Admittedly the bright yellow color of Ungava seems odd for gin, but it is certainly eye-catching and unique, which I find fitting for Canada’s first modern regional gin – a gin that it is committed to showcasing the best of the area where it is made.
If you happen to have some time on your hands (up to 20 mins), here’s a classic Canadian National Film Board documentary from 1949, Across Arctic Ungava, that covers (a bit hilariously) a couple of scientists who are documenting this area’s biology for the first time, and gives a fairly good sense of what the region is like. Going back to the yellow color, I’d like to think that it’s a celebration of the time of year in the region when the sun shines up to 24 hours a day and when life is in full swing, in extreme opposition to the complete darkness at the other, no doubt depressing, end of the year. Or perhaps leaving it is yellow simply easier than filtering the color out.
In any case, Ungava delivers noticeable juniper that follows closely with a uniquely soft yet lightly floral herbaceous backbone with an unexpected tartness at the finish. Not unexpectedly, it lacks a citrus element, but the flavors are balanced to compensate and deliver a lovely gin that can be enjoyed neat. In a gin and tonic it shines with lemon and a lightly citrus or floral and sweet tonic – here I found Porter’s tonic syrup with schwepps soda water knocked it out of the park, with fever tree Mediterranean and lime taking a close second.
Smell – Junipery and herbal in a complex yet mellow way
Taste neat – Bright with a soft finish; light herbal spice and floral undertones but lacking citrus, with a slightly tart finish
In a G&T – Best with a slightly sweet tonic with a light flavor complexity and lemon or lime. Normally I’d recommend using only the peel, but in this case including the fruit really enhances the G&T