Review: Gin Royal (Compass Distillers) / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Compass Distillers

Image courtesy of Compass Distillers

Nova Scotia wheat with botanicals
Distiller Compass (Halifax, NS)

Royal Gin was crafted by Compass Distillers to be a perfect fit within a Gin and Tonic. In order to spar with the intensity of flavour from tonic water, Compass had to ratchet up the flavour in this gin. The botanicals are fully macerated, meaning that they have a much heavier character than those that are vapour-infused in many gins. The botanicals include juniper, cardamom, lots of coriander, orange and lemon peel (peeled in house) and dehydrated slices of orange and lemon. After distillations, the gin is infused with a small amount of honey, royal jelly, and butterfly pea blossoms. The pea blossoms give a bright blue character that turns to pink when mixed with citrus in cocktails.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2020

  • Bottling Code: N/A

A big gin. This is spicy and spirit-forward, with a huge juniper character and a cacao butter-type creaminess to it. On the palate, it’s the same- big juniper, big citrus, big spice. The finish is spicy with some building dryness. I like bold gins that are balanced, and this is one of them. Awesome!

Usually, when I see gins with honey added to them I assume it’s sweet, floral, and not very bold. That’s not the character here! It is ever so lightly sweet – you might not even think that there is any honey added at all.

Indeed, this has a very nice character in a gin and tonic - the juniper and spiciness come through, and, to good effect, the blue colour turns to pink with the acidity of the lime juice.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.