Xoriguer Mahon Gin, Menorca.

A couple of years ago at a former job I wrote an email to a colleague titled “Cool distillates that you can’t find in Massachusetts”.  About a month later, one of my sales reps pulled this jug like bottle out of his sales bag and I immediately exclaimed, “I’ll take it!” chuckling to myself about the inside joke. Of course I did taste and review the pricing but it was something that though on the higher end of the spectrum, I knew I could sell.

Anyone wanting to sell wine and spirits at premium price points needs a story, but first of all it should taste very good! Mahon comes out guns blazing in both departments.

With the Gin craze taking hold in the craft spirits world there is a new Gin brand/distillery coming from seemingly anywhere; Montana to Iceland and South Africa. It is becoming increasingly regular for traditional Italian grappa distilleries to add a Gin to their portfolio. This is not part of that trend. Its roots harken to the British tradition, going back to the 1700s when the English Navy was taking hold of various Mediterranean Islands; in this case Menorca. If you are wondering where that is, it is the smaller of the Balearic Islands of Ibiza clubs and beach fame.

Apparently at the time it would not have been uncommon for some small distilleries to pop up to quench the sailors thirst, and it isn’t too hard either to understand that after a few hundred years those have all but disappeared. Except Xoriguer. Xoriguer has continued pumping out Gin in what we call today a micro distillery. I have not been there but I hear it is still done on a wood fired copper pot still! (If that does not excite you, you are not a spirits nerd). What first intrigued me organoleptically is the noticeably gentle, aromatic base which is due to being from an aromatic white wine base, Xarello, Macabeo, Parellada of the renowned Cava (majority of it being made on the Catalonian mainland). The botanicals come from the Catalonian Pyrenees which in the end creates this unique beverage that includes ingredients from around forested Andorra to the beach island of Menorca, all in a bottle of time-tested Gin.

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