Style: Classic juniper-forward
Disclaimer: This gin was given to me as a sample by Amázzoni Gin. All opinions are my own.
I first reviewed the original Amázzoni Gin from the Brazilian Destilaria Amázzoni back in October 2019. Since then it appears the Master Distiller Alexandre Mazza has been very busy developing a new gin recipe. Gin Amázzoni Rio Negro promises to be boldly Brazilian.
Alexandre hasn’t strayed too far from gin’s classical roots and if anything trimmed down some of the more ‘fancy’ Amazonian botanicals in the original gin to concentrate on what is at the heart of a thumpingly good gin: juniper.
Gone are the maxixe (cucumber) and cipó-cravo (clove vine). Instead, the juniper has been ramped up, along with coriander and lemon. The ABV has gone up too to 51%, just a few percentages shy of Navy strength.
The branding remains the same with the Gin Amázzoni Rio Negro bottle echoing the original recycled glass bottle, albeit in a rather darker shade. Together on a gin shelf, they look like the yin and yang of gin.
It has already bagged a Double Gold Medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
But how does Rio Negro taste? Is it a bold and gutsy move too far?
Juniper, coriander and lemon
On the nose Rio Negro is a classic sophisticated juniper-forward gin.
To taste it is bold and juniper-forward with strong coriander notes and a hint of lemon. A serious gin, smooth with a slight oiliness from the extra juniper.
Rio Negro is less multi-dimensional than Amázzoni Gin original. The clove vine is gone and with it the sweet spiciness.
Definitely juniper-forward; definitely punchy; definitely no-nonsense. A robust gin in style and substance that would make a great cocktail gin. The juniper won’t disappear under a waterfall of other flavours.
The addition of tonic produces a faint moon glow of cloudiness as is to be expected with the predominance of juniper. Having said that it makes for a great G&T.
It also makes for a sublime Gimlet. Find out how to make this simple 2 ingredient cocktail.
And keeping with the green theme? Try making a Gin Basil Smash with it. You won’t be disappointed.