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Gin Reviews

Gin Made from Cheese? Audemus Umami Oak Finished Gin, 42% ABV

Sweet dreams are made of cheese.

At a recent visit to the gin lover's paradise that is Atlas Bar (yup, the one with that three-story gin tower), I was introduced by the Head Bartender Yana Keller to a really intriguing gin that I could not resist trying. 

"It's made from cheese," Yana smiled. 

To be exact, the Audemus Umami Oak Finished Gin is made from Parmigiano-Reggiano Italian parmesan cheese. Not just that, this cheese is infused into a Sicilian caper distillate. With the incorporation of cheese and capers, you can imagine why this gin was named the "Umami Oak Finished Gin". This is also an aged gin, left to rest in cognac barrels for several months after distillation.

The Umami Oak Finish Gin is produced by the Audemus Distillery, which was originally known for its flagship pink pepper gin, which bagged the Gold Outstanding award at the International Wine And Spirits Competition in 2022. 

Interestingly, the distillery operates out of the head distiller's (Miko) living room. Audemus Spirits employs the use of vacuum distillation, still a fairly rare gin production technique that involves lowering the pressure inside the distillation still such that it lowers the temperature at which distillation occurs. By doing this, the distillery avoids cooking and bruising the botanicals as they distil in the gin, allowing the botanical flavours to remain fresher without taking on a bitter edge. 

I was really curious about this gin! The tricky thing about savoury gins is whether or not the distiller is able to achieve a right degree of umami, while still balancing this with other complementary flavours such that it doesn't overwhelm the palate. Let's find out if Audemus gets this one right... 

Audemus Umami Oak Finished Gin - Tasting Notes

Colour: Slight yellow tinge, reflecting its time in the oak barrels.

Nose: The nose starts off with a hit of lemon. Some notes of thyme and mint adds to the freshness and crispness of the aroma. I get a note of miso paste that gently builds. Upon subsequent nosings, the spicy notes of chilli and black pepper grows in strength, becoming more intense. 

Palate: The texture of this gin is medium-bodied and very well-rounded. 

There's a slight barely-there butteriness to it that's quite delightful. The body is slightly vegetal and herbaceous, with light notes of mushroom, freshly-cut grass, and sea salt. The umami note here is balanced very well by a citrus note and spiciness of bell peppers.

Finish: Long, with a spicy warmth of lingering peppery notes. Slight oakiness and thyme.

My Rating:

🌶 🚧

A complex gin that breaks away from preconceptions! 

Don't be put off by the use of cheese or capers in the gin, as the umami flavours of the gin was really well-controlled and balanced. Rather than it being one-dimensionally salty, this gin surprised me with a range of characters - spicy, citrus, herbal. 


You can try a dram of this gin for yourself at Atlas Bar in Singapore, or purchase a bottle from Master of Malt (ships internationally).