Review: Fleurette Gins and Fylleangst Aquavit
New Alchemy Distilling is a craft producer based in the El Dorado Hills of California, where, with nary a barrel in sight, it focuses on (mostly) white spirits — vodka, gin, white whiskey, and even aquavit.
The company produces a collection of six different spirits, three of which we look at here. Let’s dig in!
Fleurette Gin – Vapor distilled with 11 botanicals, including violet, chamomile, iris, elderflower, lavender, and juniper. That’s a lot of florals — and the inclusion of violet is particularly interesting — and the flowery character is evident from the start. The nose is highly floral and perfumed, with notes of chamomile and lavender particularly heavy. The juniper is dialed back (way back), and this theme continues on the palate, where floral notes overpower the more traditional herbal character typically expected in gin. Some sweetness builds on the finish, where touches of citrus and more of a rose petal character emerge and linger for a spell. Only at the end of the experience do some of the more traditionally earthy iconic gin elements begin to show themselves. Fun, light stuff — and versatile. 92 proof. A- / $40
Fleurette Vermillion Gin – This appears to be the same gin as Fleurette above, but with the addition of hibiscus flowers to give it some additional flavor and a bright red color. It’s not a sloe gin, but if color’s what you’re after, you might consider it as an alternative. The hibiscus gives the already floral-heavy gin an even bolder punch, with aromas of strawberry and a clear agua de jamaica character. A heavy berry note impregnates the palate, with a stronger floral-meets-berry character, informed lightly by vanilla and chocolate. The finish is driven by a spray of fresh flowers and more of a raspberry note and a spray of sugar syrup. 92 proof. B+ / $46
Fylleangst Aquavit – This is a classic expression of aquavit, and while it’s distilled from a base of wheat and malted rice, with caraway, coriander, cumin, anise, fenugreek, summer savory, and lemongrass, it’s the caraway that overwhelms everything else. The nose is big with rye bread, through and through. On the palate, some indistinct fruit is thrown into the mix, but it’s the caraway that continues the story. The finish is simple and short, but surprisingly clean. If you’re a fan of rye (or classic aquavits), you won’t be disappointed. 85 proof. B / $NA