Receiving a bottle of Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin was a little like Christmas! The bottle comes so beautifully wrapped I almost didn’t want to open it.
The Ferdinand part of the name refers to Ferdinand Geltz an historical figure and founder of a great German vineyard. Saar refers to a river that flows through France and Germany. It’s final 28km forms one of the most well-known wine-growing regions of the world and is where the semi-sweet Riesling used in Ferdinand’s Saar Gin originates.
A periodic table of botanicals accompanied the bottle. There are no fewer than 31, yes 31, botanicals used in the distillation of this gin. Aside from the usual suspects (juniper, cardamon, etc.) there is fennel, jasmine, sandalwood, nutmeg, elderflower, hops, citrus, rosehip, sloe, quince, pepper, ginger, eglantine (sweet briar), bergamot, chamomile, red vineyard peach and citrus thyme (I did wonder whether all of these might be overkill).
The gin is infused with Riesling, a fragrant white grape variety with a flowery, perfumed aroma, which is evident when opening the bottle. Highly aromatic on the nose, delicate pine notes from the juniper lead on to a more floral flavour with a hint of sweetness. I thought the flavours well-balanced, but Ferdinand’s Saar’s is a delicate gin that needs to be handled carefully!
When tasting in a G&T I opted for Fever-tree tonic, but would probably use their Mediterranean variant next time as I think it would work better. That said, it made a beautifully aromatic G&T that was appreciated by my taster!
For the dry martini I tried Ferdinand’s Saar Gin with four different vermouth; Noilly Prat, Dolin, Maidenii and Lillet Blanc. The best result came from 60ml gin, 30ml Noilly Prat, which felt offered a great balanced dry martini. Lillet Blanc came a close second, playing to the floral notes of the gin well.
This gin could so easily have turned into a terrible flavour-bomb, but the skillful distillers have created something beautifully unique.
Country of Origin: Germany
Price: Very High