This is the first of the in-depth feature articles that are some of the results of our United States of Gin Tasting (in collaboration with TheGinIsIn, America’s Gin Website), where we tasted 30 gins from 30 states.
Today’s feature gin is Dogfish Jin from Delaware. We tasted this one first because, of all of the states from which we had a gin, Delaware was first to join the Union (in 7th December 1787).
Dogfish Jin is made by “Off-Centre Distiller” Alison Schrader at the Dogfish Head Distillery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. As you can probably tell from Alison’s title, Dogfish like to do things differently or off-centre, and this is evident in their gin.
Dogfish Jin is based on a mix of barley, corn and rye grain spirit, and contains botanicals including juniper berries, whole leaf cascade hops, cucumbers and black peppers. It is bottled at 40%ABV.
Given the off-centre approach, I guess the main reason is to be different and break away from the norm. It’s also a bit of fun and catches your eye (rather important in the increasingly competitive gin market).
#1) On its own
Nose: Citrus, sweet and a touch of saline. There is also a hint of savoury pickle, as well as bread and butter – definitely an intriguing nose!
Taste: Floral, with lavender and spicy, zesty citrus and malty hop notes – reminiscent of an India Pale Ale – along with a touch of florality from the hops. The flavours towards the end are much darker, full of character and ensures that this tastes stronger than the 40%ABV that it actually is. Very complex.
#2) Gin & Tonic
Spicy, with citrus, coriander, some floral notes and a dry finish. The gin is contemporary in style and this is obvious at the beginning, with strong floral and spicy notes, but the finish is largely made up of a rather classical, dry juniper. The hops come through in the middle, making this thought-provoking and refreshing.
Piney juniper followed by musky, hoppy floral notes. Flavourful, with a crisp finish. Quite simply, very good.
Rather fresh and pleasantly fruity. Sweet, yet juicy, with a fair amount of herbal bitterness. Succulent, with notable citrus at the end, which follows notes of anise and vanilla. A lovely and very impressive cocktail.
Dogfish Jin is certainly off-centre, with the Distillery taking its own route to create a gin, but, at the same time, it is clearly gin and has a variety of characteristics that will appeal to the more traditional drinker. It a full-flavoured and very mixable spirit and makes a superb Negroni.