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Levenswater Spring 34 Gin

Review: Levenswater Spring 34 Gin  (80.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on August 3, 2022

Levenswater Gin is produced in Ontario Canada by Niagara Falls Craft Distillery. It is part of a family of spirits which includes Levenswater Spring 34 Gin, Levenswater Harvest Gin as well as the Levenswater Barrel Aged 34 Gin. These spirits are produced from a base distilled from potatoes with botanicals and spices which have been selected to represent the seasonality of the spirit, fall botanicals selected for the Harvest Gin and spring botanicals selected for the Spring 34 Gin.  The Barrel Aged Gin is apparently a version of the Spring 34 Gin which has been aged in oak for 3 months.

This is the review for Levenswater Spring 34 Gin which has been infused with the flavours from with 34 botanicals. The actual botanical  recipe for the gin has not to my knowledge been revealed, but they were apparently inspired by the aromas and spices one encounters in Toronto’s nearby Kensington Market. According to the producer’s website information, we can expect the gin to be uniquely Canadian with spring-like flavours and aromas of lavender, coriander, chamomile and rosemary.

Levenswater Spring 84 Gin is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

The bottle display for the Spring 34 gin is shown to the left. It is in many ways a stellar presentation. The rectangular bottle is attractive, almost imposing compared to other gin bottles on my gin shelf. The clear glass shows us the light colour of the gin as well as attractive graphics which show through the bottle from the other side,

There is unfortunately, one flaw which should be addressed. My bottle of gin contains a fair amount of sediment, which when the bottle is jostled, holds itself in suspension within the gin looking like those tiny little pieces of dust which you can see in a sunbeam. Forgive the pun, but the look is unsettling, especially as there is no indication on the label that this sediment is a natural product of the gin’s production method.

I tried to contact the distillery via their website’s contact page to ask whether the sediment was supposed to be in the bottle as a remnant of their botanical infusion, but my query was (to this point anyway) unanswered.

Unfortunately the small floaters in the gin spoils the look and if I were to encounter the gin in a retail setting it would be enough to cause me to pass over the spirit in favour of another.

In The Glass  7.5/10

Colour:  A very pale orange/brown which apparently represents remnants of colour from the botanical infusion.

Nose: Mild lavender and other floras (chamomile perhaps) combined with spicy coriander and ginger. Juniper, mild licorice-like anise and an earthiness akin to angelica root becoming more focused as I let the glass breathe. Other botanical impressions are hard to ferret out. I might even make the suggestion that things are a little muddled with too many competing components.

In The Mouth  49/60

This is not your typical London Dry style with juniper leading the parade, instead a wallop of punchy spice (both pungent spices like nutmeg and cinnamon as well as spicy coriander and ginger) takes the lead. This is accompanied by a somewhat bitter impression of tree bark as well as mild floral flavours which remind me of rosewater and chamomile. The lavender mentioned upon the producer’s website is reigned in such that the gin does not seem perfume-like. Juniper comes through the back end providing a bitter backbite. Anise is present as well giving us a touch of Ouzo-like licorice with the trailing juniper.

I like that the juniper is just strong enough to make an impression at the end of the swallow. This reminds us that we are drinking gin and not some botanical digestif.

In The Throat  12/15

The finish is where the juniper flavour runs strongest. A small flaw would be the somewhat bitter landing, although this is quickly chased away by a spicy impression of coriander. Perhaps just a touch too much coriander which makes sipping uncomfortable; but which also will be an asset in typical gin cocktails like the gimlet, or the gin and tonic.

The Afterburn  8/10

Levenswater Spring 34 Gin uses a lot of botanicals, and I am not really sure that all of them were necessary especially as spicy coriander seems to be the overriding theme. I did appreciate that the folks at Niagra Falls Distillery had the good sense to hold strong flavours like lavender and chamomile in check such that the juniper could shine at the back end. A firmer juniper flavour throughout the delivery would have been my preference; but I understand that not all gins need to be dominated so firmly by the piny botanical.

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Suggested Cocktail

Cara Cara Oranges are a navel variety orange grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley. They have a bright orange peel, and their interior flesh is distinctively pinkish similar to a grapefruit. The flavour of this orange is unique representing a sort of hybrid mixture of tangerine and traditional navel orange flavour with an unusual (but delightful) sweetness. These flavour characteristics mean the Cara Cara Orange is a great choice for cocktails.

Cara Cara Gin Cocktail

2 oz  Levenswater Spring 34 Gin
1 1/4 oz  Fresh Squeezed Cara Cara Orange Juice
3/4 oz  Fresh Squeezed Lime juice
1/2 oz  Sugar Syrup
Ice
Citrus Peel

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the metal shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a citrus peel

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret that score as follows:

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:

70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 

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