A few weeks back I had the opportunity to try Nolet’s Reserve. I had never seen a bottle of the stuff in person, but I’ve been aware of its existence for quite a while. I love Nolet’s Silver gin, and in reading about it I discovered the Nolets also bottle an inexplicably expensive version as well. It sells for between $600-700, which doesn’t make sense! It’s not like whisky, where it’s aged and put into storage for decades. It’s just gin, right?
Naturally, I’ve been eager to try it. But I also am not paying $700 for a bottle of any alcohol, ever. So when I stumbled across a bar that serves Reserve in San Francisco, I decided to pony up and try it. Even if it was nearly $100 for a pour. Better $100 than $700, right? It was a hard choice, and I mulled it for a few days, but eventually I decided that it was worth making the investment if only to satisfy my curiosity. And so:
The verdict? It’s a truly spectacular gin. It tastes a lot like Nolet’s Silver, but it’s smoother while also being more complex. I won’t pretend to be able to identify the specific botanicals that give Reserve its flavor, but they’re very nice.
Are they $700 for a bottle nice? No way, especially when Nolet’s Silver exists. It’s very similar and extremely drinkable, and it costs $40 a bottle. But was the pour worth the price? Absolutely, because now I know, and I never have to do it again.