spicy, and nutty flavor with a hint of bitter orange.”5 Masada’s work also found that essential oil profile varied a great deal depending on at what stage of a plant’s maturation the seeds were harvested. Furthermore, storage time (like with many other botanicals) can also adversely affect coriander’s essential oil content6 — fresher coriander was generally found to be higher in terms of oil and aromatic compounds.
LINALOOL Despite being only a very minor component of juniper berries, Linalool has been repeatedly found to be among the most common volatile compounds present in commercially available gins. For example, in five of the six gin samples studied by Aumatell in 2011, linalool was by far the most common aromatic compound. In the four London Dry type gins, linalool was ten times more prevalent than the pinene which was primarily contributed by the juniper. In other words, the aromatic profile of many gins is defined in a large part by coriander.7 The human nose is incredibly sensitive to linalool, able to detect it at merely 4 to 10 parts per billion.8 Pure linalool has been 5 Raghavan, S. (2007) 6 Nadeem, M. (2013) 7 Vichi et. al. found similar results in their 2005 study Characterization of Volatiles in Different Dry Gins 8 George, B. (2010). Fenaroli’s handbook of flavor ingredients. CRC Press (Sixth)
described as having a scent either similar to Fruit Loops cereal, or being sweet, somewhat floral and reminiscent of petitgrain.9 Humans are also quite sensitive to it on the palate. At five parts per million, linalool registers as “green, apple and pear with an oily, waxy, slightly citrus note.”10 While some higher linalool content coriander seeds exhibit this slightly more floral or fruity aroma, most coriander, especially those from drier climes like Morocco, has what is often described as a “spicy, citrusy” flavor. Coriander distilled on its own with neutral grain spirit tastes a bit dustier with a dry, faint spiciness to it earlier on, while some of the heavier, richer, floral tones come on a bit later in the process. High linalool amounts found in commercially available gin is due in part to coriander, but it’s not the only source for linalool. Depending on the rest of the botanical blend, a high coriander-tojuniper ratio could be amplifying the linalool in other botanicals such as thyme, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cinnamon, orange and cardamom.
CORIANDER FORWARD Though not frequently highlighted on labels nor in marketing materials, distillers formulating gin recipes need be aware of their 9 The leaves and twigs of the bitter orange tree — for the non-perfumists in the house 10 George, B. (2010). Fenaroli’s handbook of flavor ingredients. CRC Press (Sixth)
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