It it quite common to put all kinds of weird things into a gin these days. And that is exactly what I thought when I looked at the O’live Gin in more detail. But sometimes you get a nice surprise, not just another gin that tries to be different, mainly by not being a gin anymore. Oh, sorry, wait, that’s called New Western these days. Today we are looking at one of those more enjoyable candidates.
The O'live Gin from Belgium was developed by a team of 5 people from the spirits industry over a period of 2 months with lots of trial and error distillation runs. The gin is distilled by a partner of the team whom they work and develop their product with in a close relationship.
A gin with olives in it? Meet O'live gin
As the the name suggests, the olives play an important part in this gin. The olives are being dried, the pits are taken out, and after that being cut. The other main botanical is the juniper of course. The one used in this particular gin is being dried for two years, as I was told this longer drying period makes the juniper less bitter. And that is about it as the rest of the botanicals is a secret. I am very sure that some citrus is involved as well as one can taste that as well.
The taste of this gin is really quite remarkable. It comes in a bottle which reminds me very much of an olive oil bottle and it has this scent when you open the bottle which completes the picture. With the olives not hiding behind the juniper but being present this is a gin for olive lovers for sure.
Distilling and making the O'live Gin
The gin is a fully distilled gin for starters. The botanicals are distilled separately and at different temperatures for the respective aromas to come out in the best fashion and to avoid killing some more fragile scents.
The olives in the gin obviously carry a lot of oil and that is something the team paid attention to as well. They figured out that corn-based alcohol binds the oils a bit better than the grain-based alcohol often used for distillation. So those who react to wheat or rye-based spirits can look into this product with a bit more confidence I guess.
After distillation the gin is brought down to the 40 % ABV bottling and drinking level with water purified with reverse osmosis. One production run yields 2.500 litres.
Tasting the O'live Gin
What you expect from the olive oil style bottle welcomes you when nosing the gin. There is a mix of olives, alcohol, piney freshness and some light fruit, maybe oranges. When you think oil = heavy, stand corrected, this gin has a lightness to it.
The olives come forward when sipped neat, right away. It mixes and dances with the juniper and a warmer sensation comes next. It is super interesting as one gets the heavy warmth at one moment and a light olive and citrus sensation the next moment. Almost like a pendulum going back and forth. A soft bitterness accompanies the gin all the way through. But despite this almost ariadne thread like bitter note the gin is super smooth. One has the feeling of having a super smooth oily texture. The makers certainly did a great job carrying this over.
Warm. Medium long and olive loaded with a comfortable juniper base.
Adding ice and melting water to the gin makes this so much smoother. The spice is reduced to the minimum without loosing the name spice, but the smoothness and olive character is all present.
Summary and GinGinGin rating
O’live GIN was awarded a gold medal at the WWSA or Women’s Wine & Spirits Awards at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge, London. Medals are a thing I usually do not pay too much attention to because some of them are just not worth the time as they are, let's say not really helping customers. But the give you indications nevertheless.
This award is deserved I think. The gin is not a classic gin, by far not. but it is fun to enjoy and work with. Think of Martinis and really Mediterranean Gin & Tonic. Add some rosemary, thyme, some orange and you get a treat.
The GinGinGin transparency declaration
This gin was a free sample by the producer in order for us to review the bottle. There are and were no obligations nor any edits of this content by the producers. Products tasted and reviewed by GinGinGin are all equally treated, paid for or free samples. If we like gins we buy them afterwards as well. If we do not like them you will read about it as well. When people ask if we would like to review a bottle, it is the first thing we mention to them that this does not guarantee a positive review. Get in touch to know more about reviews of gins. #Advertising / #Werbung