Cocoa has turned up in many a spirit over the years now, from bitters to wine to liqueurs. But for my palate, it’s a first to experience within a gin, and as expected, Belgium are the host to what is named X-Gin.
The name X-Gin refers to the origin of the cocoa beans themselves, used by the Incas and Mayas. Brewing up ‘God’s nectar’ or ‘Xocoatl’ as they named it, they believed it was to be the drink of the Gods and Kings.
Hence their brand strap-line – “GIN FOR THE QUEENS, GODS AND KINGS“.
In addition to the Columbian cocoa, you also have within the recipe juniper berries, plus 45 other herbs and spices including Piedmonte hazelnuts, Avola almonds, wild Madagascan chillies, dried peppers, Cacaonibs, Nordic lemon, dried raspberry, dried banana and vanilla pods. It was said to be the 14th recipe trialled by owners Peter and Patrick too.
But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
X-Gin (Xolato) – 46%
Fresh aromas of citrus and subtle cocoa upon the nose, followed by cream and vanilla. A fiery start on the palate, with the chillies and peppers coming through well. Cocoa flavours wrap themselves around, with the lemon and banana softening the long, smooth finish.
A surprisingly subtle cocoa flavoured gin here, but one I can see working well in their recommended serve too –
The Perfect Serve
50 ml of X-Gin
200 ml of premium mixer
Build over an ice filled rocks glass and add some cocoa nibs and raspberries for garnish.
An interesting gin from Belgium here. Powerful, yet subtle with some of its flavours too. A good gin to mix too, so one to impress your friends with over the coming months for sure.
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