I’ve often written about the renaissance of craft distilling in the US, but the availability of these products has always been rather limited. However, last week, a new gin brand arrived in the UK, being imported from America by GX Spirits.
That brand is Spirit Works, out of Sebastopol, north of San Francisco, California.
Spirit Works was founded by husband and wife team, Timo & Ashby Marshall. Timo originally hails from England, whilst Ashby is a native of the Pacific West Coast.
Their current range includes a gin, a vodka, and the only US sloe gin made in the traditional, English style.
The gin is made using an organic, Californian wheat base, which is milled, mashed, fermented and distilled on-site at the distillery. It is bottled at 43.0% ABV and contains a proprietary botanical blend of traditional and Californian botanicals, including:
On its own
Nose: Juniper with hint of lemon and vanilla.
Taste: Juniper and spice up-front, which moves onto a stronger pine flavour intermingled with a sweet breadiness with a touch of fennel or caraway. There’s also bright citrus and a little pepper towards the end. A good, solid dry gin with a little transatlantic flair. Very nice to sip neat, on the rocks, or from the freezer.
Gin & Tonic
Fruity, with notes of vanilla and a dry, refreshing finish with a lot of flavour. Classic, with a creamy twist. I am reminded of jelly and ice-cream, but by no means in a bad way; the drink is not overly sweet and has a dry finish. My advice: try one.
This cocktail has a lovely interplay of flavours between dryness and crispness. The juniper is certainly there, as well as dry floral and citrus notes that work well with the vermouth, but be careful not to put too much in. Just before the finish there is a burst of plumy fruit, which stops the drink from becoming too arid. The finish is long, lingering and dry and, as it fades, you are more than inclined to take another sip.
Lovely nose – some hints of vanilla and cinnamon, like homemade custard. The taste is even better, just superb – a lovely interplay of flavours between the spicy botanicals, dry botanicals, and its sweeter elements. Complex, intense and a delight to drink.