As the name suggests, Leopold’s Gin is produced in very small batches, limited to fifty cases each time. A family business from Denver, Colorado, Leopold Bros. began producing gin in 2002. Like most hand-crafted distillers, Leopold keeps its presentation simple: the gin comes in a clear apothecary bottle, simply adorned with white labels and the batch number.
American gin has been struggling to compete with the best of Old Blighty, and often that’s due to the fact that they’re trying to steal from the lucrative vodka market. As a result, the American market has produced a number of gins with only faint flavor, afraid to hit you with juniper berries.
Like many of those gins, Leopold’s sits on the mild end of the gin spectrum. Todd Leopold, the master distiller, seems to have intuited that it isn’t juniper that’s driving away premium vodka drinkers, but pine.
Gin is normally flavored by adding botanicals to a neutral spirit and then distilling. But Leopold’s Gin distills each signature botanical – including hand-zested Florida oranges and California pummelos – separately and then mixes them together for one final distillation, the rationale being that different botanicals have different boiling points. The result is a mild gin that’s still extremely tasty, with citrus notes that might normally be covered by the juniper.
As Leopold’s is quite dry, I felt it better suited to martinis than G&Ts. It isn’t bad in a G&T, but you might need to balance out the citrus flavor with a sweet element.
In sum, this may not be the best gin for the gin connoisseur. It is very much “gin light”. Nevertheless, if you would like to convert others to the gin experience, Leopold’s Gin may be a good choice to ease them in.