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Gin Reviews

Saigon Baigor Premium Dry Gin, 43% ABV


“Oh my god, it must have been impossible to find a manufacturer to make these bottles!” I couldn’t help but exclaim when I chanced across bottles of Saigon Baigor gin at a recent spirits festival. The gentleman behind the booth - whom later introduced himself as Jochem Lisser, one of co-founders of Saigon Baigur - gave me a knowing smile as I admired the gorgeous bottle shaped like a dragon’s egg.

When asked about the significance of the dragon’s egg, Jochem explains that the dragon is a mythological creature that represents power and prosperity in Vietnam. Finding a glass producer willing to custom make a dragon’s egg shaped bottle, complete with all those intricate scale details, took over a year. Still, it’s worth it, because the dragon makes for a pretty appropriate symbol to use for one of Vietnam’s pioneering craft gin distilleries. 



Produced at the District 9 Distilling Company in Saigon using traditional copper pot stills, the Saigon Baigor gin was created by Jochem Lisser and Florian Draaisima with the aim of creating a gin with a distinctive, floral essence that embodies the flavors and scents of Vietnam.

The gin utilises twelve unique Vietnamese botanicals in celebration of the diversity of the country’s agricultural produce and flavours, in addition to four classic gin botanicals. Key ingredients used includes locally grown Buddha’s Hand from Hanoi, lotus flower from the Mekong Delta and cinnamon from Saigon. 

After being so charmed by its bottle, you’d bet I was excited to try it for myself! Let’s get to it! 

Saigon Baigor Premium Dry Gin - Tasting Notes


Nose: Bright and sweet, with fragrant notes of citrus lemon peel and Buddha’s Hand. There’s some spiciness and subtle sweetness that produces this unexpected yet utterly delightful aroma of cinnamon sugar. 

Palate: On the palate, the bright citrus aromas is dialled down a little, and transforms into a mild note of lemongrass. The taste of this gin is predominantly spice-forward and herbaceous though - I get notes of cinnamon, angelica root, fennel, and star anise. Most obviously, there’s a strong ginger notes that builds in strength and lingers well into the finish.

Finish: Medium. The ginger notes that emerges on the palate maintains its strength and carries this gin through the finish. I also get notes of cardamom and black pepper, as well as a note of lemongrass, reminding me of traditional Vietnamese beef pho noodles. 



Overall Thoughts

This is a really unexpected flavour trip with lots of delicious layers! This gin has a uniquely herbal-spice characteristic that is truly reminiscent of classic Vietnamese cuisine flavours - think beef pho soup, Vietnamese tea, and fragrant rice paper vegetable rolls. Despite these strong spicy flavours, there’s still a nice subtle citric sweetness to this gin that should allow it to remain fairly friendly and approachable to most drinkers. I would pair this with a simple tonic, garnished with lemon and thyme! 

 

With juniper and joy,

@lotusroot518