Monopolowa Vienna Dry Gin - anybody tried it?
Summertime, and gin is the liquor of choice in the Barnes household. G&Ts, gimlets, negronis, americanos, and of course martinis (like Papa, they make me feel civilized). I saw this stuff at Trader Joe's today. Made in Vienna from potato spirits, by the same folks as Monopolowa vodka.
At this year's shows it did better than the old standbys - Best of Class at the 2009 NY Spirits show and Double Gold at the 2009 SF World Spirits Competition. At $10/bottle, it's like a small risk to take, but I was wondering if any Hounds have tried it, and, if so, their impressions...
Well, in the absence of other input, I snagged a bottle. Tasted it side-by-side with the last ounce of a bottle of Beefeater (my go-to), with just a little water. Here's my take...
The botanicals are characteristic of London Dry Gin - juniper, anise, citrus peel, maybe a little coriander, etc. - and the balance is traditional (no Hendricksesque emphasis on odd things like rose petals or cucumber). The flavor is on the subtle side; more Bombay Sapphire than Junipero. The mouthfeel is a little viscous. The finish is fairly smooth, with maybe just a touch of sweetness.
All in all, this is a very good gin. A significant step up from the Gordons we get in the US. And at the price - $10 for a liter - it's an absolute steal. I personally prefer a more assertive flavor profile, but this is quite pleasant stuff. I think it might get lost in a gin & tonic, and presume that it will make a solid if understated martini. Will report back after trying it in a few cocktails.