The newly-released Reserve Gin from French brand Citadelle is a throwback to the days when gin was still transported in wooden barrels, and subsequently aged. In the case of Citadelle Reserve, it’s been rested for five months in five different wooden barrels: Acacia, Mulberry, Cherry, Chestnut and French Oak. Afterward, the liquid from said barrels is blended together in a giant wooden egg—which is pretty fun to imagine—and a point of distinction from prior year releases.
Citadelle Reserve Gin itself is the faintest of faint golds, and has juniper, orange peel, and a bit of black pepper on the nose. It’s creamy and viscous on the palate, and kicks off with a light, lemony citrus that turns to orange peel as its grows stronger. It’s not initially hot or juniper-forward, but spice and juniper patiently build themselves up as the experience continues, climaxing in a bone-dry, slow-burn finish that’s pure juniper. It’s not so much a juniper bomb as it is a juniper time bomb, and folks with a taste for that most essential of gin botanicals will rejoice.
That slow-burner nature also translates to a Gin and Tonic (made with soda and 3/4 ounce of Jack Rudy tonic syrup). The gin doesn’t rise too much above the tonic, but it does deliver a small undercurrent of citrus and pine if you’re paying attention.
— 45.2% ABV