Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Tuesday Tasting: Four States of American Gin
Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we taste gins from four American states.
Gin is one of the more interesting spirits in the drinks world. It is as clear as vodka, but unlike the process of making vodka, which takes away flavor, the distiller actively adds flavors to gin. Some gins have more than a dozen different botanicals added along the way.
The juniper berry is at the base of most gins, but the rest of the flavors can include roots, citrus, berries and nuts -- even bark. It is a drink with plenty of personality. For all of the heavy smoke and wood of a great whiskey, a fine gin can be upbeat and light. They are different ranges of the distiller's chart.
Many early American microdistillers have focused on vodka and brandy. Some have gone into making run and whiskey. A few others have ventured into making gin. Recently, I was able to gather four of these gins, all from a different state to give them a taste.
Bluecoat American Dry Gin: Philadelphia Distilling uses 100 percent certified organic botanicals in making Bluecoat. This 94-proof gin has plenty of aromatic botanicals, turning your glass into a perfume factory. It has a great flavor that finishes with an orange peel note.
Cricket Club Gin: The 86 proof gin from Oregon is a London dry style with clean, crisp citrus zest in the nose and flavor profile. There is a warming pine note around the edge.
Jackalope Gin: From Peach Street Distillers in Palisade, Colo., this 80 proof gin has a nice nose and plenty of aromatics that lean towards the juniper and bitter root side. This gin is just now reaching the market.
New Holland Artisan Spirits Gin: This 85 proof Michigan gin has a light, slightly sweet and aromatic flavor that finishes with a hint of perfume.