Another review for a Northern German gin today: Meet the Calluna Gin from Bad Bevensen by the Spirituosenmanufaktur Eggert. The Gin is subtitled the gin from the Lüneburger Heide / Lüneburg Heath (The nature park with vast heath areas between Hamburg, Lüneburg and Celle).
You might have seen heath when in full blossom: It has a vibrant color, pink, and especially in the morning hours and in the golden hour these fields of pink are exploding with colour.
Now the gin makes good use of this and comes with a label that features the same color scheme and obviously uses some botanicals from the area. Actually juniper is a native plant to the area and the Knut Hansen Gin uses local juniper from the Lüneburg Heath as well.
The gin comes with 43 % ABV and at a reasonable price of just below 20 Euros at the local supermarket. In times of gins clocking in at 30 plus Euros this is a welcome surprise and a thing that has conditioned me to be a bit careful at the same time. But let's push those predispositions aside and focus on the botanicals and taste.
In addition to the local juniper the label tells us a bit more:
- hibiscus blossoms
- rose blossoms
Tasting the Calluna Lüneburger Heide Gin
What could this taste like I was wondering. To be honest with you reading rose (yay!) and lavender (well …) made me very approach this gin extremely careful. This could be a soap taste massacre.
Very smooth. Nice. A freshness and mild alcohol and fruityness greet me. And then I get a touch of rose. But not the way rose can be, cheap smelling rose-perfumed products have that disgraceful scent, but in a delicious way. If you have had rose jam you know what I am talking about. I am in love at this point, especially as the lavender is barely noticeable at first. Behind the rose and fruit hides some juniper, maybe even the heath.
After a mild nose I am really kicked in the taste-buds. Spice in full force, juniper takes control at this point and delivers the core taste. Rose and lavender come back after the first "attack" and linger circling around the juniper. Rose is the louder botanical kid here.
As you can imagine the aftertaste has some rose business going on as well. This is paired with the mild spice of juniper and rather short to medium long. Pleasant and far less sweet than expected.
The spice attack simply does not happen with ice. A few drops of melted ice water take of the edge entirely. The rest of the profile remains identical.
Summary and GinGinGin rating
What a pleasant surprise when you find a gin at a decent price and it does not let you down. This one is not as sweet as one might expect and the lack of really nice product design might be the reason for a decent price and the weakness at the same time. But let's not wake up sleeping dogs thinking about raising the price.
If you are in for a gin that is not too sweet and still packs fruit and rose this one is for you. Especially cocktails with misted rose water and the alikes might hugely benefit from this gin. When I get more into cocktails I will remember this gin. Personally I like gins with a lot going on. This one has something going on and since it uses roses and has a good price I conclude:
The GinGinGin rating is a 4.5/6.