Aldi have released a couple of new gins to the Irish market for the Christmas season, one of which is Needle Blackforest Distiller Dry Gin. I was really excited to pick up a bottle of this, as I generally love German gins and reading about Needle Gin, I thought it was one I would really enjoy.
First up, the bottle, apothecary style, dark green, almost black with a real wood cork stopper, and a simple label design with the spruce image. It’s a small bottle, at 50cl but packs a punch at 47% ABV. This higher alcohol % is definitely something to be aware of as it is higher than a lot of gins.
Needle Gin is produced at the Bimmerle Distillery in Achern-Mösbach. Distilled single batch, with juniper berries and hand picked spruce needles, various herbs and spices. There are 11 botanicals in Needle Gin, including lavender, ginger, lemons, oranges, pimento and cinnamon.
Needle Gin is very proud of it’s Blackforest character, and it comes through in the gin with the spruce needle scent and flavour. On the nose it’s a relatively simple gin, there’s no complexity in the aroma, though it is pleasant. Following the spruce there’s juniper and citrus, but all quite mild.
On tasting, there’s a spice and an earthiness, followed by a little citrus. It’s smooth and dry. If sweet or floral gins are what you enjoy, I don’t think Needle will be for you. However my preference would be more for the spicy and herby style so this suits my taste. When you factor in the price, this gin is a good performer. It’s more subtle in taste than other gins, bordering on a little flat, but with the right mix, tonic and garnishes, it’s a good choice.
Needle is a dry, spicy and warming gin. It would really benefit from a garnish to match and highlight that, a stick of cinnamon perhaps. I tried it with a simple tonic and lime, the citrus didn’t really do much for it so I wouldn’t recommend that garnish. Given the gin style, I think it would make a good dry martini also, and that is next on my list to try. They have some suggested serves on their site also which you can check out here, including basil & cucumber or a Winter Gin & Tonic with nutmeg, cinnamon and tonic (picture below).
(Note: Bottle of Needle Gin bought with my own € at Aldi in Sandyford!)
Contact & Stockists:
Stockist: Aldi €19.99