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When Germany’s Monkey 47 first hit the American market a decade ago, it was a revelation for gin drinkers because the spirit stood entirely on its own. As complex as any whiskey, yet divine in any cocktail, it redefined what gin could be for a number of adventurous drinkers. Grown men and women were drinking it neat for the first time in their lives.

Since that moment, the gin category has expanded beyond the limits of our imagination, but rarely has it demonstrated the same level of beauty. Hendrick’s Lesley Gracie has concocted a number of memorable gins from her Cabinet of Curiosities collection over the last few years, but the new Flora Adora is by far the most complete. Brimming with rose petals, lavender, and other floral intoxications, never once does it encroach the soapy or sudsy elements that turn off many drinkers. Instead, it dials up the red fruit elements, bringing raspberry notes that seamlessly meld with tangy spices on the finish, then morph into a subtle sweetness, almost like strawberry shortcake. It’s difficult to truly put into words, but the effect is one of the most engaging and satisfying gin experiences of the year—by far.

The entire journey, from the front of the palate to the backend finish, is a rollercoaster of all the senses, one that stands entirely on its own—no tonic water or vermouth needed. By all means, make a cocktail with the new Flora Adora, but make sure to appreciate it neat. Few gins ever come this close to virtuosity. Even fewer warrant their reputation as a straight sipper. Passionate gin drinkers will surely agree: Hendrick’s knocked this one out of the park.

Tasting Notes,

Nose: Intensely perfume-y, packed with orange peel, lavender, floral notes out the wazoo. Insane how much floral essence is here, it's borderline overwhelming.

Palate: Sweet on the palate, it's soapy, floral, fruity. Apples, pears, peaches, fragrant soaps and a hint of juniper. It's like a dreamsicle met a bar of soap and a lavender heap.

Finish: Short finish, intensely orange and lavender forward.
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