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#16 Citadelle Reserve Gin 2011 Edition (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2015

Citadelle Gin has a history which stretches back to 1775 when King Louis XVI authorized two Frenchmen, Carpeau and Stival, to open a genievre distillery at the Citadelle in Dunkirk, which would serve as the Royal Distillery with an exclusive 20 year privilege.  The Citadelle Distillery produced about 1000 litres of genievre per day which was predominantly shipped in small casks for sale in England, where gin was very popular.

Citadelle Reserve Gin (2011 Edition) SAM_1879About 200 years later in 1989,  Alexandre Gabriel of Cognac Ferrand, recognized that in France, gin had become more of an industrial spirit with much of the heritage and refinement lessened by time. He decided to create a handcrafted gin using small copper pots in the style and tradition of the Citadelle Distillery of old. Fortunately records existed of the old gin making techniques at the Citadelle Distillery, and after several years of research Alexandre Gabriel was successful in distilling an old style handcrafted gin under the Citadelle name. The Gin is produced at the Cognac Ferrand facilities in Cognac, France, and according to the Citadelle Gin website, it is produced under naked flame in small copper pot stills using a complex array of 19 botanicals.

Here is a link to the review of the best gin I have ever tasted, and the #16 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#16 – Citadelle Reserve Gin (2011 Edition)

“… The aroma which drifts upwards is light and elegant, and very appealing. Mild piny notes of juniper seem to lead into the breezes with scents of lemon and balsam arriving almost as quickly. The oak manifests itself as sandalwood with light rye spices which build up as the glass sits. There is also a soothing floral characteristic to the nose which reminds me of  lilacs in the springtime …”


You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

2 Responses to “#16 Citadelle Reserve Gin 2011 Edition (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)”

  1. Chip,
    Was really surprised but pleased to find this made it to No.16 in your list. It is perhaps one of the best Barrel aged (rested?) Gins I have tasted and the producers at Cognac Ferrand are truly world class artisans, I have classified this Gin as one of my top 50 Gins (no mean feat when compared with nearly 800 I have sampled). I had forgotten how nice this tasted in a Martini until I saw this review, thanks for reminding me…now all I have to do is find a bottle (a hard task indeed).
    Regards, David.

    • Thanks David

      I really love the Citadelle aged gin, and for martinis it is absolutely great. It is also one of the few gins I will sip quite contentedly. I hope we run into one another one day, I would love to share some of my gin with you, and perhaps try a few of the brands which you feel are the best. (with you having tasted about 800 or so, I would say your experience far out ranks mine.

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