Pure and clear, this dry gin will remind you of a walk through the Black Forest right after the rain

Premixed cocktails, tequila and mezcal might be the fastest growing spirits right now but this does not mean gin is out of favour. Quite the contrary. Gin is still one of the most popular drinks globally, and this not least thanks to the fairly recent ascent of flavoured gin, and a focus on botanicals that reflect the unique flavours of a particular place.

And this nicely leads to one of my latest finds. Needle Blackforest Gin will transport you directly to one of Germany’s wildest and most gorgeous regions: the infamous Black Forest.

Germany’s Black Forest is not only a drop-dead gorgeous region. It’s also one of the leading areas of gin production in Germany. Indeed, when road tripping through the Black Forest you will quickly notice that nearly all of the small towns here are home to at least one distillery producing fruit brandies and quite often gin as well. Most are small and will sell only locally but if you look at the map of leading German gins, a good number of them is produced in the Black Forest.

Needle Gin is one of these gins. It is produced by Bimmerle Private Distillery, a medium-sized company located in the small of Achern in the beautiful Ortenau region in the northern parts of the Black Forest. The distillery looks back of five decades of distilling fruit brandies, along with vodka, rum, and since 2016 also the Needle Blackforest Dry Gin.

While not yet 10 years old the recipe for this gin is not a recent invention, however. There is a long tradition of distilling in the Black Forest, and the origins of the current recipe apparently go back to the year 1799.

Review: Needle Blackforest Dry Gin

If you are looking for a nice, place driven gin experience, Neelde Blackforest Gin will certainly not disappoint. It beautifully captures the scents of the Black Forest, conjuring memories of a walk through a pine forest just after the rain.

Needle Gin Tasting Notes

Needle Gin is distilled with hand-picked spruce needles, completed by juniper, lavender, ginger, sun ripened lemons and oranges, pimento, and cinnamon in a gentle single-batch process.

Review: Needle Blackforest Dry Gin

The dark green 0.5 litre bottle reminds of traditional old medicine bottles but somehow also captures the feeling of a dark forest quite nicely.

Botanicals: juniper, spruce needles, lemon, orange, lavender, pimento, cinnamon, ginger, allspice

On the nose: an intense aroma of spruce needles with notes of citrus fruits and hints of floral and spicy notes.

On the palate: strong aromas of spruce needles followed by a clear note of juniper berries and light hints of citrus fruits and an additional spicy note from the ginger. Long, dry, and spicy finish.

How best to serve Blackforest Needle Gin

This is a gin that gin afficionados will enjoy pure, revelling about the intense forest flavours.

Likewise, Needle Gin will work fantastic on the rocks, a gintonic or a gin cocktail.

Review: Needle Blackforest Dry Gin

I quite liked two of the suggestions on the Needle Gin website. The Needle Winter Gin Tonic nicely brings out the aroma of the spruce needles while the Earl Gray Tea cocktail makes for a fantastic, grown-up iced tea on a hot summer day.

Blackforest Needle Gin Recipe Inspiration

Do you have a favourite gin? Let me know which one it is.