LE TRIBUTE Gin is the freshest release to pour from the stills of Destilierias MG, a family run distillery in Vilanova, a quaint fishing village based around 50km from Barcelona. The distillery, established by the Giro family in 1835, is one of the oldest in Spain. LE TRIBUTE’s branding is no doubt inspired by the distillery’s history, as it spent its first hundred years creating syrups and medicines.
While the distillery’s industry may have changed, the family behind it remains the same. Five generations of Giros have stood behind the stills at Destilierias MG, transferring their distilling knowledge from father to son, on and on.
Back in 1940, then Master Distiller Manuel Giro created Gin MG, which remains to this day one of Spain’s best selling domestically made spirits. Manuel Sr’s grandsons, Marc and Manuel Jr, are now at the helm, and while they could happily have ridden the Gin MG train for years to come they were keen to get involved in the modern gin wave, specifically placing a focus on the super premium market. Their first foray into high end was a resounding success, with the fantastically transporting Gin Mare making a huge splash when it was released in 2007.
The recipe is a complicated one, with seven distillations in total making up LE TRIBUTE Gin’s final bottling. The first is juniper, the second is lime, the third is kumquat, the fourth is lemon, pink grapefruit and green grapefruit, the fifth is tangerine, the sixth is cardamom, bitter and sweet oranges and lemons and the seventh is lemongrass. All distillations, bar the latter, take place in wheat spirit, but the lemongrass is a hydrosol – with water used in place of spirit to maintain its freshness. All distillates are blended, then cut down to bottling strength of 43% ABV.
LE TRIBUTE Gin has an incredibly bright, citrus nose. It’s fleshy and fruity, with the lime, lemon, grapefruit and orange all contributing, while the tangerine in particular bringing a deliciously decadent boiled sweet smell to the fore.
Juniper and lemongrass conspire to form a green, grassy and herbal bed upon which the citruses lay. The fruits are never present in their individual form, rather they’ve combined and mutated into a hulk-sized monster – something huge, loud and aggressive. It fills the senses – if James and the Giant Peach was about a lemongrass and tangerine hybrid, sipping this is as close as you’ll ever feel to being the titular character. The juniper is forced into the background as a result but it still plays a palpable role in anchoring the overall flavour profile.
Origin: Spain / Alc. 43% / Vol. 70cl