Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal
Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal
Herbal / Seedlip NA / 0.0%
A fresh, herbal blend of Peas & traditional garden herbs including Rosemary, Thyme & Spearmint.
I have to admit that the non-alcoholic spirit industry can be a bit confusing. When a company is attempting to craft something that mimics a traditional spirit we all know but simply removing the alcohol, that is rather straightforward, although it comes with mixed results to say the least. But I have come across a number of products in this realm that don’t remind me of any sort of existing booze. Sometimes I wonder what exactly classifies them as a spirit rather than some other type of beverage, but I suppose the obvious answer is distillation. Through this product, it is possible to create all types of innovative sippers through the use of different ingredients.
Seedlip has begun to make a name for themselves in the NA spirit world by using mainly herbs to distill and create interesting options that can be used by the consumer to create fresh new mocktails. It may be difficult for me to find a frame of reference for this type of inventive drink, but I am still excited to see exactly what this company has to offer. So I picked up on of the three spirits that they currently have for sale, and I will, of course, let you know what my verdict is through this Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal review.
Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal Review
The first thing that anyone should have to say about Seedlip’s products is how gorgeous their labels are. Set above the brand name on the front of the bottle is a unique artistic rendering of a rabbit morphed with some beautiful green plants. It is a bit difficult to explain in words but looks very cool with a dash of orange included. Not to scare anyone, but it reminds me of the creature from the film Annihilation. Probably less noticeable to most is the use of negative space and a soft green background. This is much better than most of the busy labels I encounter.
The bottle tells us to simply mix with tonic or soda water, but I will try it neat as well to get a better idea of the character it possesses. First, though, poured into a glass, there isn’t much to see. It is plainly a clear liquid, no carbonation or hint of color to be found. It does look quite clean and sharp without a smidge of cloudiness, which suggests a high-quality distillation process.
Aroma is where this spirit really begins to reveal itself, but it is quite a bit different than what I expected. Seedlip says that this variety is distilled from peas and mixed with herbs, but I actually get strong notes of pickle juice upfront on the nose. This dominant note is not unappealing to me, but when I dig a little deeper, I do get some faint herbal hints like spearmint and rosemary. Maybe the most encouraging part is that it has such a strong aroma. This makes me optimistic that it will have a richer character than many other NA spirits.
While the appearance and aroma don’t overwhelm me with excitement, they at least keep me interested and curious what the tasting will be like. After all, that’s the only way I can really answer the question, “Is Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal good?”
Is Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal Good?
It is apparent to me upon putting this drink to my lips that there is not a simple answer to this question. The first word to comes to my mind is “clean.” It is clear that Seedlip knows how to distill a high-quality product that has a little bit of sharpness to it despite the lack of booze and cleanses itself off the tongue just as quickly as it came.
The big disappointment that I have after tasting is the fact that the big aromas I found on the nose don’t step to the forefront nearly as much on the taste buds. Not that I particularly wanted it to taste like pickle juice, but I really thought there would be more than a combo of light herbal notes dancing together.
I suppose it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as this spirit is clearly marketed to reach its full potential as an ingredient in mixed rinks rather than neat. By itself I get a faint but present pea backbone, none of the hay that is listed as a main element, and touches of peppery thyme. There is a tiny hop bitterness that is quite pleasing but could definitely stand to be stronger.
Next, I combined the spirit with an equal amount of tonic water and a dash of lime juice. The herbs come through more clearly here and play well with the citrus. In particular, I get a lot of the piney rosemary. Either way you drink it, the finish is wonderfully crisp, and the spirit is both light and refreshing.
It is clear that there is some true care going into the creation of this spirit. Some experimentation with mixers could be key to drawing out all it has to offer. Finish reading below to find out what that ends up meaning for my final Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal rating.
Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal Rating
Non-alcoholic spirits may exist on the steepest grading curve of all. I have found a couple that are somewhat tasty but have yet to come across one that effectively mimics a traditional liquor. But the benefit of a product like this is that there is no inherent comparison to a spirit that we are already familiar with. If I were forced to compare, I would say it is most similar to gin, I guess. But really it is its own thing and a very pleasant one at that.
It is a tricky thing to put a score on – an original product that is very clearly crafted with care by people who know what they are doing. But like so many other options in this industry, I am just left wanting more from it. It definitely works better in a mixed drink, but even there I wish it took the driver’s seat. But the quality is high enough that I will end this Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal review by giving it 4 out of 5 stars.