Osmoz Citrus gin is one of a pair from the Vallet family, who have produced cognac for six generations.
Price: ~ £40
Travel back all the way to July 2018, to a Raven eagerly awaiting his next Craft Gin Club delivery. The month prior had been… let us say, not to my tastes, so when I opened the box and saw this inside, relief washed over me.
Osmoz gin, and this, its sister Osmoz Citrus, are distilled from grapes by Laurent Vallet and his wife Elodie. Laurent is a sixth generation cognac producer, so he knows his way around a grape! Interestingly though, a glance at the list of botanicals may not immediately make one think ‘citrus’ though of course there’s every chance the bitter orange and lime are the most heavily used. The idea however was to create a gin that has continuity with the eau-de-vie they produce.
The bottle is a fairly squat cylinder with a rounded shoulder curving up to a wide neck. There’s a deep punt in the base too. It’s subtly different to most gin bottles in shape and I’m a definite fan. On the front, a large label covers almost the entire height, obscuring the punt, which is a shame. The label shows the name up top, then a purple band containing a description of the gin and a list of the botanicals either side. Around the bottom is a nicely illustrated collection of the botanicals, washed in green watercolour. The colours are nicely muted and there’s lots of info without any of it being cluttered so it’s nice. On the back is a smaller label giving a description of the inspiration for the gin, above the usual info. It’s nice, if perhaps a little understated, but I like it.
At 46% this isn’t a gin you need to dive in to! There’s a lovely, creamy juniper that leaps from the glass, mingled with apple and apricot that gives an aromatic, fruity tone. Liquorice is there, and a touch of coriander, so there’s really plenty to be getting on with! As it sits, the apricot pushes forward a little more, backed up by fleshy apple. Underneath it all is that subtle grape base that to my mind always gives the nose an added fruity depth and sweet viscosity. It smells lovely, with the almond I think giving it that slightly creamy texture.
Neat, the liquid is incredibly smooth and soft on the palate, with definite fruit notes at the fore. There’s a lot of flavour to this, and the juniper does an admirable job of keeping pace with all of the different fruits that vie for attention. Once a little more accustomed to the flavours, a bitterness begins to creep through that for me becomes a little distracting, but circling around the tongue there are definite flavours of the apple, linden, and lime, with a touch of clove more in the mouthfeel than flavour. It’s pretty powerful stuff!
Water tones down the intensity of the alcohol and a lot of the brighter fruit notes. It’s quite a lot earthier, with flavour from the base spirit definitely coming through along with a touch of cucumber and a good dose of apple, which is very pleasant. The clove works well here, and with the apple gives a very nice aromatic, stewed fruit flavour. The linden comes across too and it feels almost more grown up than when drunk neat.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Franklin & Sons Indian Tonic with a slice of orange and lime to garnish). The result is a lovely, complex fruity number that really has a lot to offer. There’s plenty of sweetness for folks like me who prefer their G&Ts that way, but there’s still a touch of that dry element, with the citrus definitely coming through. There’s a good bite of apple to be enjoyed, and a hint of the apricot, but overall it’s a more of a group effort than that of any particular botanical. I would like to taste a little more juniper if I’m honest, but the balance of everything else is very well done here. A sweet but refreshing G&T.
For a gin with ‘citrus’ in the name I can’t say I found it particularly so, but it’s a very enjoyable gin regardless and I would definitely like to try the original Osmoz gin too. This has plenty of fruity flavours for those who like such things, and in a G&T all the botanicals come together very well (though as I said before, I would have liked to taste the juniper a little more prominently). Overall I think if you like your gin to have a sense of the orchard about it, this is a very good shout. It’s smooth, full of flavour, and packs a good punch.
Osmoz Citrus is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.