Conniption Navy Strength Gin - 75cl - 57% ABV
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Melissa Katrincic has always been headstrong. As a child she was fiery enough to incur frequent dressing downs from her grandmother, who’d tell her, in the way only a grandmother can, “don’t have a conniption.” Conniption, for the uninitiated, is a uniquely American term, translating to something of a mammoth hissy fit.
There’s also a Navy Strength, which isn’t a ramped up version of their flagship offering, but a gin with a wildly different botanical lineup: coriander, caraway, rosemary, cardamom, juniper, cassia, citrus and fig (the latter two are distilled in the rotovap). The gin packs a hell of a punch at 57%, though this strength is belied by its smoothness and cleverly cloaked behind its prominent botanical intensity. In a blind lineup, there would be few you would instantly identify it as being NAVY strength. High yes, but that smooth for 57% – no way.
As with American Dry, it is the distillates created on the rotovap that shout louder than any other. To nose, a bright and candied citrus rings out, redolent of a crispy chocolate lime sweet. It dominates the senses, though the high ABV adds heft to the cassia and caraway in particular, giving gravitas to the spice.
The fig smells fresh, rather than stewed, meaning it brings a green, grassy sweetness. The taste, neat, comes close to sensory overload. Sherbet-like citrus and earthy spices rush the tongue, with the caraway and cassia conspiring momentarily to dominate the palate. The citrus performs a hostile takeover, though, coating the tongue with its strong and loud sweetness, before the freshly plucked from-the-tree-fig taste jumps in to round out the taste.