It’s our second round with the spirits of rock band Kiss, whose lineup comprises three rums and this, a “New York Style” gin (which is also available in Navy strength now) named after the Kiss song of the same name. What is New York Style gin? I’m unclear, but the brand does say that it is “inspired by the vibrant streets of New York City and the iconic 1974 rock hit” and as such is a tribute to the big apple.
Distilled in pot and column stills in Sweden and flavored with unspecified botanicals save for juniper and citrus, the gin is distinctly citrus-forward from the start, with a nose of sweet mandarin oranges backed up by a fairly gentle, lightly earthy juniper punch. Don’t go looking for London Dry here, though. This is closer to a citrus vodka on the nose than a typical gin.
The palate switches the script and quickly: Bold with juniper up front, the green herbal character is bracing and laden with notes of turned earth, licorice, and eventually some grapefruit and lemon peel elements. Chewy and woody, there’s a sharp near-astringency here that gives the finish more bite than you’d expect from a 40% abv bottling — though there’s also a Lemonhead sweet-and-sourness that is surprisingly appealing. As with the other Kiss products I’ve tasted, it won’t appear in my memoirs, but it’s approachable enough to mix with.
B+ / $40 (700ml) / drinkitupbykiss.com [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]