04 August 2015
KWV has launched its own super-premium London dry boutique gin, hand crafted for a ‘new world’ gin drinking experience.
Cruxland is made from the highest quality 100% grape spirits infused with nine exotic signature botanicals, including rare Kalahari N’abbas (truffles).
Produced by KWV, the product development process has taken almost three years. “We wanted to create a special gin with botanicals typical to South Africa and knew we needed a special ingredient to complement the flavours of the other botanicals,” says Master Distiller, Pieter de Bod.
“Kalahari truffles only grow in the Kalahari after the first rains so we had to wait for that to happen and then we got the volumes we needed,” he explains. “The Kalahari truffle forms a distinctive crack in the earth in the form of a cross when the truffle swells after the rain. Having said this, only the very experienced truffle hunter can spot where to start digging.”
This cross in the ground was the inspiration for the Cruxland name, as Crux means cross in Latin.
To produce this truly original hand crafted small batch London Dry gin the spirit is double distilled in batches in small copper potstills. The highest quality neutral grape spirit is used and it is distilled with spices and the best quality botanicals from South Africa and abroad – namely juniper berries, honey bush tea, coriander, rooibos, aniseed, cardamom, almonds, lemon and Kalahari truffles.
Cruxland unlocks these original characterful flavours resulting in a world-class gin that is complex in taste and extra smooth in finish giving a soft mouth feel and contains no esters and fatty acids that can influence the taste of the botanicals used.
“We wanted something really special and we knew, with a 100% grape based gin and the beautiful botanicals added, we could create a unique and truly South-African gin, not only perfect for mixing but also as a sipping gin – not readily available.”
2015 has been dubbed the year of gin with premium global sales rocketing. In the UK alone CGA Strategy research reveals that sales of premium gin are up 49% over the last two years with boutique gin making up more than a quarter of the market. Experts say the gin revival has been sparked by unusual flavours and launches of small batches, which are adding vitality to the category and the re-emergence of a cocktail culture.
KWV specialises in premium brandy and wine, both products of the grape. “It was therefore a natural progression to produce a 100% grape based gin,” says KWV’s Anneke Mackenzie, KWV’s global portfolio manager for spirits. “It is a great time to launch as the premium and super-premium segment is experiencing substantial growth in South Africa as well as globally.”
Cruxland Flavour & Taste notes
Flavour notes: An excellent fresh aroma of juniper and lemon, enhanced by coriander and spice and an earthy character from the Kalahari truffles, lightly tinted by the botanicals, and with a flavour, which is both bold, and perfumed all at once.
Tasting notes: Extremely well balanced and complex taste leading the way to a classy palate with a lingering finish that emphasises the underlying quality of the distilled spirit. On tasting you do get the big time juniper barriers in the front, the spicy magic of coriander, aniseed and cardamom in the middle, and a soft cooling and sweetish finish from the honeybush, rooibos, almond, lemon and Kalahari truffles.
The soft sweetish lingering finish makes this gin a perfect gin to sip neat, while the aromatic flavour notes make it the perfect base for a gin and tonic or martini, not to mention many of the classic gin cocktails.
For launch Cruxland is initially available on Yuppiechef, a quality on-line shopping destination that source only the best local and international products. “They are particularly conscious of quality when it comes to their wine and spirit portfolio and we knew that our gin would fit their product offering and target audience perfectly,” says Mackenzie.
“We also plan to sell the brand internationally as we believe the brand is world class and has the potential to satisfy the global palate,” she adds.