genius ginGenius Gin hails from Austin, TX, where the relative newcomer is making two gins as two different proofs — a standard 45% ABV and a navy strength 57% ABV. Genius Gin is creating their product entirely in-house, rather than sourcing their neutral spirit from elsewhere and then manipulating it. To produce their gin, the company first distills a neutral spirit from sugar, rather than the more traditional choice of grain. That spirit then undergoes a two-part infusion process. First, a handful of botanicals (elderflower, lavender, lime peel, angelica root) are cold-steeped for 72 hours. Then, this mix is distilled again in a hot process that pushes vapors through the remaining botanicals (juniper, cardamom, coriander). The result: this stuff.

Genius Gin Standard Strength
On the nose, the standard strength gin is full of fragrant juniper, citrus and some sugary sweetness. Take a sip and things move intensely peppery and floral, with mouth-coating flavors of cardamom, lime peel and lavender. It’s warm and earthy with an underlying vanilla note that eventually fades into a dry finish. It’s not subtle by any means, but it’s not the juniper-packed wallop of classic gins like Tanqueray.

CE Rating: ★★★

Genius Gin Navy Strength
This version is a close cousin to the standard strength, but it eschews some of that sweetness for brighter botanicals. On the nose, there’s juniper and some lavender, but the sweet vanilla has mostly disappeared. The mouthfeel is rich and oily, coating the tongue with peppery spice, cardamom and citrus. The higher proof is evident, as the navy strength gin is hotter than the standard strength expression. It finishes dry with juniper, lavender and just a touch of earthy sweetness at the end. This one is actually quite sippable, if you’re into sipping 114 proof gin. But the higher proof should stand up nicely in cocktails, and that’s where this gin will likely find its mark.

CE Rating: ★★★

For now, Genius Gin is only available in Texas.

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