The 10th state to join the United States of America was Virginia and, as such, the next gin in our United States of Gin Tasting was Watershed Gin from Catoctin Creek, Virginia.
Watershed Gin is bottled at 50%ABV and is made from a spirit-base of organic rye.
On its own
Nose: Vanilla, grain, cereal, wheat and oily citrus.
Taste: Smooth, thick and syrupy, with strong flavours of caraway, juniper and anise, as well as orris root. It has respectable depth of flavour, but is unusual and rather savoury, even a touch salty (in a similar way to Aviation gin, but less floral). I really like the contemporary style of this gin and it has great mixing potential, being able to go into the savoury areas that other gins dare not tread.
Gin & Tonic
Initially, fruit salad sweets, with a musky chalkiness and citrus and floral notes to follow. Then it’s very dry, with hints of orris and celery. This is most definitely unusual, but from tasting the drink neat, not unexpected.
Flavours of caraway and dark chocolate immediately leap out, followed by pine and a pinch of mint. Crisp citrus appears on the finish. Almost invigorating – excellent.
A slight, dusky chocolate note to start (like cocoa powder), followed by yet another unusual take on a classic gin drink. There’s plenty of juniper, though, with coriander and anise bringing up the rear. Unusually for a Negroni, there is something about it that reminds me of fresh porridge; there’s also a touch of herbs and dusty oats. Despite it being something of a departure from a traditional Negroni’s flavour profile, I did rather like it.
All in all, this is a gin that stands up and goes its own way, but with a lot of potential. With some experimentation, you could come up with some drinks that just wouldn’t be the same with any other gin. My favourite of my line-up was easily the Martini.
United States of Gin will return in…
Cocktails with… Greenhook Gin from New York State