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What do people think of this local gin?

I'm very curious about it, but a bit reluctant to buy a whole bottle. I would, thus, appreciate comments about how it compares to other established brands (Hendrick's, Tanqueray, Gordon's), and whether it is good in traditional cocktails (gin and tonic, negroni).

I'd also like to know if people have seen it in bars or restaurants.

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  1. I saw this at the SAQ the other day on my trip from Toronto so I picked up a bottle. I noticed that the bottle was a bit wet around the edges after transport so after I saw your thread I decided I mine as well open it up and give it a taste. I am drinking it now as I type this message. I am far from a gin connoisseur but I do enjoy the taste of it. I wouldn't call it a very "mellow" type of gin though, it has a very strong flavour in my opinion. I will have to try it side by side with some other gins to really be able to tell you how it compares but my first gut reaction was that it seemed more "flavourful" then others I recall drinking

    Curious to hear what others think of it.

    Just a word of caution, the seal on the bottle wasn't that great. When I removed the foil the bottle cap wasn't actually fully tight on the bottle.

    1. Much like the Touareg SUV has nothing to do with that Saharan people, I doubt that Ungava has anything to do with northern Quebec. In fact, I would say calling a gin after a region when it has no connection with it is not a very good idea. (or are they claiming the water came from northern climes?)

      3 Replies
      1. re: williej

        I think the connection they are trying to make is that the herbs they use are from that area or can be found in that area.

        I am not sure why the herb names aren't translated on the bottle but they are:

        Nordic Juniper
        Labrador Tea
        Artic Blend
        Wild Rose Hips

        I didn't realize that the company is owned by Domaine Pinnacle though...

        More info here:


        1. re: ylsf

          Thanks. Ah, title makes sense now! Good that they are using local products.

          1. re: williej

            Yes, the inherent nature of the gin makes it so it is easier to customize a recipe for a specific terroir.

      2. (not an expert)
        All I have to say is that it is a good gin; and will buy it instead of an "export".

        1. You know, I have a bottle I bought nearly a year ago and I still haven't opened it. It says nothing about the quality of the beverage and everything about me not drinking that much anymore.

          I have sampled it at a friend's house and thought it was pretty good (hence: purchasing a bottle).

          1. If you are interested in local gin, there is Piger Henricus that is made (and distilled) by Les Distillateurs Subversifs in Longueuil.

            6 Replies
            1. re: EaterBob

              Interessant!! merci

              Will look at that.

                1. re: EaterBob

                  how much does it retail for

                  it's great to learn that the saq is carrying local spirits. are there any others (not limited to gin)?

                  1. re: catroast

                    It isn't quite available in outlets, yet... A case of 6 goes for about $180. You order via the website, it gets delivered to an SAQ near you. If you're not as impatient as I am, I've been told that it will be in SAQ outlets this spring.

                    I also want to get Le Maceron an apple vermouth by Clos de la Montagne so I can make a completely 100% Quebecois Gibson.

              1. re: EaterBob

                Thanks, EaterBob! This looks pretty interesting, and I'll be sure to try it sooner than later.

                Do you know of any bar in Montreal that might carry it?

                1. re: luism

                  A friend brought me a bottle of Piger Henricus the other day. I was at les Douceurs du Marche and picked up a four pack of Fentiman's Tonic Water and must say that after not having had a Gin & Tonic in years I am now hooked.

              2. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and comments. Seems like everybody likes Ungava, so I guess I'll be buying a bottle soon(ish). Will post my impressions then.

                1. So, I finally had a chance of trying Ungava!

                  Last night, I went to Nouveau Palais, and saw that they serve Ungava ($6, I believe); I had mine served with tonic. I must say I did not particularly enjoy it: it didn’t have that lovely juniper taste I was looking for, and the whole thing did not work well with the tonic. On the one hand, I think Ungava just highlighted – in a bad way – the tang of the tonic, and, on the other, I think the tonic may have killed the other floral flavours of Ungava. Ungava might still be good on its own or in different concoctions; but I don’t see it as a good substitute for a more traditional gin – not to my taste, at any rate. If only the bottle were cheaper, I wouldn’t mind buying and experimenting with it; but, as it is, it’s more expensive than traditional gins I’d rather have.

                  While on the subject, I recently had two killer gin and tonics. One was at Café Sardine. This was more elaborate than just gin and tonic, and it took me a while to like it, but then I really loved it. I just don’t know what will happen with their bar, now that they no longer serve dinner. Hopefully, they’ll keep serving drinks and hot dogs; if so, I’ll be there all the time. The other gin and tonic I had was at Maison Publique: this is traditional, just gin and tonic, but they make their own tonic (so does Sardine, IIRC; but MP’s is better). Probably the best I’ve had.

                  Now, if only I could find a killer negroni…

                  1. The distillers have a very good reputation.

                    For my part, I did a small tasting when I initially discovered gins. Did a standard long drink: Gin Tonic (1 1/2 oz in a 14 oz glass, on the rocks, standard schweppes tonic) and a standard short drink: Gilmlet (on the rocks, I like mine a bit more sugary, 1 part gin for 3/4 part Rose's Lime Cordial).

                    The following gins were tasted:

                    Bombay Saphirre
                    Tanqueray 10
                    Beefeater 24
                    Bombay Sapphire

                    It wasn't an elaborate tasting... just a gin party where the goal was to find what was the best liquor for long and short drinks.

                    I found that Ungava did not mix well with the Gin Tonic.I didn't like it with the Gimlet either (the citrus highlight in the gin did not go well with the lime cordial). Some in the party did find it interesting though...

                    Its a good enough gin, probably best used in short drinks needing that extra citrus "kick". Its probably lost on long drinks though.. could probably be a nice base for a martini variant.

                    For the record... my favorite Gins are the following:

                    Long drink (i.e.: Gin Tonic): Bombay Sapphire (it just mixes so well with the Gin and cost a lot less than the premium blands)

                    Short drink (i.e.: Gimlet): Victoria Gin. My all around premium gin favorite.

                    My worst? Citadelle... could not stand it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CaptCrunch

                      Methinks the scientific integrity would've been lost 3-4 samples in. Hahaha