By Tim Murphy
on 7.18.12

Masters of Malt was tired of juniper (the main ingredient by law in all gins) playing second fiddle to botanicals like geranium and cucumber. While the source of grapes has always been a key point of distinction in wines, with variables like climate, rainfall, and soil playing a direct role in a wine’s eventual profile, the origin of juniper berries is largely ignored by gin makers. The Masters developed their new Origin Single Estate Gins ($55) series to reconcile this sad situation.

Each of the four initial batches features juniper berries sourced entirely from specific estates in Albania, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, or Italy. Though each varietal is processed and distilled identically, the puro berry batches create a distinct flavor profile ranging from notes of clean citrus and pine to deeper hints of tobacco and calves’ leather. In short, every bottle was made with the ultimate purist in mind, containing nothing but water, juniper and neutral grain spirit. If you’ve been underwhelmed by trendy gins of late, consider returning to the source.

Check out the tasting notes from Masters of Malt after the jump.

Buy Now: $54

Origin – Arezzo, Italy

Clean citrus and pine, with a really smooth creaminess on the finish. Amazingly long.

Origin – Meppel, The Netherlands

Tobacco and calves’ leather, with an earthy, coffee-rich finish. Much more savory and masculine than the Arezzo.

Origin – Veliki Preslav, Bulgaria

Perfumed, floral notes with a fruity, slightly waxy finish. Put me in mind of a fantastic old Clynelish…

Origin – Valbonë, Albania

Resinous and blackcurrant-y notes, with hints of tobacco and a chocolaty finish. Very rich.