Flaming Leprechaun Limestone Gin
Three Hearts of Ireland – Malcolm Brown
The Flaming Leprechaun brand is the result of a partnership between two companies, one Irish the other American. Malcolm Brown is responsible for distilling their spirits in Ireland and Three Hearts of Ireland is responsible for selling them in America. In a way, Flaming Leprechaun is kind of local. On the Flaming Leprechaun website, they give a Franklin, MA address even though they call their made-in-Ireland gin “Celtic”. (note: I have reached out to them directly to get some clarification and if they respond I will update this post.)
As for the gin, it is a very traditional London dry style. It won a double gold medal at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It is extremely mild and well balanced. Flaming Leprechaun once seeps and twice distills botanicals in a neutral spirit and their method produces a smooth, mellow result. They keep the alcohol on the lighter side at just 88 proof. Even when sipped neat, the alcohol taste is almost non existent. All this makes the ideal G & T ratio equal parts gin and tonic. Even then the light flavor gets a little lost behind the tonic and although it is smooth enough to drink neat, it isn’t exciting enough to be really enjoyable.
The name and the bottle are a little… maybe we will say different. I think the “flaming” designation comes from their cinnamon spirit, but frankly it sounds like a gay-Irish slur. It feels like it is marketed to a younger crowd, and I wish they had used the “Hearts of Ireland” name instead. The bottle features a leprechaun named Ronan, smoking a pipe and holding what looks to be a Tom Collins, but is probably a gin and tonic. The bottled is nicely plugged with a cork topped with a wooden cap and the seal is adorned with shamrocks. The one I have proudly displays that double gold medal from San Francisco.
Overall, this isn’t a very exciting gin. It is clean and mild and there is nothing offensive about it, except maybe the label. I got my bottle as a gift, but you can pick up one for about $25, and that’s a fair price for what it is. Flaming Leprechaun is a classic dry gin that will do swell in a Negroni or a Vesper. It’s not a top choice for a gin and tonic or a martini where the gin really needs to bring all of the flavor to the cocktail. It is just too gentle to really be the star of the show. So unless you have a gin collection as big as mine, I don’t think this is one you need to add to your home bar. It’s just a little too boring. Recommended with Reservations.
Gin # 004
G&T Ratio 1:1
Distillers notes: “Pure water and rich molasses form the base ingredients for Flaming Leprechaun Gin. Key to the spirit’s recipe is not just the quality of the alcohol but also the proporiton of botanicals used in each distillation. We produce the highest quality alcohol by fermenting molasses with a purity of at least 96%. Then using traditional methods we add it to an original combination of botanicals which includes succulent juniper berries, sloe, coriander seeds, cassia bark, angelica root, nutmeg, orange peel and lemon peel. These botanicals along with the base ingredients are distilled for up to eight hours.
The mix is then left to infuse. It’s during this time that the essential oils, which give Flaming Leprechaun Gin its unique taste, are released. The mixture is distilled once more, removing the heads and tails, before purified water is added until the spirit’s strength has been reduced to the 44% ABV strength that is now synonymous with this celtic gin.”