Cocktails with… Griffon Gin from Washington State, USA

Made at the Double V Distillery in Battle Ground Washington State, USA, Griffon Gin is grain-to-glass; that is, they distill the whole product themselves, including both the base spirit and the redistillation of botanicals.

The base is made using a mix of locally grown corn (80%) and barley, and their botanicals include juniper, coriander, and cardamom. It is bottled at 40.0% ABV.

Griffon Gin

The Taste

On its own
Nose: Creamy and sweet with a touch of stickiness to start, but then there are some dryer, floral (lavender) elements that are followed by stalky, vegetal notes. A tempting aroma that encourages you to take a sip.
Taste: Coriander and light citrus upfront, followed by spice (cardamom) and then some dryer notes. The spirit is relatively smooth, although there is some warmth, along with more citrus, on the finish.

Gin & Tonic
This is quite a sweet Gin & Tonic with a lots of spice; cardamom is the most dominant, but there is also ginger, cassia, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Citrus and a bit of dryness comes through at the end. Fresh and tasty.

Martini
Clean, with lovely pine notes and lots of spice. There are hints of cedar wood, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Very tasty and complex. Delicious.

Negroni
Another spicy cocktail, this time with some crisp, fresh notes, too. This is a well-integrated drink with a bitter finish, but one that is curbed slightly by the hints of cassia. Delightful – near perfect.

In Conclusion
Whilst Griffon is certainly a very spicy gin, the spice does not dominate the entirety of its character and other elements, such as the citrus and pine/juniper, add balance.

All of the drinks that I tried were excellent, but the Negroni just takes it for me.

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Cocktails with… Genius Gin – from Texas!

Genius Gin TITLE

A few years back, we tried our first gin from Texas. I‘m not sure why, but a gin from the lone-star state really excited me and I was thrilled to try it. As a result, I think it’s superb that this was not a one-off and that more gins are coming out of Texas.

Today’s focus is on Genius Gin and comes courtesy of Aaron J. Knoll Esq. of theGinIsIn.com and is part of the International Gin Exchange.

Thanks to Aaron of TheGinIsIjn.com for the Sample and the Picture

Thanks to Aaron of TheGinIsIjn.com for the Sample and the Picture

Genius Gin is made by Genius Distillery in Austin,Texas. It is distilled from scratch, with the base spirits being fermented and distilled from sugar cane. The botanical mix is separated into two groups: the first group (including elderflower, lavender, lime peel, and angelica root) is macerated for 72 hours in the spirit, before being re-distilled in a pot still; the second group (including juniper, coriander and cardamom) are placed in a vapour infusion basket, which the distillate from the initial maceration passes through.

The final product is bottled at 45% ABV, although the distillers also make a Navy Strength version, bottled at 57% ABV.

Genius, on its own
Nose: A mix of pine, nuttiness and then coriander, moving towards some dry confectionary notes like milk, chocolate, and even a touch of coconut.
Taste: This has an excellent texture that fills your mouth and is smooth. The initial flavour is juicy, with a distinct fruitiness, followed by dry juniper and then more dry notes of pear and cherry.

Genius Gin & Tonic
A particularly clean Gin & Tonic, with hints of dry almond and pear coming through, as well as a little sappy pine. Refreshing and enjoyable.

Genius Martini
Some rich, creamy, woody flavours are combined with spice and dry juniper, as well hints of citrus and other fruit. The flavours of the gin really complement those of the dry vermouth, creating another crisp, refreshing and invigorating drink.

Genius Negroni
This chills down really nicely and there is a lovely interplay between the dry gin, the sweet and herbal vermouth, and the bitter and herbal Campari. A very good standard of Negroni that would make a great pre-dinner cocktail.

In Conclusion
I really enjoyed the balanced mix of flavours in Genius Gin. It’s a gin that will appeal to those who like a more contemporary style of gin; however, it is close enough to the more traditional styles that there is something to be enjoyed by your everyday gin drinker, too. My choice for top drink was tricky today, but I’ll plump for the Martini.

 Follow Genius Gin on Twitter @geniusliquids

www.geniusliquids.com

Cocktails with… Copperworks Gin

After a recent trip to Washington state, USA I now have a plethora of tasting notes and tasting samples of gin from around Seattle, as well as the wider state-wide area and the US in general.

Today, we feature Copperworks Gin, which is made at the Copperworks Distillery in Seattle.
In Washington state there are certain local legal rules/guidelines that encourage distillers to distill their own alcohol and source spirit locally; as a result, there are an unusually high number of grain-to-glass distillers, with Copperworks being one such example.

COPPERWORKS GIN FINAL

Copperworks make a vodka which is distilled from malted barley (malted barley is used a lot in the making of Scotch whisky), which they ferment and distill themselves. Their four stills (three pot stills and one column still) are from Forsyth’s in Scotland and their set-up includes a dedicated gin still. This vodka effectively forms the base for their gin, which is bottled at 47% ABV and contains a mix of 8 organic botanicals:

Juniper (Albanian)
Coriander Seed (Egyptian)
Angelica
Lemon Peel
Orange Peel
Cassia
Cubeb Berries
Grains of Paradise

The Taste

On its own
Nose: Fennel, celery and hints of vanilla, with the base spirit coming through on the nose and black pepper appearing at the end. Really rather pleasant.
Taste: Top marks for mouthfeel, which is full and viscous. There’s coriander upfront and then toasted grain, a spot of hops in the middle, and lemon citrus and tea towards the end. This is a well-executed gin with a distinctive character, that nonetheless stays true to gin’s roots.

Gin & Tonic
A good, classic flavour with hints of coriander. However, I think that the character of this particular gin may be better suited to a Spanish Gin Tonica style of serve (see below).

Martini
Superb – cool and crisp, and packed full of juniper, but with a luscious, creamy middle: notes of vanilla and just a hint of salted caramel. Citrus and a little pepper and spice arrive towards the end, followed by a long, lingering, dry finish. Excellent.

Negroni
The texture of this gin works really well in a Negroni: the drink is thick and intense, with lots of spice and dry juniper, then a bitter intensity at the end.

Gin Tonica
I used 50ml of Copperworks Gin and 150ml of Fevertree Original, combined with a garnish of lemon peel and cracked cardamon. This drink is quite excellent: the lemon and cardamom really enhance the flavours of the gin, both from the botanicals (especially the spice and pepper from cassia, cubeb and grains of paradise) and base spirit. A refreshing, crisp Gin Tonica that really stands out.

In Conclusion
Copperworks Gin is a really good example of how a well-integrated in-house base spirit can really add to the character, texture and flair of a drink. There are no really loud botanicals in this and it is very nicely balanced. Without a doubt, my favourite drink was the Gin Tonica, but the Negroni was very good, too.