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In Review: G’Vine Nouaison vs. G’Vine Floraison

gvine-ginsIn early 2008, I reviewed G’Vine Floraison Gin and fell in love with it. Since then I’ve used it in numerous cocktail video’s, I began using G’vine Floraison because of my personal tastes for the product. Now, we’re going to draw down upon Nouaison Gin, the non-Floral version of G’Vine to see how it differs from its greener cousin.

The Look

On site alone, you’ll see no difference between G’Vine Nouaison and Floraison because they’re both perfectly glass clear spirits. It’s more important to look more at the other senses, specifically that of smell!

The Nose

While it’s easy to confuse the glasses when looking at them, putting your sense of smell to the test makes the differences obvious. The Floraison has subtle light blossom-like scents with huge complexity. It’s almost as if roses meet peppermint with very little in the juniper profile.

Nouaison gets right up in your face with flavors, cutting through the subtleties found in the Floraison. G’Vine Nouaison has scents that describe a more subtle London Dry gin without the potent attack of juniper. I get a bit of bright green leafy juniper mingled with lemon/lime sprite and slight ginger notes. Taking a deep breath brings a much more potent strength that almost makes your eyes water, much like the effect I get walking into the perfume section of a department store.

Going back to the Floraison shows off its subtleties ten fold when compared to the Nouaison gin. However, both do have similar subtle properties when moving back and forth between the two gin styles. Much like you can tell two brothers are related even when they have their own defined characteristics, both G’Vine brands have difficult to identify commonalities but you know they are sisters when comparing side-by-side.

The Taste

While I believe the nose of a good spirit tells a lot about its story, the taste will give us more definition and character of the styles effort. The Floraison tastes like a bouquet of wildflowers would smell, many varying smooth flavors attacking the senses one by one yet all at the same time. Strict concentration helps you pick-out a few of the big ones: rose peddles, grape skins, ginger with a smooth mouth-feel and a green organic finish.

The Nouaison gin is a bit thinner in mouth-feel but, overall, a fun experience non-the-less. Much like the nose, the initial attack is more fierce and head-on with flavors and tongue tingling action when compared to the Floraison. A juniper-like mid-palate transition to a lime finish all after a bit of a floral attack. While Floraison starts with floral berries and peddles and finishes with more floral flavors, G’Vine Nouaison begins with a subtle rose peddle start but transforms itself into a medium bodied London Dry near instantly. The Nouaison finish is stronger and “right in your face” against your tongue and down the edges and tips of your palate like a small shock of lightening.

Both the Nouaison and Floraison have a long finish with very similar properties and flavor profiles as the gin begins to fade on your palate. I find both to be very similar but unique enough to define each as their own recipe. The G’Vine Floraison will satisfy those that are hesitant towards gin and Nouaison will be preferred by those looking for a well crafted London Dry style alternative.

Gin lovers must try G’Vine Nouaison, most definitely, but either product will build the experience of your palate and make you appreciate the French ideas of what a gin should taste like. In the end, I still prefer G’Vine Floraison between the two products because of its subtle flavors and aromas.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Thomas Dancer
    December 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    These are interesting iterations, but experienced gin drinkers should note that these are closer to infused vodkas than traditional gin profiles. The Nouaison makes an excellent, although idiosyncratic, Collins. I tasted this next against a traditional London Dry (Beefeaters) gin (all other elements: syrup, lemon, glass, ice, soda, were the same). 1½ gin, ½ lemon juiced, 1 tsp. syrup, soda in skinny collins glass.

    The Nouaison was sweeter. Not over sweet, but definitely the lime profile of the Nouaison knocked right through the soda and lemon. If I made this again, I might scale the syrup back a little, bring the lemon up a bit. Although even ‘as is’ this drink is not too sweet. It takes the Collins to a different level without changing the drink into something else. Unlike if used in a martini, martinez, or the like. I haven’t tried it in a tonic or gimlet. I imagine it would be good in both (but I’d worry about sweetness in both cases–especially with a sweeter tonic like Schweppes).

  • Reply
    Aaron
    September 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Floraison strikes me as perhaps the best gin for non-gin folks. Although as Thomas points out, they’re closer to “infused vodkas” I think that’s their greatest point of accessibility. Yes, there’s juniper, but there’s also much more to the flavor. I think the juniper nuance appeals to more traditional gin drinkers and the refreshing grape/floral appeals to nearly everyone.

    As a classic gin drinker, I prefer the Nouaison in most cocktails, but I don’t get cravings for it the same way that I do for the Floraison. Sometimes I want a good gin, and other times I want a Floraison and there is no substitution.

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