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Leopold's American Small Batch Gin
About Leopold's American Small Batch Gin
With such a wide variety of bold spirit bottles out there, sometimes a simple design can be striking. And, the simple white label of Leopold’s American Small Batch caught my eye the last time I was browsing for new bottles at my local store.
The independently owned and operated Leopold Bros. was founded by brothers Todd and Scott Leapold in the 2000’s. They first established the brand in Michigan, but soon moved near Denver in their home state of Colorado to build their current distilling facilities on four acres of land. They use sustainable methods such as water recycling and composting to help produce a range of spirits, including: whiskey, gin and vodka.
American Small Batch is Leopold’s flagship gin and is flavored with six botanicals: Pomelos and Valencia oranges, cardamom, coriander, juniper and orris root. Leopold Bros use a fractional distilling method where each ingredient is distilled separately, then layered together to produce the final product.
❖ Spirit: American Gin
❖ Distillery: Leopold Bros. in Denver, Co
❖ ABV: 40%
❖ Moderate Price
❖ Color: Clear
❖ Nose: Light Citrus, Juniper, Ethanol, Vanilla, All the notes are surprisingly faint
❖ Taste: Orange, Cream, Juniper, Pine
❖ Finish: Long, Orange and Juniper
2 oz. Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin
1 oz. simple syrup or agave nectar
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
❖ Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled
❖ Strain into a coupe and garnish with lime
Although Emmeline already made a Gimlet, I couldn’t pass up this trying this recipe from Leapold’s Website. I hadn’t seen any gin based cocktails that called for agave syrup as the sweetener, and was curious if this could be a fun alternative to a margarita. And, Leapold’s American Small Batch Gin has strong orange notes that could potentially mimic the orange liqueur in a traditional margarita.
This cocktail tastes just like a lime popsicle from a Mexican grocery store, but with just a hint of orange and juniper. I was a little bit worried about the 1 oz of sweetener, but it didn’t completely overshadow the other ingredients. I would still probably dial it back just a tiny bit to suit my personal taste, but this gimlet still has a nice balance and is dangerously easy to drink. Lime and agave are the dominant flavors, but there is still a nice hint of orange, juniper and pine on the finish.
While I do like aspects of Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin, I felt a bit underwhelmed by the overall experience. The taste is a bit muted compared to other gins, but has a pleasant sweetness and well-balanced botanicals. Unfortunately, these notes were mostly absent from the nose. I was mostly getting vanilla sweetness and ethanol that reminded me of Identity Vodka. The experience of drinking a spirit neat is important to me, and don’t think I can ultimately recommend American Small Batch Gin as a drinking spirit.
But it’s a different story with cocktails. The light flavor helps the orange and juniper notes balance well with other ingredients, and I really enjoyed the Leopold’s Gimlet as an easy to drink and refreshing cocktail. And, I was able to find Leopold’s Small Batch American Gin for a moderate price around the mid $30, so I don’t feel too bad mostly using it in cocktails. It’s also available in 200 ml bottles, so you can try it out without much commitment.
As always, drink responsibly.