Larios is the top selling gin in Spain and Larios 12 is the premium edition with, as you guessed it, 12 botanicals in a blend of five distillations.
Price: ~ £21
I won’t lie, I bought this because it was on offer at £15 in the run-up to Christmas. I’ve had the original Larios (bought at duty free) and it worked well enough in citrusy cocktails, so I was only too happy to give this a try.
The bottle is a lovely, deep blue colour with an elegantly designed front label. I’m not so fond of the contrasting orange, I think a classier colour could have been used (has anything classy ever been the colour orange?!) but given the amount of orangey citrus in the list of botanicals I can see why they went for it!
There’s an initial aroma of juniper, which quickly develops into sweet orange. So sweet it’s like orange fondant. After that there’s no turning back really and though there are hints of juniper and coriander, it’s a bit of work to get to them! For me it’s overly sweet smelling, like I’m about to drink a liqueur.
Neat, there’s a lot of orange flavour, as you’d probably expect! It’s nowhere near as cloying as the aroma suggests it might be, but it’s still very sweet and citrusy. The juniper fights its way through eventually, and there’s a good amount of it at the back of the tongue, but I’m still left with a sense of sickliness from all the orange notes. In fact you almost want to try to bypass the front of the tongue to skip the sweet receptors a bit.
With water, the sweetness is dissipated but the orange still overpowers the rest. I had hoped the water would bring through the more sour notes, which it does, but not in a way that enhances the drink, unfortunately.
Finally, I tried it in a G&T. It’s nice, the orange blends well and all the sickly sweet flavour dissipates so that it becomes a pleasantly refreshing drink. I can imagine this going down very well in warmer weather! Still, beyond the orange and tonic there’s very little to taste here.
Depending on how much you like your citrus (and I do, just not this much!) you might really love this. In terms of the quality of the liquid, there’s nothing to complain about, it’s smooth and easy to drink, but for me there’s a sickliness to it I can’t get past and it’s never better than ‘okay’. My brain just tells me I’m drinking an orange liqueur, and there’s not much call for that unless it’s mixed with a few things!
Add up to 1 Feather if you particularly like sweet, orange citrus gins.
Larios 12 is available online and in some Supermarkets
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.