Filed under: Spirits
While oak aging is standard for everything from wine to whiskey, it's a rarity in the gin world. Cellar master Frederic Gilbert, along with owner Alexandre Gabriel, decided to challenge that with a specific combination of additional botanicals-violet, iris and grains of paradise (part of the 19 used in Citadelle)-designed for optimal oak barrel aging. The idea is that violet and iris provide more floral aromatics, while the grains of paradise contribute a hint of spice. The distillate was then aged for 6 months in lightly charred, 12-year-old reused oak casks. Cognac Ferrand has a bit of history with this kind of creative recycling, as the house also produces rums that receive further aging in former cognac casks. In the case of Citadelle, the oak works its magic to round off the flavor profile with an aromatic crispness and notes of cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, and of course, wood. The vintage will have a production run of 11,250 numbered bottles, worldwide.
Wine Enthusiast named Citadelle's 2009 release one of its "Top 50 Spirits of the Year," so we'll see if aging makes a good thing even better.