The original formula of Citadelle gin was developed in Dunkirk in 1771 and four years later King Louis XVI authorized two Frenchmen to open a distillery for genièvre production at the Citadelle of Dunkirk, which soon became a Royal distillery.
The brand was resurrected by Alexander Gabriel, founder of Maison Ferrand, in 1995. The company is located in Cognac and it took Gabriel about five years fighting the bureaucracy and finally obtain required permits. More than decade after re-launching the brand the company released Réserve version aged in ex-cognac barrels. Citadelle Rèserve features 22 botanicals, three of which (yuzu, Genepi and blueberry) are unique to this expression. The remaining 19 are included into the brand signature formula: almonds, angelica, cardamom, cassia, cinnamon, coriander, cubeb, cumin, fennel, grains of paradise, juniper berries, lemon peel, licorice, nutmeg, orange peel, orris root, savory, star anise and violets. Citadelle Rèserve is currently aged in five different kinds of barrels – French oak, acacia, mulberry, chestnut and cherry. The gins are blended together, then left in a big (2.4 meters) tall barrel for a short period of time.
Citadelle Réserve is pretty complex gin, pleasantly floral and nutty, with subtle woody and citrusy notes and perfectly integrated spiciness. We recommend serving it neat or with little ice.