Six Dogs Distillery Karoo Gin Review by Nick International
Gin is one of life’s simplest pleasures and my favourite spirit. My staple cocktail is a classic gin and tonic. My favorite prohibition-era cocktail is the French 75. I wouldn’t call myself a gin expert, but I know a top quality gin when I taste one. A truly sublime gin is one where the last botanical infusion is the passion of the distiller. I’ve found a few such gins, but today the showstopper is Six Dog’s Distillery’s Karoo Gin.
One of the most remarkable things about this gin is that it is incredibly misleading on the nose. A whiff of this alchemical gin won’t register the flavours you’re about to experience on your first taste. I had to do a little research to find out exactly what Karoo was and what to expect in terms of flavour. Karoo, as it turns out, is a region in South Africa, and also a succulent, in the same family as aloe, sisal and cacti. Never having tasted it, smelled it, or known of its existence before though – googling honestly didn’t help much.
Sipped over ice, there was an immediate conflict between my taste buds and my brain. Remember, I said a whiff wouldn’t disclose the flavours. What toyed with my mind was that the first four botanicals came to the forefront from the first sip, as though positioning themselves at the vanguard leading the battalion of piquancy. Other than the juniper berries, I didn’t pinpoint any of the lead essences on the nose. The juniper stands strong and proud, but the lavender is a strong second in command and is rambunctious. The taste of citrus follows in quick time and in sync with the charm of mandarins, or clemengolds.
I’ve had many gins infused with chamomile, but none that captured the purity of such a subtle flavour quite so well. Along with angelica, the second wave of flavour lulls you like a palatable melody perfectly in tune with the command of the Karoo essence which is the maestro of this frabjous gin symphony.
Out of 5, I would award this gin a 4. It is beautifully simple, and elegant to taste. The flavours are bold and meander their way in clusters along the path to the Karoo. It pairs exceptionally well with good quality Indian Tonic (I recommend Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic), but having tried it with Mediterranean tonic (Fever Tree Mediterranean is my go-to) this gin displayed tremendous adaptability.
Six Dog’s Karoo Gin is available locally (The Bahamas) from Springbok Company Ltd.
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