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The story of Citadelle Gin as we know it today began in 1980’s, but the brand is steeped in history that dates much further back. The original recipe for Citadelle Gin was developed by a distillery in Dunkirk in 1771 (at the time an important port for the spice trade). In 1775, Louis XVI authorized two Frenchmen, Carpeau and Stival, to open a distillery making genièvre at the Citadelle of Dunkirk, which soon became a royal distillery with an exclusive 20-year charter. The two founders had 12 traditional copper pot stills made for the distillery, allegedly the first of its type in France.

Skip forward a few hundred years, Citadelle Gin is now produced in Cognac, the birthplace of another fine spirit and home to a few other French gins. In the Late 1980’s Alexandre Gabriel decided it was time to distil a gin and began doing research, pillaging through old records and files in Flanders and then developing a modern plan to distil gin at the Pierre Ferrand Cognac distillery. After coming across the story of Citadelle Gin, Alexandre decided that a gin bottled under the Citadelle name and distilled in a similar way to that of the original, produced after more than a century’s absence, would be befitting of his vision of bringing back excitement and diversity back to the gin category.

Citadelle Gin -

On the nose, juniper is prominent with orange loosely behind along with a refreshing green note from the cardamom in the mix. To taste, juniper and citrus are again apparent upfront with a dry, peppery finish. The overall impression is of a zesty gin that would work well in a host of different cocktails.

Read our full review here: Citadelle Gin

Citadelle Réserve Gin -

For Citadelle Réserve Gin, Gabriel uses a SOLERA aging technique. Solera aging process is most frequently used for sherry, Madeira, Spanish brandy and rums. While a few companies are barrel-aging gin now, none are using the Solera method.

The Solera aging method used for Citadelle Réserve is a very intensive process of putting gin into different type casks for a anywhere from 2 to 5 months and will include American oak cask (to impart a touch of vanilla sweetness) with casks that once held Pineau de Charente (for a full-bodied, flowery roundness) and also Brandy (which imparts elegance). Once the gin has spent some time in casks, a portion of the gin from each cask is moved into a large vat for blending and new gin will be added to the remaining gin in the cask.

Citadelle Réserve Gin harnesses all these different casks and differences in maturation time, with complex notes of spice, cedar and fresh herbs. Phenomenal in a Negroni.

Read our full review here: Citadelle Reserve Gin

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