Empress 1908 Gin

Distilled Gin

Empress 1908 // British Columbia, Canada

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  1. FartKing

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
  2. PapaChat

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Microbrasserie Le Prospecteur
  3. geologyjane

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Well, fellow whisk(e)y hounds, I am keeping this interesting and mixing things up on you. Literally and figuratively. I’m also getting very behind on my reviews. As far as imbibments go, whisk(e)y holds the closest place to my heart. I would like to think I have a fairly refined palate for whisk(e)y, but I dabble in other spirits too. Gin is probably next on that list. Just as there was the craze for craft beer, and then craze for whisky, there’s a resurgence in gin’s popularity. Gin is incredibly diverse and flexible, and in many cases you can very nearly make it on demand (no waiting in barrels for years on end required...). So perhaps it’s a renaissance for gin or perhaps it’s a newfound ability to find things made just the way you like. Enter Empress 1908. A strikingly attractive, indigo gin that appears to have the makings of a gimmick. Especially when you hear it can change color in cocktails (yes - it can change colors - more on that later). But it has that understated label and elegant copper bottle top. And they use organic botanicals, non-GMO corn, and a 240-gallon copper-pot still, so maybe it’s not such a gimmick after all? So the color - yes, it’s (science* - yay!) completely natural and comes from the petals of the butterfly pea flower. And it’s that striking hue because of the presence of concentrated anthocyanins in the petals (anthocyanins - the things that make blueberries blue and eggplants purple, among other things). I have been known to hop in the car and drive an hour to get butterfly pea flower bubble tea so of course I was going to enthusiastically jump at the chance to pick up a butterfly pea flower infused gin. Nose: Strong earth with citrus and floral. To my nose, the butterfly pea flower provides a backbone for this regal-appearing gin, upon which juniper, coriander, and pith mingle. It’s musky, rich, and delicate. Palate: It largely mirrors the nose, with the floral notes appearing first, followed by the earthy, herbal, and spicy aromatics. The mouthfeel is a bit light but rounded and lush, with a nice balance between the sweetness and velvety tannins. Finish: Sweet with the astringency of a very fine cup of black tea and a bit of aromatic spice. The welcome earthy notes linger the longest. This is not the most complex gin you will encounter, but it is dichotomous with its wildly modern, vibrant indigo hue and fairly traditional flavor profile. I am admittedly biased (but then again, taste is subjective so we are all a bit biased) because I really enjoy butterfly pea flower tea (my love affair with Southeast Asian cuisine began long before this gin was born). I also find this more earthy and grounding than many other gins. And there’s the science bit. If you’re a fan of rich and earthy or ostentatious gins, and you can find this for about $30-$35 a bottle (or find a half-bottle), I recommend giving it a swirl. 4.25 ~ 90 ~ Excellent. Keep a bottle around. *In case you were wondering, this tastes wonderful neat (how this tasting was performed) but also works well in cocktails complementary to this profile. If you’re in the mood for something mixed, I suggest a gin and tonic with a high-quality tonic and grapefruit, or in an audaciously-hued martini. I haven’t tried it yet because I can’t find the Kina or Suze, but I also hear it makes an excellent white negroni (more like violet negroni). And lastly, as promised, just like those titrations we’d do back in chemistry lab, if you lower the pH of the anthocyanins (more specifically, several delphinidin derivatives) they change from a deep indigo-blue to violet-pink. Depending on what you mix with this gin, you can also get it to turn ruby red or aquamarine. Completely naturally - no lab-synthesized dyes. **Also, on a side note, Empress 1908 is Canadian. Another awesome thing Canadians created was Spirit of the Wood cider. I’ll never get to review it here because it’s cider, but it is weird and delicious because it’s a dry cider aged in gin barrels with spent gin botanicals. It’s pretty delicious stuff and pairs perfectly with the outdoors. Props for the cool bottle design too. Also recommended.
    30.0 USD per Bottle
  4. martins83

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  5. jeremysutherland16

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Incredibly smooth, almost velvety mouthfeel. Despite the overwhelming grapefruit nose, the palate leans hard on the floral with an extremely pleasant spice kick in the finish. Paired with some grapefruit (their suggestion) or lime (more traditional), this is a well-balanced, delicate, and FUN gin for a g&t. And their website is beautiful- check out all the colors they manage to get out of this drink!
  6. Duong-Thuy-Vu

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  7. doki

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  8. balthier512

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
  9. gpak

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
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