O Canada. Our Ungava Gin review finds a very distinctive, drinkable and crisp yellow gin packed full of Canadian goodness.
A premium gin (although do shop around as we’ve noticed prices do vary), Ungava Gin comes from the Ungava Spirits Co. based in Cowansville, Quebec. It’s bottled at an ABV of 43.1%. Its botanicals are nordic juniper, wild rose hips, arctic blend, crowberry, cloudberry, and Labrador tea.
The Ungava Peninsula, after which the gin is named, is to the top right of Hudson Bay is you were to look on a map. I’ve not been and frankly, as it’s described as a treeless tundra and sounds incredibly cold, I’m not going to rush there! Very happy to be corrected on that by anyone who has been – it’s likely stunningly beautiful like the rest of Canada.
Ungava Gin review
Let’s get the colour out of the way first, shall we. That yellow is a product of the botanicals (mainly the rose hip and cloudberry apparently). It’s entirely natural, as with the remainder of the product. We liked it. It’s certainly unique and created a bit of a talking point. Actually, it adds a bit of ‘theatre’ to a cocktail too, and that’s no bad thing.
Looking at that botanical mix you’ll see that there’s an interesting line-up here. There are truly some rare botanicals from the Canadian North here as the bottle promises. Of most interest to us was ‘arctic blend’. Arctic blend – a new one on us – is a bit like Labrador tea. This mix promised a new gin experience and we were intrigued to give it a try.
Wow. Quite different, and actually not what any of us were expecting. The juniper is there, but there’s also something like a sweet-smelling tea too. It’s quite complex on the nose, and we thought there were hints of citrus there too. It’s very enticing and, to be completely honest, we pretty much skipped through the nosing and got stuck in. My notes are therefore ‘sparse’ about the nose.
That complexity really flows through to the tasting. There were so many adjectives – all positive – that this write-up is going to be tricky. First up, we all agreed that the juniper was there is good order, and very pleasantly so.
Next came what we variously described as ‘fruity’, ‘sweet’, ‘minty’ and ‘fresh’. But we also had ‘grassy’ and ‘lemon tarty’. What we did all seem to agree on was that those ‘tea’ botanicals showed through alongside the juniper, and that there was a definite citrusy undercurrent. It’s also worth flagging that – even those who were at the tarter end of their descriptions – we all agreed that this was extremely smooth and drinkable.
How to serve Ungava Gin
That complexity, and wedded smoothness, meant that we enjoyed Ungava Gin over ice. It really is quite a mouthful of flavour, and that makes it a good gin to have neat (like these ones, if that’s your thing).
A recommended serve is with tonic, in a classic G&T. We’d simply go for a good quality Indian tonic for Ungava. We did try it with some flavoured tonics, but it simply doesn’t need any additional lifting – it’s a cracking gin in its own right.
Although not tried by us, we think Ungava would also hold up well in a cocktail. It’s unique flavour and hue suggest it would be well worth trying as a cocktail base.
Buy Ungava Gin
The good news is that Ungava Gin is widely available in North America and Europe. In the US/Canada you can buy Ungava Gin from Drizly here or click on the link below.