Berliner Brandstifter Dry Gin - 70cl - 43.3% ABV
Vincent Honrodt established Berliner Brandstifter (Berlin Arsonist, for those not in possession of a German dictionary) in 2009 after realising that none of the spirits available to him came close to resembling those made by his great-grandfather, Ernst Honrodt. Today, the company has two products in its repertoire – Premium Kornbrand and Berlin Dry Gin.
On the nose, the gin gives off a bright floral, fruity sweetness. There is an almost red berry richness to the smell; it’s unusual, but certainly inviting. The familiar aroma that is somewhere between raspberries and Pear Drop candy sends evocative summer time memories, yet equally as hard to place as those hazy memories of yesteryear. To taste, juniper is not the big, booming dominant botanical, making this a much more modern interpretation of gin than purists may allow for. The sweetness that comes through on the nose translates to the tongue, while the floral elements bring a jammy sweetness – as though the flowers were left to stew for some time. Juniper-laced spice quickly comes along to sweep the sweetness up, though the two elements never really integrate fully, rather they tumble about the tongue, taking their turns to rule.