London-based fashion photographer Mert Alas has launched Seventy One Gin. The new spirit is influenced by perfume-making techniques.
Alas is one half of the photography duo Mert + Marcus, and is known for his celebrity portraits and high-end fashion campaigns.
Made in Rotterdam, Seventy One Gin was created in collaboration with master distiller Steve Wilson, the former president of Diageo Reserve. Botanicals used in the expression include juniper, angelica, lemon, damask rose, grapefruit and cinchona, which are individually distilled using techniques such as cold infusion, slow infusion, vacuum and copper pot distillation.
Then, the gin is then matured for 71 days in three types of oak virgin casks from Spain, PX Sherry barrels, and French oak. Finally, a distillate of the night-flowering cactus Selenicereus grandiflorus is added to the blend. Grown in extreme conditions, this rare and unusual flower only blooms at night for a few hours once a year
“For me, Seventy One Gin is about reconstructing the idea of what gin means today,” said Mert Alas. “I Am obsessed with masterful creations that hold a sense of the strange and beautiful. Seventy one gin is not a spontaneous beauty, it is a carefully meticulous beauty.”
It is packaged in a geometric cut-glass bottle designed by Alas himself, with a label that draws on “the codes of haute perfumery.”
“The gin heart, familiar aromatics of juniper and angelica are perceived first before the gourmand notes of the queen of the night introduce themselves, like a cloud above the coniferous notes, rounding sharp edges, smoothing and making easy the drinking experience,” says French Master Perfumer Dominique Ropion. “You don’t perceive the individual notes rather the journey the liquid has undertaken as the scent and flavours develop.”
On the nose, the gin is said to deliver layers of “fresh ripe green notes to warm, earthy aromatics, and a distinctive sweetness,” with the addition of the night-flowering cactus lending “a potent vanillin bouquet.” It is caffeinated due to the addition of guayasa tea leaves, and its time in oak gives the liquid an amber color.
Seventy One is priced at £140 and is available to purchase at the brand’s official website.