Considering that India makes some fine single malt whiskies, it only seems natural that a gin from the subcontinent should find its way to our shores. One such gin is Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin, which presents itself in a polished black bottle with gold lettering and a regal-looking coat of arms centered around an irate-looking gazelle.
In fact, this ornate offering—which launched in the U.S. in early 2019—is a product of India’s Radico Khaitan, which also owns the Rampur range of single malt whiskies. The juice used to make Jaisalmer is triple-distilled in copper pot stills at the Rampur distillery, then flavored with 11 botanicals, seven of which have been sourced from across India. Among the domestically sourced botanicals are coriander, vetiver, orange peel, lemon peel, cubub berries, lemongrass, and darjeeling green tea; it also features angelica root, licorice and caraway seeds.
On the nose, Jaisalmer conjures up the expected juniper notes, but they play second-fiddle to a stronger vein of citrus, particularly lemon peel and orange peel. Cracked black pepper and rosemary are also present.
The gin has a light, silky texture on the tongue and starts with bright notes of lemon peel, orange peel, and spearmint that are quickly pulled to earth by coriander and rosemary. The center of the palate sees a burst of black pepper, juniper, and licorice. This spice wave surfs to the finish, where it’s balanced out by the cool, fresh flavors of mint and green tea.
Jaisalmer presents an enticing mix of sweet citrus, crackling spice notes, and refreshing tea flavors that make it a worthy solo sipper. When used in a gin and tonic, those spice notes make their presence felt the most—pepper, caraway seeds, and to a lesser extent, bitter licorice—proving a satisfying counterweight to the tonic’s sweetness.
At $50, Jaisalmer stands on the pricier side of the gin market, but those looking for a novel, well-executed gin that explores new territory won’t mind paying the price.
— 43% ABV