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 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:
Coriander Seed (Egyptian)
Grains of Paradise
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.