Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin

| October 23, 2012

Premium Gin along with Spiced Rum seems to be the fastest growing segment of the spirits market and the latest to enter this space is the Sonoma based Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin. Uncle Val is in fact Zio Valerio, who lives in Lucca, Italy, and the botanicals are inspired by those found in his garden, which are also used in his cooking.

To be more specific, the prime ingredients used in Uncle Val are juniper, lemon,cucumber, sage and lavender. Each bottle is hand-numbered and carefully placed in cases, each only carrying 6 bottles.

Juniper is of course the prime ingredient in gin, lemon provides the citrus crispiness needed, cucumber adds a cooling effect to the taste, sage brings a calming effect and lavender brings a floral sensation. However, what I am unable to discern is where the water comes from in the distilling process. Speaking of distilling, the gin is distilled five times from grain. There is also a strong hint of lime in the gin, and if like me you are almost obsessed with the taste of lime, then Uncle Val will be a gin you will want to try.

The design of the bottle is also interesting and also emanating from Italy. Based on bitters bottles from the 18th and 19th century, it has tapered shoulders and a dark green hue. The illustration of Uncle Val on the bottle is classic Roman style, and the whole look is a tribute to old time craftsmanship, which luckily, is still alive in much of Italy.

Tasting notes I scribbled down while trying this goodie indicated sage and juniper, then some lemon with a hint of lavender and then the cucumber starts to take effect.