The story of Citadelle Gin as we know it today began in 1980’s, but the brand is steeped in history that dates much further back. The original recipe for Citadelle Gin was developed by a distillery in Dunkirk in 1771 (at the time an important port for the spice trade). In 1775, Louis XVI authorised two Frenchmen, Carpeau and Stival, to open a distillery making genièvre at the Citadelle of Dunkirk, which soon became a royal distillery with an exclusive 20-year charter. The two founders had 12 traditional copper pot stills made for the distillery, allegedly the first of its type in France.
Skip forward a few hundred years and Citadelle Gin is now produced in Cognac, the birthplace of another fine spirit and home to a few other French gins. In the Late 1980’s Alexandre Gabriel decided it was time to distil a gin and began doing research, pillaging through old records and files in Flanders and then developing a modern plan to distil gin at the Pierre Ferrand Cognac distillery. After coming across the story of Citadelle Gin, Alexandre decided that a gin bottled under the Citadelle name and distilled in a similar way to that of the original, produced after more than a century’s absence, would be befitting of his vision of bringing excitement and diversity back to the gin category.
By 1989, the research was complete and Gabriel and his team were getting ready to produce the very first batch. Although the production techniques have improved over the centuries, Citadelle Gin is still made according to principles laid down in the original recipe. This includes some of the botanicals stated back in 1775 and presumably a few more as we doubt there would have been 19 back then. However, it wasn’t until 1995 that the gin was officially distilled. Since no one had ever received permission to make gin in cognac pot stills in France before and getting permission to do so required braving the French bureaucracy, gin had never been considered.
Citadelle Gin is triple-distilled from wheat and spring water. Before being steeped in neutral alcohol, the master distiller selects the19 botanicals that will complement the freshness of the juniper with tart, floral and exotic flavours. A work of fine balance, it allows the flavours and aromas to intermingle in a perfect harmony. Once the steeping is complete, the infusion is then distilled in small Charentais pot stills with an open flame. The slow distillation allows the distiller to precisely select the heart of the gin, whilst the relatively low swan’s neck favours the concentration of essential oils; all of which contributing to the gin’s aromatic quality.
Citadelle Gin exudes delicate aromas of fresh flowers highlighted by more assertive citric scents. Once served, it emanates more intense, herbaceous notes of juniper and anise; then, the spicy cinnamon side softens the nose, bringing a very gourmand dimension to the gin. On the palate, the juniper cedes to a long, voluptuous, spicy fragrance.
19 different botanicals, juniper berries, almond, orris root, fennel, aniseed, grains of paradise, orange peel, cardamom, violet root, lemon peel, coriander seeds, cubeb berries, cassia bark, liquorice root, savory, nutmeg, angelica root, cumin & cinnamon.
Premium tonic garnished with a cinnamon stick and an orange twist.
- Additional Information
Name Citadelle Gin Country France Region Cognac ABV% 44% Size 700ml Dietary Information Gluten-Free