Citadelle Gin comes from the House of Cognac Ferrand, one of those more innovative distilleries and the makers of Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Plantation Rum, Citadelle Gin and a handful of other spirits. Proprietor Alexandre Gabriel has been experimenting with aged gin since 2008 when he first released Citadelle Reserve. But now he’s unveiled Citadelle Gin Reserve Solera 2013, the world’s first solera-aged gin.
This new product begins its life as unaged Citadelle Gin, but then it experiences a unique aging process that employs the use of three different barrels: 1) ex cognac casks, 2) ex Pineau des Charente casks and 3) American oak. The gin is aged for between two and five months, with the three barrels then married together in a solera vat before bottling. At the time of bottling, only half of the vat is emptied. The residual is left over to blend with the incoming gin, a process used to ensure consistency among batches.
So after all that, how does it taste? Pretty damn good. The Citadelle Gin Reserve Solera 2013 pours light yellow in the glass. On the nose, it’s fresh and aromatic with juniper, coriander and citrus. Up front it’s a lot like the unaged Citadelle Gin, but there’s a hint of oak and spices from those barrels. Take a sip and that’s where things get really interesting. It’s soft on the palate with flavors ranging from juniper and citrus oils to mild vanilla, pepper, cinnamon and flowery notes. It finishes long and dry, with intense flavors lingering to the very end.
This solera-aged gin is a fine update to the vintage-dated Citadelle Reserve lineup. While being the world’s first solera-aged gin is a nice talking point, this one’s more than just a gimmick. The balance of flavors from start to finish — along with the obvious skill that goes into producing it — make the Citadelle Gin Reserve Solera 2013 a product worth seeking out.
– 44% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★