Gunpowder Tea is so called because each tea leaf has been rolled into a small ball, reminiscent of gunpowder. It’s usually made with green tea leaves and it’s that special ingredient that gives Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin its name.
But beyond that, Gunpowder Gin is a complex array of botanicals from a number of traditions. Three kinds of citrus fruit: grapefruit, lemon and makrut lime join the tea and are vapor distilled. The remaining ingredients, including Macedonian juniper, are macerated and distilled in a pot still.
There’s the legendary American Jackelope on the bottle; Chinese tea as a signature botanical, but Gunpowder Gin is made in Drumshanbo, Ireland.
The nose is light and citrus-forward. The more delicate handling of the citrus ingredients is quite evident here. Fresh lemon zest highlights a subtle herbaceous, sagey juniper with the slightest hint of green tea and meadowsweet.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin explodes with flavor on the palate. Citrus once again dominates. This time its grapefruit. Juniper and green tea are present mid-palate: the juniper herbaceous and bright, the green tea calling to mind Jasmine green tea, as you might get before sushi at a Japanese restaurant.
Towards the end though, it turns sweet and spicy/herbal. Anise and cardamom are subtly and expertly played in here. Meadowsweet, especially late and towards the finish lends its a honeyed, vanilla-like nuance.
The combination of botanicals though somewhat eccentric is well balanced. The green tea is at the fore. Gunpowder Gin does justice to its namesake. However, where this really stands out for me is how it balances the botanicals. Enough juniper for classic gin fans, but also heavy on the citrus and herbs, without overpowering each other.
The finish is mildly warming with a pleasant heat.