Canaïma gin is produced in Venezuela by a surprising maker: the distillers of Ron Diplomático. Made with 19 handpicked botanicals, six of which are native to the Amazonian rain forest (cashew (merey), acai, uva de palma, tupiro, seje, and copoazu), each is said to be individually distilled to make this unique gin. Traditional gin botanicals make up the remainder of the experience, but details are scarce.
Ready to dig into a gin that’s “Born in the Amazon”? Here we go.
A surprisingly aggressive gin, the nose offers a slick layer of forest floor before offering heavy notes of lime leaf, red pepper, and Thai basil. The palate is sharp and a little off-kilter, peppery and a bit boozy, though herbal elements and some sweetness come into focus with time in glass. Decidedly short on the juniper front, the gin instead offers some light fruit notes in its stead, showcasing white pepper and brown sugar on the lingering finish. While somewhat scattered, the various flavors do at least work well together, especially in more fruit-driven cocktails, though the stamp of a rum producer is clearly felt here, diverging from a traditional gin experience.