Le Gin 1&9, so named due to the nine botanicals that sit alongside juniper, is (unsurprisingly) a French gin, from the Distillerie des Terres Rouges, and has won silver awards at the IWSC.
Price: ~ £31
Quassia Amara (Bitter ash)
Sweet orange peel
I first tried Le Gin at a tasting evening organised at a local wine merchant’s shop, and I was so impressed I bought a bottle there and then. According to what I can find, the art of distillation and the exploration of aromas and flavours is a long and unique tradition at the Distillerie des Terres Rouges, and it shows in the final product. The gin is produced by fractional distillation in special bain-marie copper stills.
The bottle is the familiar shape, with minimal labelling and a pleasant, faint blue hue. It is clean and crisp but otherwise unremarkable.
Le Gin is one of the best smelling gins I have ever encountered. There’s the familiar pine note of the juniper rising from the glass, but it’s almost immediately leapfrogged by an abundance of sweet spice. After that comes a faint, sweet citrus and the whole thing combines to make me think of bubblegum. There’s no burn whatsoever, with lots of cinnamon and ginger, cut a little with the more peppery notes and finished with a soft and sweet orange. It’s utterly divine.
Neat, there’s very little burn and the complexity of flavour is really amazing. Obviously there’s a lot of spice coming through, but it’s all mellow and sweet with a glorious woody aspect. There are hints of fresh coriander, but mostly I get strong notes of apple, like the botanicals are all working together beautifully to create flavours you wouldn’t expect.
With water, the apple flavour comes through even more, bedded up with warm spices, fresh herbs, and citrus. The sourness of the peppers, ginger, and cardamom come through a little bit more, but at no point does anything actually become sour. It’s still warm and fruity, with hints of fresh spices.
Finally, I made a G&T using the London Essence Pomelo and Pink Peppercorn tonic as I thought the bitterness of the pomelo would cut into the sweetness of the gin, and the peppercorns would compliment the other spices. I garnished with a slice of apple as that was one of the flavours I was enjoying so much in the gin. It makes for a wonderfully complex G&T! There’s a lot going on with the sour/bitter aspect of the tonic, and all those warming spices in the gin. It feels like a very grown up drink, and I think the apple still comes through a little, but now a bit more sour. It’s definitely one to savour.
Le Gin 1&9 is, frankly, incredible. It gets better every single time I have it, and I’m always discovering something new. Considering the quality I feel it’s not very well known at all, which is a great shame, so I’m hoping to change that by at least getting the word out to a few people! This gin is absolutely worthy of a spot on anyone’s shelf and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Remove up to 1 feather if you really do not want a sweet gin.
Le Gin 1&9 is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and payed for by the author, unless otherwise stated.