more of the spicy, yet exotic complexity the fresh citrus tones offer. With eyes closed I’d probably have assumed it is some Mediterranean gin but there is also that little but clear difference. Ultimately unique.
Finish: long and again with a little pepper.
A really nice gin which I like very much! In a Gin & Tonic, however, I decided to combine it with the very much appreciated Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water, which seemed to be just the right one to me. To enhance it with a tasteful (and also optically appealing) icing on the cake, I have given but a few splashes from the juice of a grilled lime halve into the Gin & Tonic and garnished it with the lime. A great experience of flavors: fresh, exotic, multi-layered and pleasantly dry.
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online. One 0.7l-bottle of GIN’CA costs around 40 euros.