Ungava – Is yellow the new black??

A few weeks ago I was wandering around my local ASDA trying to decide if I wanted to be healthy or not and, as is the usual custom ended up down the alcohol aisle. It’s become a habit of mine that I always give that particular aisle a visit just in case I find something new…or a good gin at a great price…

As I was scanning the shelves a gleam of yellow caught my eye, was this a gin? clearly, someone must have got mixed up a stuck some other spirit in the wrong section. On closer inspection I was wrong…so very, very wrong! It was, in fact, a bottle of Ungava and on even closer inspection, it was a Canadian gin, something I had never had the joy of trying – I had to have it!

The bottle design is…in their own words…

Resolutely contemporary in design, the Ungava bottle offers a sleek shape and clean-cut lines, with thick, pristine glass that highlights the striking natural yellow colour of the gin while evoking the purity of arctic ice. The bottle also features Inuktitut, the Inuit language, and its unique script.

….well I don’t think I could have said it any better!

The botanical used in this gin are as follows:

You’ll first notice that the only traditional botanical we have in there is Juniper, there’s no coriander, Angelica or Orris root insight which, in my opinion, makes it quite unique.

The most interesting to me are the Labrador Tea plant, Crowberry and Arctic blend. The Labrador tea plant and Arctic blend both belong to the Ericaceae family and are found growing natively in the Ungava region.  They are used to give the gin a lovely herbal flavour that is very reminiscent of the herbal tablets you can get from old-fashioned sweet shops. The Crowberry is similar to blueberries and along with the wild rose hips gives the gin a sweet-tart, fruity dimension. The wild rose hips also give the gin a lovely rich golden colour. Finally, the cloudberry contributes more to the herbal pallet of this gin and enhances the golden colour further.

What I like the most about this gin is that, even with the lovely herbal flavours from the Arctic blend and Labrador tea and the sweetness from the Crowberry, you still get a big hit of juniper in the background – which is provided by Nordic Juniper which can be found growing along the coast of Ungava. I also love how the botanicals are all found natively in the Ungava region, it really feels like the distiller has tried to capture the spirit of the Inuit people and the Canadian landscape.

Smell – Juniper and herbal in a complex yet mellow way

Taste neat – Bright with a soft finish; light herbal spice and floral undertones but lacking citrus, with a lovely juniper backbone

In a G&T – Best with a slightly sweet tonic with a light flavour –  I chose a bottle of Franklins and Sons. Garnish wise, I opted for a nice big wedge of grapefruit… it adds a lovely bitter tanginess to the G&T that matches perfectly with the herbal notes.

 Available from: ASDA

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