Who is familiar with this blog will probably also know the name Coquerel. Because in the distillery Coquerel some really excellent Calvados are made, which I have reviewed not so long ago and also tested for their bar potential. Now I have but again two bottles from the distillery Coquerel in front of me, however you won’t find this name prominently on the label. Instead, there is the title Normindia. (provided test products)*
And of course there is a good reason for this, because these bottles do not contain matured French apple brandy, but gin. Pierre Martin Neuhaus, the owner of the Coquerel distillery, describes himself as a great friend of Indian culture. He himself traveled the country for several months and collected so many impressions there, which he also wants to express in his Normindia series gins. And indeed, there is again the story of the old family recipe from 1765, in which a French juniper distillate has been described. The story of the old family recipe only makes me smile, but apparently there are hundreds of thousands of them slumbering in the cellars of this world, which will surely be discovered by producers of all kinds of spirits in the future.
Be that as it may: first, the botanicals for Normindia Gin are placed in alcohol for between 4 and 12 days and left to macerate. Then it is distilled on the distillery’s smallest copper pot still and finally bottled at 41.4% vol. 15 botanicals are used in the production, of which, however, not all are revealed: juniper, apples, oranges, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and lilies. I would have liked some information on the base alcohol, but unfortunately could not find anything. So whether this is distilled by the distillery itself or purchased externally as agricultural alcohol I cannot say unfortunately.
In addition to the classic bottling, however, there is also a barrel-aged gin, the Normindia Barrel Aged Gin. And here it gets really exciting, because he was allowed to mature – obvious but still super exciting – in former Calvados barrels and new barrels of French oak for 6 to 12 months. This Reserved Gin variant comes with an abv of 44.1% into the bottle.
Tasting Notes “Normindia Gin”:
Aroma: Very interesting! This gin is actually very filigree and floral on the nose – and the first association is ripe, spicy orange peel. Only behind that does juniper creep in, underscoring the spicy character. Ginger and cloves join in over time, as well as subtle apple notes.
Taste: On the palate, the aroma is impressively confirmed: for a long time I have not had such an aromatic orange in a gin (explicit orange flavoured gins excluded). Together with juniper and cloves, you really get a very nice, spicy, multi-layered character on the tongue here, with fine notes of grain, some ginger and apples coming in over time. Definitely not a classic representative and for London Dry purists rather less recommendable, but very exciting for all who like floral and fruity gins!
Finish: very mild, soft with fruity notes, spices and an idea of floral meadows, medium to short.
Tasting Notes “Normindia Barrel Aged Gin”:
Aroma: It is always extremely exciting to see how much barrel aging changes a spirit. The orange notes have changed – unexpectedly for me – more in the direction of a lemon. They are still there, but nevertheless it seems as if the sister fruit has suddenly rushed forward and is excitedly waving its imaginary lemon arms. Added to this is primarily an apple note with a slight woody character, one must immediately think of French Cidre. A slight cake batter note is also present, so I can’t help but think of the classic lemon cake roll.
Taste: And there it is, the elbow of the orange, with which it certainly pushes the lemon back in its place. Spicy and expressive as in the unaged Normindia Gin, the orange comes to the fore again. The spices can also be found, clove and here also more clearly the cinnamon (again with some cake batter). In addition, subtle barrel notes with spicy apple, the longer I keep the Normindia Barrel Aged Gin in the mouth, the more I have to think of a young Calvados. A great combination!
Finish: vanilla, still very smooth and round – actually with some butter. Medium to long.
First, I used the standard Normindia Gin in a cocktail today. I was guided a bit by the distillery’s Calvados background, so I tried a twist on a lesser-known drink from Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, the Diki Diki cocktail, which combines Calvados, grapefruit juice and Swedish Punch. For my Diki Diki Gin Gin Cocktail, I replaced most of the Calvados base with Normindia Gin and added some interesting depth with The Bitter Truth Peach Bitters and a little Dash of Fernet (I’ve used the Nardini Fernet). The drink is a typical example of cocktails that are more than the sum of their parts. Cheers!
Recipe: “Diki Diki Gin Gin Cocktail”.
4.5 cl Normindia Gin
3 cl grapefruit juice
2 cl Revolte Swedish Punch
1.5 cl Calvados Coquerel XO
2 dashes The Bitter Truth Peach Bitters
1 dash Nardini Fernet
Preparation: Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice in a shaker and double strain into a pre-chilled glass.
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that these products have 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.