Thursday, August 9, 2012

:: st. george's gins ::

I was gifted the new gins from St. George Spirits for review. Many people are  familiar their delightfully potent absinthe, and they recently came out with three gins: Botanivore, Terroir, and Dry Rye. A week or two ago, Andrea and I sat down to try out these spirits.

The first one we tasted was the Botanivore. With 20 different botanicals in the mix, the gin was rather complex but no single note was out of balance here. The nose was rather citrussy and juniper; the citrus can be attributed to the lemon, lime, bergamot, and Seville orange peel in addition to Citra hops. On the tongue, we tasted pine, juniper, and coriander flavors with a slightly mint-like finish. Overall, the gin that popped into my head for comparison was Bluecoat due to the citrus elements and balance; likewise, the Botanivore would probably work in most standard gin recipes.
The next one we tried was Terroir. The name reflects the regional sourcing of some of the botanicals in the area around the distillery in Alameda, CA. The botanicals that stand out as most likely locally harvested are the Douglas fir, California bay laurel, and coastal sage. On the nose, the pine tree and sage notes combined to make me think of Christmas; Andrea commented that it was very sprucy. On the tongue, it was more vegetal and sweeter than the Botanivore; sage, juniper, and a sharper bay note were easily discernible. Interestingly, the gin was not as Christmassy on the mouth as it was on the nose; instead of pine flavors, it was more balanced with green herbal notes. While the information we received declared that Terroir would pair well with berries and citrus, the ingredients that popped into our heads to complement the Terroir's flavors would be the sharper Green Chartreuse and the more savory Yellow one such as in a Bijou or an Alaska, respectively.

The last of the trio was the Dry Rye. Given the name, it is not surprising that the alcohol base was derived from pot-stilled rye. Likewise, on the nose, we got a whiskey grain note that was distinct akin to the malt aromas hovering over Genevers. In addition to the rye, there was an earthy-black pepper aroma as well. On the tongue, the gin was light in body with juniper and black pepper on the front. On the finish, the caraway pleasantly gave the gin a sweetness to balance the black pepper spice. The distillery suggests swapping out rye for this gin or using it drinks that have gin and whiskey variations such as the Negroni/1794.

Finally, Josh Childs, bartender at Silvertone and Trina's Starlite Lounge, recently wrote about the spirits for In his article, he includes two recipes to show how bartenders are using these gins around town. One is a Manhattan Martini created by Backbar's Joe Cammarata using the Dry Rye, and the other is the Necromancer by Citizen's Chad Arnholt using the Terroir.

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