We took a family trip to Montreal just after Thanksgiving in 2022. I had a cocktail with Gin Matante at Au Pied de Cochon the night we arrived and went to SAQ, the state run liquor store, the next morning hoping to buy a bottle. They had lots of gin, but the one I drank was not one of them. I wanted something very local of course, but couldn’t get an internet signal to do much research and so decided on Menaud Gin based mostly on the “Prepere au Quebec” sticker and the pretty looking bottle. With little else to go on, I bought it on November 26, 2022 and entered it into the collection as gin no. 076.
Menaud Gin is produced in Charlevoix, Quebec a municipality northeast of Quebec City. One of the coolest things about Menaud Gin is that it is distilled from rye (25%) and wheat (75%) grown on l’Isle-aux-Coudres, a small island in the St. Lawrence River. The gin is distilled three times, twice with grains and then once more with local botanicals. These include, juniper berry, coriander, sumac, glasswort, barberry, elderberry, wild caraway, balsam poplar, amber flower, black spruce, woolly hedgenettle, celery root, and alder pepper.
A 750 ml bottle cost me $67.50 Canadian which was a little more than $50. I opened it on New Year’s Eve and tasted it both neat and in a gin and tonic. At 84 proof it is mild and smooth enough to drink alone, but I preferred it in a G&T. One of the recipes on their website suggests using it in eggnog, which I didn’t try. The flavor is floral forward and a little peppery, but the nose reflects the piney juniper. Although I like my gin a little dryer, I really appreciate the hyper-local nature of this gin and look forward to maybe trying that eggnog.
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