Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Review: Roxor Artisan Gin

Color (5%): Water clear, no legs, no oils. 4/5

Nose (10%): Lovely grapefruit notes. The bitter pith and the citrus oils balance quite nicely. There is some spice coming from the juniper. This is 90-proof, but it doesn't come off as hot. Slight tannic tea notes do appear on the back end. 9/10

Palate (20%): Very clean. Nice and dry. There is almost no sweetness whatsoever on the tip of the tongue. Reflective of starting with grain-neutral spirit. It takes a second, but the citrus oil and spice start dancing in. They make themselves known without being overpowering and offensive. It's a delicate spice for a gin compared to the styles from across the pond. 17/20

Finish (10%): That is dry on the back end. Lots of punch on that first sip, especially. Though I don't often drink gin neat. A few of those cocoa nibs show their face as those fumes dissipate. Some of the tannic hibiscus notes pop up as well. 7/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): It's been a while since I sipped gin neat. This is quite enjoyable. I'd love to try this with a citrus-forward tonic like Fentiman's. This also would do well in a Collins cocktail. It's easy to see the application of this gin in cocktails across the board. How would it work in a martini with some super botanical vermouth or bitters? But with some acid, this plays extremely well with others. 27/30

Retry on Ice (25%): The tea comes out a lot with a bit of ice. The citrus tempers out, and some of those earthy notes spring forth. You get the pecan nuttiness. This has helped me reevaluate my thoughts on cocktail applications. Which flavors do I want to compliment my drink design? The citrus was huge on the nose and tasted neat, but that switches to earth when well chilled. Interesting nuance and evolution. Nice. 23/25

Total Ranking: 87% Legendary, AmazingGreatGood, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $29
Actual Price: $32

Conclusion:  This is a fun little gin I got to try on a United States Bartender's Guild trip. The New Artisan Distillery is in a cute industrial district with charming staff. The head distiller, Robert del Grande, is a James Beard-awarded chef based out of Houston despite the distillery being just outside Dallas. The flavor profile is fresh and vibrant. They openly advertise using fresh, natural ingredients in their gin and other products rather than relying on chemical extracts and concentrates. The sense of art and design showcased at the distillery and in the bottle design is truly impressive. The skyline building by Frank Lloyd Wright was a clear influence on the bottle design. In terms of the juice, it's pretty good. There's a very "American gin" vibe, being very citrus-forward and not overly spiced with juniper. This does exceptionally well for its category and is not excessively expensive. The advertisement of real plants seems unnecessary. As far as I'm aware, most small distilleries I tour use raw natural materials, though I may be a victim of marketing, I guess. This reminds me of Bluecoat and a few other American gin brands. If you're a gin drinker, I definitely recommend sampling this. Once the bottle is gone, I'm not sure if I'll restock, but I in no way regret my purchase. I'm wary of overly unique packaging as I know that cost is passed on to me. I like simple unless it's from a brand turning out high volumes of bottles they can buy in bulk. Knock the price down a few dollars, and I'd keep this in my rotation of gins. The juice is good. 

Fact Sheet:
Distillery location: Dallas, Texas
ABV: 45%

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