Review: Malfy Gin Rosa and Gin Con Arancia
About a year ago we reviewed a gin called Malfy, which hails from Italy. Malfy’s first expression (which we haven’t actually covered) is flavored with lemons, while a more traditional “Originale” came shortly thereafter. Today we’re looking at two new expressions, Gin Rosa and Gin Con Arancia.
For a little backstory and a bit more detail on the two new distillates:
Italy is considered the birthplace of gin, invented by monks on the Salerno Coast in the 11th century. Malfy Gin is produced at family-owned Torino Distillati (est. 1906), just outside of Turin, an area famed for its production of wine and spirits.
Malfy Gin Rosa and Malfy Con Arancia are two exciting new products which continue to celebrate Italian heritage, produce and technique. Master distillers, duo Beppe Ronco and Denis Muni are confident that the finished result for each new expression is uniquely fulfilling.
Malfy Gin Rosa is a fresh and bright gin distilled using the peel of sun-ripened Sicilian pink grapefruits, grown in citrus groves on the Mediterranean coast where the mountains greet the sea. It is then combined with the finest Italian juniper and infused in Italian grain spirit for 36 hours. Five additional botanicals: lemon peel, grapefruit peel, angelica root, orris root and coriander are then expertly distilled in a stainless-steel vacuum still for five hours. The result is a pale, pink gin bursting with fresh, citrus notes.
Of Rosa, Elwyn Gladstone, founder and owner of Biggar & Leith, the owners of Malfy Gin says: “We also add in a small amount of Rhubarb distillate. Rabarbaro (Rhubarb) is an Italian specialty – and is used a great deal in famous Italian drinks such as Aperol – it rounds the flavor and gives some nice complexity with the other botanicals such as juniper and coriander (which is an excellent botanical for making the citrus flavor come forward – and thus we use lots of it!)”
Malfy Con Arancia is the first of its kind – it is distilled with Sicilian blood oranges which have been awarded Protected Geographical Status. Using the same distillation method as Rosa, the Sicilian blood oranges are combined with Italian juniper and infused with Italian grain spirit for 36 hours, before five additional botanicals are added then distilled in a stainless-steel vacuum still for five hours. The result is a vibrant, dark orange-colored gin bursting with zesty, citrus notes.
Of the Con Arancia, Ronco says: “We have created a completely unique taste profile bursting with citrus flavors throughout. The experience begins with orange blossom enveloping the nose whilst on the palate crisp, citrus-forward, raspberry-like flavors are nicely balanced by classic herbal notes. To finish, a final burst of sweet orange zest offers a surprisingly smooth, well-rounded mouth-feel.”
Let’s taste ’em. Both are bottled at 82 proof.
Malfy Gin Rosa – Made not with roses, but grapefruits and rhubarb, which give it a nicely pink hue. The nose is huge with grapefruit peel notes, with notes of lemon peel, white flowers, and — eventually — some juniper make themselves known. The palate is again big with grapefruit, lightly sweet but quote drying after that initial sugar fades, here showing more of the classic herbal notes of gin, including coriander and an interesting thyme character, leading to a lightly bitter, palate-cleansing finish. B+
Malfy Gin Con Arancia – The blood orange version of the gin is brightly pink in color. The nose is quite sweet and citrusy, a mix of tangerine and that curious thyme character, while the palate is more clearly orange-focused, come across as something closer to an orange-flavored vodka than a gin. The sweetness takes on a more caramel-heavy note on the back end, which pumps up the sweetness to the point where it makes the gin feel almost like a triple sec. Odd stuff, though far from awful. B
each $30 / malfygin.com