A Celebration of Colorado Gin (A Mega-Post)

Followers of SummerFruitCup might have noticed a recent uptick in the number of gin reviews posted on the website; this is in a New Year endeavour to clear some of our backlog of gin reviews.

Colorado Gin FINAL

Today’s mega-post has a theme: Colorado. Colorado is one of the top US states in terms of number of distilleries, along with Washington state, California, and New York. Should you ever be visiting the state, be sure to check out some of these great distilleries.

Cap Rock Gin (41.0% ABV)

Cap Rock Gin FINALCap Rock Gin is made by Peak Spirits in western Colorado. It uses a base spirit made from local apples and a mix of 12 botanicals, including juniper, rose, and lavender.

On its own
Nose: Fruity, rich and full. Distinctive notes of floral angelica and fresh-cut green apples.
Taste: Smooth, with a fair amount of lemon balm and citrus, followed by fragrant and crisp green apple notes that linger and zing on the palate. There’s also a little dry angelica on the finish.

Gin & Tonic
Very unusual and rather fruity, with the jammy notes of apple sauce coming through, before moving onto more dry apple notes. A vibrant and delicious drink.

Martini
Bright and crisp, with a mix of dry apple and pear flavours, before some juniper at the end. There is also a pinch of sweet spice, which adds balance. I’d recommend garnishing this Martini with a wafer-thin apple slice.

Negroni
This is a great take on the classic drink; the gin adds another dimension with its luscious fruit notes, adding to the cocktails typical bitter-sweet character; the sweet works well with the vermouth, whilst the bitter works well with the Campari. A very well-integrated cocktail and a drink I’ll likely return to.

In Conclusion
Cap Rock is a fun gin – great for those who want to try something a bit different, it is also a great example of how a non-NGS base spirit can work wonders in gin. My favourite drink was the Negroni, but all that I tried were very good.
Colorado Fog Gin (40.0% ABV)

Colorado Fog Gin FINALProduced at the Mystic Mountain Distillery at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Larkspur, Colorado.

On its own
Nose: Soft and vodka-like; a bit of vanilla, but not much else.
Taste: Very smooth and clean. The grain base is apparent, but there is almost nothing else there. The vaguest whiff of juniper does start to come through, or perhaps I just imagined it. Almost void of flavour, this has a finish that is very dry, sucking the moisture from the mouth. Adding a little water, a faint orange character emerges.

Gin & Tonic
This is an unfortunately cloying drink, although not without a refreshing quality. The gin’s flavour needs to be emboldened to allow the spirit to stand up to tonic. I use British Schweppes, so I imagine that it would be utterly lost against a HFCS-based tonic.

Martini
If this was a vodka Martini, it would be excellent: clean and smooth, with a good texture and a tiny hint of lemon citrus. But as a gin Martini, this sadly falls short; it has a dry finish, but no discernable juniper.

Negroni
This is a clean and somewhat refreshing drink, but the gin is totally lost to the other ingredients.

In Conclusion
There are some definite good points about Colorado Fog Gin: the base is of good quality in terms of texture and background character and the spirit has little burn or unpleasant stewed flavours. Unfortunately, it really lacks any discernible botanical character and as such I struggle to consider it as a gin. The best way to drink it was in a Martini – especially if you like vodka Martinis.

Colorado Gold Gin (40.0 % ABV)

Colorado Gold Gin FINALProduced by the Colorado Gold Distillery in Cedaredge, Colorado, the distillers of this gin use local grains to produce their spirit base in addition to local water.

On its own
Nose: Sweet grain, beer, and coriander.
Taste: The sweet base comes through again on the palate: it’s quite bready, with herbal notes such as fennel and anise before dry juniper and a fresh finish of sweet citrus.

Gin & Tonic
A drink with a strong nose of pecans and pear. The taste begins with a little malt and hops, which transforms into notes of pecan and almond, before some sweet marmalade citrus. The finish is nutty and very dry. Certainly an unusual Gin & Tonic, but nonetheless refreshing.

Martini
This is almost like a white whiskey Martini, full of grainy, bready notes. It’s dry and clean, with fine notes of juniper and coriander, plus a stem, plant-like quality on the finish.

Negroni
Colorado Gold Gin makes a mellow Negroni that, thanks to the base spirit, has a character reminiscent of geneva. There are some particularly bitter, dry, tannin notes, plus some herbal elements. An unusual, but cosy cocktail with a curbed bitterness and lingering sweetness of anise and fennel.

In Conclusion
Colorado Gold is certainly a very contemporary gin; with a lot of its base spirit coming through, the slightly sweet spice may well be too much for some traditionalists, but I enjoyed it. My favourite drink was the Negroni.
Denver Dry Gin (40.0% ABV)

Denver dry Gin FINALA product of Mile High Spirits in the city of Denver, this gin is produced in a large glass still. It is made using botanicals that include: juniper, citrus, coriander, and Grains of Paradise.

On its own
Nose: Clean, with a generous dose of juniper, plus citrus and earthy notes.
Taste: A classic style of gin, but with a modest sweetness, this has plenty of juniper, as well as a pleasant mix of lemon and lime, all followed by some earthy notes. This is an excellent gin with both good texture and flavour.

Gin & Tonic
The drink has a light louche to it, plus a strong nose of pine. To sip, it is an extremely crisp, crystal-clean drink: there is refreshing juniper and citrus, plus the the earthy, floral flavours of angelica. A really good drink that ticks all the boxes.

Martini
Very oily and, again, the drink louches slightly. Nonetheless, it is easy to drink and has a wide variety of signature classic gin flavours, all rounded off with a sweet spicy lift at the end of the finish.

Negroni
This is a Negroni with a fine interplay between bitter and sweet. There are notes of zesty citrus, plus the dryness of cedar and pine, before, once again, the drink is brought to a close with the gin’s signature spicy flourish.

In Conclusion
Denver Dry Gin is a first-class example of a truly classic London Dry Gin and is probably the best I have encountered that is produced outside of the UK. All of the drinks were excellent, but my favourite was the Gin & Tonic.
Dancing Pines (40.0% ABV)

Dancing Pines Gin FINALDancing Pines Distillery is in Loveland, Colorado, a little north of Denver. Their gin recipe uses just six botanicals.

Nose: A nice bright nose of juniper and lemon, along with a tinge of sweet, but pronounced alcohol.
Taste: Nice balance. Quiet upfront, building to a moderate level of juniper with an anise and fennel seed mid-note. The finish closes with a tinge of lemon, which is long and lingering. It has the character of a mild, but quite flavourful gin.

Gin & Tonic
Very crisp, clean. There’s a reasonable balance of flavour, with some citrus notes, and a particularly dry finish. An okay Gin & Tonic, but not great.

Martini
A cocktail with a spicy and savoury element on the nose. To drink, this is a very smooth Martini, with silky notes of fennel/anise coming through, accompanied by dry pine and a citrus finish. Very nice.

Negroni
Dancing Pines makes a soft and clean Negroni with good spice and citrus notes, as well as hints of floral and vanilla. It is less intense than some other Negronis, but nevertheless has a good, if subtle flavour. Very easy to drink.

In Conclusion
Dancing Pines is a subtle gin that makes good use of its botanical flavours. My favourite drink was the Martini.
Rob’s Mountain Gin (44.0% ABV)

Today’s review looks at the first of two gins from Spring 44 Distillery in Loveland, Colorado. Rob’s Mountain Gin is a limited edition spirit; each edition has a different formula, this was Formula #44.

On its own
Nose: Zesty, with notes of coriander, lemon, and lime, as well as a hint of black rubber.
Taste: Smooth and very creamy, with herbal notes and a silky note of citrus vanilla. The finish is lovely and dry, with lots of juniper notes. This gin has great balance; a splendid sipper.

Gin & Tonic
A drink with a spicy, complex nose, this Gin & Tonic has plenty of juniper upfront, which gradually gives way to sweet spice and more herbal notes.

Martini
Thick and full of flavour; there are plenty of herbal and spiced notes, as well as some citrus, fennel, and anise, and more of a sweet note towards the end. Sophisticated and flavoursome, this is a delight to drink.

Negroni
Excellent – well-rounded and full-bodied, with a rich, slightly jammy, but bitter finish. The finish has a real, long-lingering bitterness that is complemented by the cocktail’s herbal character and tangy citrus.

In Conclusion
Rob’s Mountain Gin is a truly first-class spirit that is delicious either on its own or when mixed. My favourite drink was the Martini.
Spring 44 (44.0% ABV)

Botanicals: Juniper, Coriander, Nutmeg, Agave Nectar

On its own
Nose: Lemon, rose, and spicy coriander.
Taste: This gin has a thick, mouth-filling texture and is absolutely packed full of luscious juniper: fruity and jammy, with a lovely freshness. The finish has more zesty notes of coriander, plus spice and pepper.

Gin & Tonic
Lively, with plenty of citrus notes, plus hints of lemongrass and coriander. Light, bright, and very thirst-quenching.

Martini
Another satisfying cocktail that is clean and crisp, with an icy shard of juniper, coriander, and citrus flavours. A Martini with a booming character, this is superb. Textbook.

Negroni
A good, intense Negroni with a solid bitter-sweetness, as well as notes of citrus, juniper, and an array of earthy botanicals. Very good and definitely one that will please Negroni traditionalists.

In Conclusion
Overall, Spring 44 is a well-made gin with a good character and flavour-integration. My favourite drink was the Martini.
Spirit Hound (40.0% ABV)

SpiritHound FINALSpirit Hound Gin is made by Spirit Hound Distillers in Lyons, Colorado. Their juniper is sourced from the local area by patrons of their bar, where one bag of juniper berries = a free drink. As such, the varieties used vary, but will likely include both Juniperus Communis and Juniperus Scopulorum. Spirit Hound distill their botanicals using a vapour basket and their mix includes: juniper, cinnamon, anise, cardamom, and clove.

On its own
Nose: Juniper that’s accompanied by fruity notes such as watermelon and cantaloupe. There is also some cucumber notes. Exceptionally fresh.
Taste: Initial citrus flavours lead onto those of sweet spices such as cassia, nutmeg, and cardamom. The piney, juniper finish lasts for a good while and contributes to what is generally a good, thick texture.

Gin & Tonic
Spice and nutty notes come through: sweet anise and fennel, as well as cinnamon, a hint of nutmeg and cardamom, as well as a hint of sassafras. The spice notes are warm, but the drink is still refreshing, especially with a citrus wedge as garnish.

Martini
Strong notes of liquorice, anise, cinnamon, fennel, and cardamom came through well. This is a slightly sweet and very spicy Martini. I think a lemon twist would be the best garnish. Very smooth and well-rounded.

Negroni
A full-flavoured drink with warm spice in the middle and an intense bitterness at the end. Clean, fresh, and revitalising.

In Conclusion
A refreshing gin with a complex character. My favourite drink was the Martini, although all of the drinks were excellent.
Woods Treeline Gin (40.0% ABV)

Wood High Mountain Distillery make a range of spirits from their site in Salida, Colorado, including single malt and rye whiskies, elderflower liqueurs, and both aged and unaged gins.

On its own
Nose: Juniper, cassia, cinnamon, and some salty fennel.
Taste: This has a smooth texture to start, with more spicy pepper towards the end. There are, however, some spicy notes to start with: nutmeg, cinnamon, and fennel. This is a pretty spicy gin, with a dash of sweetness, but is nevertheless very smooth. It has many of the flavours that I would associate with an aged gin: the sweetness, the spice.

Gin & Tonic
Zesty citrus to start, followed by warm vanilla. This is a spicy Gin & Tonic with a little sweetness in the middle, before a dry finish of refreshing pine.

Martini
A Martini with a silky mouthfeel, this is well-rounded with juniper and spiced notes of fennel, anise, and nutmeg. It’s a splendid drink and an excellent example of a more contemporary Gin Martini made with an American Craft Gin.

Negroni
Plenty of sweet anise upfront, but with lots of other flavours, too, such as citrus and spice. The drink almost tastes as if the glass has had an absinthe rinse. It has a great flavour profile and a superb bitter-dry finish.

In Conclusion
Woods Treeline Gin is a lovely, complex gin that makes some cracking cocktails; my favourite was the Negroni.

This entry was posted in Product Reviews, United States of Gin, Vintage Cocktails and tagged , , , , , , , , , , by DTS. Bookmark the permalink.

About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… www.summerfruitcup.com Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

One thought on “A Celebration of Colorado Gin (A Mega-Post)

  1. David,
    When you said this was a Mega post I didn’t realize how “Mega” is really going to be. As usual the reviews lived up to the great standard we expect but it was even better to be able to compare these Colorado made Gins side by side. Thank you.
    Regards, David.

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