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REVIEW: Wild June Gin with red berry juniper

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Wild June Gin is a quintessentially American gin, distilled with wild red berry juniper foraged from the West Texas Mountains.

Fresh off the back of a Gold Award at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Wild June is an exceptionally unique gin and tastes completely different to any gin I have tried here in the UK.


A little bit of background

Wild June Gin is distilled by the District Distilling Company in Washington DC. Their approach when creating Wild June was to Americanise the heart of gin by focusing on it’s key ingredient – juniper. They journeyed to Texas, where wild red berry juniper grows by the bucketful in the West Texas Mountains, and knew that this unique botanical would set their gin apart from traditional London drys. Now an award-winning drink, Wild June describes itself as a “Western Style” gin and certainly ticks the box for innovation in the spirits sector.

The botanicals

The key botanical in Wild June Gin is the foraged red berry juniper, which is said to taste like a mix of traditional juniper and cranberry. However, this isn’t the only unusual ingredient in this gin. The recipe also contains hops, an ingredient usually used in the brewing of beer. While many gins contain black pepper as an ingredient, Wild June puts a twist on tradition with the addition white pepper.

  • Wild Red Berry Juniper
  • Common Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Orange peel
  • Lemon peel
  • Hops
  • Saigon cinnamon
  • Angelica
  • Orris root
  • White pepper
  • Lemon balm

The packaging

Wild June is packaged in a traditionally shaped gin bottle: short and stocky, with curved shoulders. The bottle is adorned with a stunning label that looks like something out of an renaissance painting. Delicately drawn flowers are overlaid with a large star, which is reminiscent of the stars and stripes on the US flag and further exaggerates the idea that this truly is an American gin. Wild June’s bottle also features some hand-written elements, denoting the ABV, batch number and date bottled, which I think are always a lovely touch for a small-batch bottle.

The perfect serve

The District Distilling Co. recommend serving their Wild June Gin neat over ice. However, if this is a bit much for you it also works fantastically in a gin and tonic. With it’s unique hoppy flavour, I also expect that this would work well in a variety of traditional cocktails but in particular a negroni.

On the nose

The first thing that hits your nose is juniper, which is unsurprising considering this bottle is distilled with two types of it! Wild June smells rich and pungent, with notes of pine and a distinct woodiness. Following on from this is a sweet citrus and a hint of spice from the cinnamon and pepper.

Straight

Sipped neat, you can definitely taste the hops, which comes to the forefront along with the double-hit of juniper. Wild June has a slightly buttery mouthfeel and caramel notes, giving it a somewhat sweet flavour. To finish, spice and pepper come through and blend well with the three citrus botanicals.

With tonic

The addition of tonic brings the sweet and slightly bitter flavours of the red berry juniper, with an almost cranberry-like mouthfeel that hits the back of the tongue. Pungent citrus and spice come to the forefront, with notes of orange, cinnamon, coriander and white pepper flooding the palate.

Lasting Impressions

I’ve honestly never tasted a gin like Wild June before. It is truly unique in it’s category and I believe it has achieved what it set out to do: completely embodying the USA in a bottle.

This is definitely not a gin for the faint-hearted – it uses big flavours and it isn’t afraid to show it. However, if you’re looking to try something new and totally different, Wild June is the gin for you.

Wild June gin is available in the UK from The Wine Drinker, pick up your bottle from their online store.


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