Friday Tastings: Nolet's Finest Gins

The Nolet family has been distilling spirits in Schiedam, Holland for 11-generations. Some years ago, they bottled a bit of lightning with a vodka called Ketel One. Now, they’re introducing two new gins to the American market: Nolet’s Silver, and Nolet’s Reserve. Both are notably outside gin’s usual parameters and flavor profile. Silver (previously highlighted in MANual’s recent spring bar story) says “Dry Gin” on the bottle; be skeptical. The Nolets, who don’t like the taste of juniper, have stretched that definition with the use of Turkish rose, peach and raspberry in the botanical recipe. It pops with lush, floral notes. Tanqueray fans may double-take, but Hendrick’s drinkers will be captivated. Certainly it will reinvigorate your repertoire of gin cocktails. Nolet’s Reserve, allotted in highly limited numbers, defies categorization for another reason: it’s presented as the world’s first sipping gin. The spicy, intricate bouquet of saffron and verbena does make for enjoyable sipping—and the $600 price tag makes it unwise to do anything else with it. Both spirits are made in a special-designed gin still, where each botanical is distilled separately and then blended together before bottling. Together, these gins showcase the distiller’s innovation and hubris. We’re thankful for the former, and marvel at the latter.

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