Ginetic is a dry gin from France, made using Charentais stills which evolved from the Cognac region in the early XVI century.
Price: ~ £27
Distilled and bottled in France, there is little to be found about Ginetic gin beyond the minimal sales blurb. Made using a double-distillation method, after being are macerated in 40° neutral grain alcohol each botanical is distilled separately in Charentais stills (the same kind used to produce Cognac). The blend is then gently heated in a bain-marie, to allow the vapours to soak up the unique flavours. Unfortunately that’s about all I can find.
The bottle is a tall cylinder with sloped shoulder, wide neck and broad lip, topped with a nice, hefty wooden stopper. On the front is an round-ish label with an ‘O’ shaped design. In the middle, in gold on white background is the name of the gin, and around that a very quirky depiction of hot-air balloons, flowers, a flapper girl on a bicycle, a top hat pugilist, and a moustachioed gentleman with a bird on his shoulder. The contrasting colours and styles make it looks a little Monty Python-esque. Beneath that is a little label with the detail about the Charentais stills, and ABV, while a transparent label on the back give a little more info on the botanicals. Overall it’s interesting but misses the mark for me.
On the nose Ginetic has a fruity, almost vegetal profile, sweet but heavily plant-based. Running alongside that is the cinchona bark, with a very strong note of oiled wood. It’s like walking into a clean woodshop from the kitchen garden. I don’t get much juniper, or indeed any of the typical dry gin tones other than perhaps a hint of warm citrus flesh, so while not unpleasant it is certainly very unusual.
Neat the profile of fresh young wood continues with a very oily, fragrant, almost medicinal but undoubtedly wooden flavour coming through in a big way. There is a hint of spice at the back with a little tang of citrus and some green, vegetal notes, helping bulk out the profile and provide some faintly familiar flavours, but it all comes back round to soft, aromatic notes of wood and bark.
Water does nothing but intensify the fragrant, mentholic, aromatic, oily wood flavour. It’s really quite remarkable in a way. There’s an intense perfumed element to it, and it’s almost like the bark has been left to soak up all the other flavours, which have then been squeezed back out and bottled. It has to be tried to be believed.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Franklin & Sons Indian Tonic with an orange wedge to garnish). The result is much as expected though strangely appealing. The flavour from the gin has not transformed in any way, but I do think the tonic has broadened its appeal, if only slightly. It’s somehow both more and less of the same, more of the flavours from before, more of the intense, oily young wood, more of the green tones, the dry, fragrant bark with hints of spice, but at the same time less of the same. Less of the concentrated aromatic woodchips, less of the overwhelming profile. The tonic accentuates and pulls back the flavours in all the right ways.
Ginetic is possibly the strangest gin I’ve ever tried that I liked enough to drink. My first impression is that this is absolutely not a crowdpleaser. I can very easily imagine a lot of people will not enjoy this and I wouldn’t not call them wrong, especially when there is a lifetime of gins out there. There will be a few, like me I think, who will be able to appreciate what the makers have tried to achieve, and enjoy it for what it is, which is probably not a gin, but a unique spirit. And then I think there will be a yet smaller number of folks who love it, and in a way I would not call them wrong either! So is it a gin? I would struggle to say yes. Is it interesting? Absolutely. But interesting is meaningless as a quantification of flavour, and so I must score it as the gin it purports to be. I can only say that I am confident in my description of the flavour you will experience, and if you like the sound of it, you will most likely enjoy the taste, and if not, you almost certainly will not.
One final note to say that there are bits floating in this bottle of gin, and I cannot say whether that is a one-off bottling issue, or a general trait of the gin. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it has an impact on the flavour, and it’s not something that bothers me, but might be something others may want to check first.
Add at least 1 feather if you love unique but extremely strong, natural woody flavours.
Ginetic is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.