OK, time to bone up on your science knowledge. French distiller Comte de Grasse, perhaps better known as the Lab Distillery, has just released its inaugural product: 44°N Gin. Here’s the science part—the gin is made using ultrasonic maceration, vacuum distillation, and carbon dioxide supercritical extraction, a process otherwise known as perfume extraction.
Did you follow all that? If not, don’t worry, the distillers understand it perfectly, and the results are pretty spectacular. To make the gin, cade, bitter orange, verbena, everlasting, rose, alexanders, samphire, honey, juniper, angelica, coriander, lemon, and orris are macerated and then distilled. While that’s happening, carbon dioxide supercritical extraction is used to get essences from everlasting, lavender, mimosa, rose, grapefruit, jasmine, patchouli, and Sichuan pepper. These two batches are then combined into the gin.
“Here in Grasse we are blessed not only with fertile lands for growing intriguing and rare botanicals, but also extraordinary people with gifted knowledge all contributing to the creation of 44°N,” says Comte de Grasse founder and CEO Bhagath Reddy. “Our shared ambition to work together in creating methods of production that best serve our local environment, both social and physical, has been a real success of Comte de Grasse. Utilizing practices from the perfume industry for producing our gin has resulted in a flavor like nothing else we’ve tasted. On the nose, bright, tangy lemon and grapefruit give way to lovely seaside sentiments from the samphire. The unmistakable woody characteristics of the cade is the juniper calling. A deep floral body follows with jammy facets of the native bitter orange tempered by herbaceous angelica and warm pepper rounding off the middle notes.”
Why explore this new method of distillation? “These methods use substantially less energy and natural resources than traditional gin production to acquire the desired effect,” states the company. Regardless of the reason, 44°N Gin is not to be missed—and that’s a distinct possibility as only 1,500 bottles will be made, each priced at $85.50.