I’ve tried and reviewed a growing number of Gins, most of which are from the UK, but with a few being from further afield.
This months ‘Gin of the Month’ however is from somewhere quite different – Serbia
Firstly I have to admit to knowing very little about Serbia, its one of a small number of countries that I’ve never travelled to. In fact the only thing I knew about it, was it is where the captain of Crystal Palace (whom I support), comes from.
But now there’s a new fact in my locker about the country – it apparently grows some amazing Juniper – so that begs the question on – why would it not produce gin!!
Juni 93 is a product that utilises what they describe, as some of the best Junipers in the world, they set up their distillery in Serbia itself, rather than ship the fresh product all the way back to the UK.
The berries are handpicked and sorted, before being left and hand turned, in the serbian hot air, to dry them out. They really are the star of the show and the bottle states this is a big way with its design, which I love.
Along with the Serbian Juniper, the Gin also utilizes a number of other locally grown and hand gathered botanicals including organically grown Lavender as well as Elderflower and Elderberries.
These are combined with others bought in from local farmers, such as Coriander Seeds, Lemon’s, Orris Root and Cornelian Cherry, the later being similar to a sour cherry or cranberry.
Juni is all about making Gin how it should be, with Juniper playing the lead part, but this months Gin of the Month takes that concept, just one step further.
They have taken their London Dry and decided to cask age some of it. However rather than using any old barrel and in keeping with their original ethos, it is aged in Juniper Wood, to enhance that Juniper flavour even more.
The resulting Gin is one that gives a really inviting hit of Juniper on the nose, less smoky or peaty than other cask aged gins I have tried.
When tasted neat, the Juniper continues on the palette, with a smoothness and texture that I can only assume is produced from the ageing. It doesnt taste overly strong in alcohol, which is surprising given its 46.5% vol.
Following up the Juniper flavour, is an element of eucalyptus and pine.
I then mixed with a light tonic, which opened up the flavours even more. The more delicate flavours start to be more noticeable, such as lavender and the sweets/dryness of cornelian cherries. The tonic also starts to bring out a hint of elderflower.
Next up I try the gin as a recommended serve – with the light tonic and finished off with some bitters. This compliments the gin perfectly, without it taking away from the complex flavours that are in the this gin.
I’m not sure how much added wow that cask ageing being to this gin having not tried the original, but I doubt this amount of depth of flavours and complexity would be possible without this part of the process.
The use of Juniper wood in the ageing process clearly leads to this gin being juniper rich, whilst still smooth and balanced at the same time.
This is definitely a gin worth trying if you like the taste of ‘Real Gin.
Juni also has a Gin Lab and Restaurant/Bar in Nottingham where you can not only try their gins, but also combine them with some southeastern European food from their menu. Ive not tried it myself, but I have recently read a review from Ria Amber Tesia and it sounds great – although she states she isn’t into Gin – What’s that about?! – You can read her review on her site here.
This is somewhere I might just have to visit the next time I’m in the area!
Juni 93 Cask Aged was sent for to me to try and review. The review, thoughts and opinions are my own and honest in keeping with all gins chosen for the Gin of the Month features.
If you would like your gin considered for a review on the website, then please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org