Today it’s once more about another gin. A gin that maybe wants to provoke a feeling of holiday while at the same time it is trying to innovate in this highly competitive market. The gin comes from a distillery built up as part of a crowdfunding campaign and it promises to bring a touch of Dutch-Frisian lifestyle into your glass. And of course the Dutch should know a little bit about juniper distillates… (provided test product)*
Stokerij Texel, as the distillery is called, is run by two passionate spirits enthusiasts, Jaco Spek and Kees Groenewoud. As the name already implies, the distillery is located on Texel, the largest of the West Frisian Islands. And as it is often the case with products with a certain local patriotic flair, today’s gin is based on local products. The TX Gin – that’s its short and luscious name – is produced on the basis of potato alcohol, whereby the potatoes were cultivated on the island itself. In order to set an example for sustainability and against the disposable society, Spek and Groenewoud decided to use those potatoes for the distillation of the original alcohol, which would otherwise fall through the cracks of the mass market due to their shape or size and in the worst case would be thrown away.
Another special feature is the use of “dune water” to reduce the drinking strength. This has nothing to do with Frank Herbert’s novels, but with an old Dutch tradition: The Netherlands have a long tradition of filtering rainwater through dune sand to produce drinking water. To what extent this naturally has an effect on the taste I cannot even dare to say at this point. Neither was this filtration technique known to me before writing the article, nor have I ever been able to try dune water until the present day. But it is a good marketing story – and that’s what a gin needs nowadays to have a long-term chance at all.
Of course, there is also a bit of variety when it comes to botanicals: besides juniper, coriander, orange peels and cardamom, sea buckthorn and elderberry are used in the TX gin (I have also prepared a very interesting cocktail with sea buckthorn in the past, by the way). There is no information on the bottle about the official gin style, so theoretically a certain additional sweetening and/or the addition of nature-identical flavouring substances would be possible here (Update: as the producer told me in the commentary section, the gin meets the requirements of being called a London Dry Gin, so no nature-identical flavourings or considerable sweetening at all). However, the list of ingredients on the back of the bottle does not contain any information on this. Finally, it is bottled at an ABV of 40% vol. into a nice black clay bottle, which is shaped in the tradition of Genever (often called “Dutch gin”). On the front you can see the Eierland lighthouse, which is one of the famous landmarks of Texel.
But how does the TX Gin taste?
Aroma: On the nose the coriander is very clear (I have rarely noticed coriander that much in a gin), also the sea buckthorn is quite present beside juniper and a rather weak citrus note. Elderberry and cardamom remain very subtle. Above all, however, the scent of coriander seed is floating.
Taste: The TX gin is very soft and mild, the alcohol has been well integrated (at an ABV of 40%, however, you really should expect that). Whether this has something to do with the mysterious dune water will probably remain a rather difficult question. Also on the palate the coriander is very conspicuous, but here also orange peel and sea buckthorn come through alongside a subtle sweetness. Juniper, hard to define herbal tones and associations of pine needles gradually segue into the finish.
Finish: relatively dry and herbaceous with a little pepper and again coriander.
Although the TX Gin, as a quite herbaceous representative, must not shy away from the combination with more floral and flowery tonics, I decided to serve it with a rather classic tonic and opted for the regular Fever Tree. Here its herbaceous and honest characteristic is emphasized what will certainly be an enrichment for every gin lover.
The TX Gin also convinces in a cocktail. Here I wanted to test his herbal soul in a summery cucumber cooler. And it turned out very nice and refreshing!
Buying sources: For example, you can buy the TX Gin from Conalco.
The bottle for this review was provided to me by the Conalco Spirituosen UG. 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.