Colorado-based Leopold Bros. distillery is something of a trailblazer in the world of gin. Their American small batch gin, originally released in 2001, was at the leading edge of the “American gin” movement, eschewing the juniper-forward style of London dry gins in favor of a more subtle, herbal character that’s come to dominate among domestic distillers.
It took Leopold Bros. 11 years to release their navy strength version, which packs the usual 57% wallop. Every gin needs to have a bit of a gimmick, and this is no exception. Rather than infusing all the botanicals into the gin together, they distill a batch with each individual botanical, then blend them before bottling.
Citrus peel and anise jump out of the glass before your nose even gets near it. Owing to the ABV, it starts a little hot on the palate, but patience is rewarded with warm spices (they’re tight-lipped, but I’m guessing cinnamon and cardamom play a big part) and just a hint of juniper.
Nothing wrong with mixing Leopold Bros. Navy Strength Gin into an Aviation or a Last Word, but you’re better off just diluting it a bit in a straightforward gin and tonic or Tom Collins.
— 57% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★