Liquor Laboratory

What Does Empress Gin Taste Like? A Royal Palate Experience

What Does Empress Gin Taste Like

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Empress 1908 Gin owes its mesmerizing indigo color to the addition of butterfly pea blossoms, an exotic herb that not only lends its striking hue but also contributes to the gin’s unique flavor profile.

As curious as everyone, we took a deep dive into a dedicated tasting session to know what Empress gin taste like neat and in cocktails.

What Empress 1908 Gin Really Tastes Like

Bartender Holding Bottle of Empress 1908 Gin

Empress 1908 is a color-changing gin that combines delicate aroma, exquisite taste, soft texture, and beautiful indigo hue from butterfly pea blossom.

Unlike most gins, Empress Gin by Victoria Distillers has a floral character, ripe grapefruit (from grapefruit peel), and juniper notes. The taste of this very good gin was quite biting and was slightly bitter on the first sip.

It wasn’t until the second sip that the spicy note started on a more subdued, unveiling a fleeting floral nuance that could be attributed to the Butterfly Pea Blossom.

“I am excited to see the next chapter of growth for Empress Gin.” 

-Peter Hunt, Executive Ambassador

The Fairmont Empress tea, classic empress tea from South India exclusively crafted by the Metropolitan Tea Company, adds elegance to the London Dry Gin.

Also, the coriander seed, rose petal, cinnamon bark, ginger, and other botanicals give a balancing act to the palate profile of the unique gin. But what does a classic gin really taste like?

What Does It Taste Like?

Pouring Empress 1908 Gin


Empress Gin from Victoria Distillers presents a complex and intriguing taste experience when savored neat. The sweet flavor of the rose contributes to the warmth of the liquor.

Upon tasting, it carries a noticeable bitterness, an elegant floral note, cinnamon bark, earthy coriander, and other citrus elements that balance the traditional botanicals of the handpicked tea leaves.

In Cocktails

Empress Gin becomes a versatile canvas of flavors when incorporated into cocktails [1].

The color-changing aspect results from the butterfly pea blossom infusion that complements a cocktail drink’s citrus and floral elements. You can use Empress as a base gin for Martini or Tom Collins.

Empress 1908 Gin’s Tasting Notes

Bottles of Empress 1908 Gin


At first sip, I notice the gentle hint of rose. But this isn’t flowery – it’s more subtle. The tang of ripe grapefruit (from grapefruit peel), juniper note, cinnamon bark, coriander seed, ginger root, and rose flavor from key botanicals are also evident.

But what’s the main flavor of gin?


Empress 1908 Gin is known for its striking indigo color. This unique color comes from a special flower called butterfly pea blossom.

The drink changes color when combined with a tonic or mixer with citrus notes and simple syrup.


I noticed hints of ginger root, coriander seed, rose petal, a hint of green tea, and a substantial, dry cinnamon flavor.

“Empress Gin: Colors and flavors dance, crafting a magical cocktail tale.”

-Liquor Laboratory 

Black tea, ginger root, grapefruit peel, rose petal, juniper, and other botanicals linger on the edges of your palate, leaving a satisfying aftertaste.

What Does Empress Gin Smell Like?

When I poured it into the Martini glass, there was a strong scent of alcohol, like rubbing alcohol. But as I give it a second and third smell, it becomes milder with sweet citrus in the air.

FAQs Related to What does empress gin taste like?

What does Empress Gin taste like?

Empress Gin is known for its distinctive flavor profile, characterized by a combination of traditional gin botanicals and the unique addition of butterfly pea blossoms. It typically offers a balance of juniper, citrus, floral, and herbal notes, with a vibrant hue that can range from deep indigo to pink when mixed with tonic or citrus.

How does the addition of butterfly pea blossoms affect the taste of Empress Gin?

The butterfly pea blossoms impart both color and subtle floral notes to Empress Gin. While they don’t dramatically alter the gin’s taste, they contribute to its overall aroma and appearance, adding a delicate floral nuance to the flavor profile.

Can you describe the juniper presence in Empress Gin’s flavor?

Juniper is a key botanical in Empress Gin, contributing to its classic gin character. While not overpowering, the juniper provides a distinct piney and resinous flavor that forms the backbone of the gin’s taste profile.

What citrus flavors can be found in Empress Gin?

Empress Gin typically features citrus notes derived from botanicals like lemon peel, grapefruit peel, or other citrus fruits. These citrus flavors add brightness and zest to the gin’s taste, complementing the other botanicals.

Are there any herbal elements in the flavor profile of Empress Gin?

Yes, Empress Gin may contain herbal notes from botanicals like coriander, angelica root, or other traditional gin herbs. These herbal elements contribute to the gin’s complexity and depth of flavor.

In Summary

Empress 1908 Gin oozes modern sophistication as it is handcrafted in small batches with carefully sourced botanicals, and the distillation process gives out a perfect cup.

In our honest opinions, the traditional elegance characterized by a delicate balance of floral and herbal notes sets it apart as a versatile spirit for both sipping and mixing.

The color-changing aspect, courtesy of the butterfly pea blossom infusion, adds an element of enchantment to every pour.

Whether enjoyed neat or in gin cocktails, it offers a sensory journey that captivates the palate and the eyes, making it a standout choice in spirits.


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