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Malfy Gin (con Limone)

Review: Malfy Gin (Con Limone) (85.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on March 27, 2017

Malfy Gin is a brand owned by Biggar and Leith, who are based in the New York area with distribution across North America and in 16 Countries worldwide (and growing). Biggar & Leith own a small portfolio of spirits which are produced by established, family owned distilleries.

Malfy G.Q.D.I. (Gin di Qualità Distillato in Italia) is distilled by the Vergnano family in Moncalieri, Italy. (G.Q.D.I. stands for ‘Gin di qualità distillato in Italia’. It is a stamp and guarantee of quality and origin.) The family uses a traditional stainless steel vacuum still and produces their gin from a distillation of lemons (coastal grown Italian lemons – some from Amalfi and some from Sicily) and juniper (of course) as well as 5 other botanicals (including coriander, angelica and cassia bark).

The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

malfy-ginIn the Bottle 4.5/5

Accrding to the Malfy Gin website:

The Malfy bottle is decorated using traditional Italian glass design technique and the stopper is made in Italy from real oak.

The Malfy crest is an interpretation of a famous rowing race held between the four ancient kingdoms of Italy each year.

Our Malfy blue represents the Mediterranean and the yellow represents the Italian lemons grown on the Coast which gives Malfy the aroma of the zest from a lemon just picked from a tree.

I love it when I can find information which interprets the bottle presentation for me. I appreciate the manner in which the bottle design pays homage to the country and culture of Italy.

The decanter has a masculine elegance and deserves an almost perfect score.

In the Glass 8.5/10

It is obvious when pouring the gin into my glass that this is not an ordinary juniper forward gin. The aroma which hits the breezes first (and hits it rather firmly) is an intense clean lemon scent. I appreciate the clean lemon aroma which appears to be free of any artificial taint.

My instinct is to reclassify the spirit as a lemon flavoured gin (we called them lemon-gins in my youth), and this instinct is reinforced by the label on the bottle which includes the term ‘con limone’ (literally means ‘with lemon’). The lemon is so firm that at first, it drowns out the other botanicals. However, if you give the spirit time in the glass you can discern some of the juniper underneath as well as some spicy coriander.

In the Mouth 51/60

When I take a sip of the Malfy Gin, my feeling that this is really a lemon flavoured gin, are completely re-inforced. What I appreciate across the palate is the same feature which I noticed in the breezes, the gin revels in the lemon. At first , that is all I taste. However, as I let my palate adjust I begin to notice other flavours playing within the lemon construct. Lightly bitter juniper, hints of dark licorice, and a spiciness which at first I took for lemon zest, but which certainly has the imprint of coriander upon it as well. But don’t misinterpret me, lemon dominates the palate.

The first cocktail I considered was a simple gimlet. Lemon and lime are natural allies so I mixed a couple of ounces of Malfy Gin with an ounce of lime and a dab of sugar syrup, shook it over ice and gave it a taste. I was pretty much hooked right there. In the cocktail format the lemon and lime mixture tasted great, and amazingly I began to taste more juniper and hints of the other botanicals. It really is a great way to serve the Malfy gin. I tweaked the recipe just a bit (added a little orange liqueur) and I have shared the final recipe below.

In the Throat 13/15

The finish is all lemon, all the way down. The spirit itself is relatively smooth and served with ice, it is quite nice. I should note that there is a light sweetness running through the spirit which provides the proper counterbalance to the sharper more tart lemon.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Malfy Gin (con Limone) is an excellent lemon flavoured gin. While I normally prefer my gin to be juniper forward, I found I really appreciated the clean lemon forward flavour this gin presents. If you give the gin (and your palate) time, you can find remnants of juniper and  the other botanical in your glass, and in cocktails the juniper in particular seems to come forward even further.

I found I enjoyed the spirit over ice, and I enjoyed it even more in sour style cocktails (see recipe below).

You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Recipe

When I began to explore mixed drinks in a more serious way, my wife purchased a large cocktail book, 1001 Cocktails (Alex Barker compiler) for me to draw inspiration from. When I was studying the gin recipes Alex provided I noticed he had several recipes for ‘Lady’ cocktails:  The Lady, The Green Lady, The Fair Lady … you get the idea. His recipe for The White Lady caught my eye. It was a simple recipe mixing Gin with Lemon Juice and Triple Sec. Here is a ‘Lady’ cocktail made with Malfy Gin

lady-from-sicily-sam_3052The Lady from Sicily

1 1/2 oz Malfy Gin (con Limone)
1/2 oz  Bols Triple Sec
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
Citrus Peel Garnish

Place the first four ingredients in a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake vigorously with ice until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled wine or cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of Citrus Peel

Enjoy Responsibly!

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!


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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