Cocktails with.. Greyling Gin

Greyling Gin Header

I like gin from Michigan; mostly because I’ve never had a bad one and so, now, whenever I see a mention of the Great Lakes state on a bottle, as  with Two Bird Artisan Spirit’s Greyling Gin, my expectations are raised.

That said, I soon discovered that this particular gin is currently being made by experienced distillers Yahara Bay in Madison, Wisconsin. They also make Yahara Bay Gin and used to make Death’s Door. I’m sure that, if all goes well, like with Death’s Door, Greyling may fly the roost and set up shop on their own.

For clarity’s sake, I think that it’s great that there is such a range of variety options for people who want to make good quality gin. The tens of thousands of dollars (or pounds) of investment, not to mention the time, needed makes making spirits from scratch out of the reach of many individuals. As always, the most important point is that you design/produce a product that tastes great.

Greyling Modern Dry Gin c/o TheGinIsIn.com

Greyling Modern Dry Gin c/o TheGinIsIn.com

The Taste

On its own
Nose: Classic and straightforward: bright, green, sappy juniper to start, which then softens to a less sharp citrus – lemon and grapefruit mainly, with a hint of lemon pith in particular.
Taste: Pretty classic, rather vibrant, some spicy coriander notes upfront as well as anise or maybe fennel. A citrus (grapefruit, orange) and coriander middle and the a dry juniper finish. Some sweetness throughout almost reminiscent of a fine orange liqueur. Most sippable.

Gin & Tonic
Greyling makes a crisp, citrusy and flavourful Gin & Tonic. There’s also a little vanilla, combined with notes of lemon curd, as well as some dry pine. Overall, this is a very accessible and tasty drink and exceptionally refreshing.

Martini
Great – another clean and crisp drink, with clean, pine-y juniper followed by some lovely rounded-out notes of sweet rose, somewhat reminiscent of Turkish Delight. Classic, but with a twist – very good, indeed. This cocktail also has a lovely texture and is something that I would happily drink again.

Negroni
A fine Negroni if ever there was one; a great bitter-sweet balance and quite a thick texture, as well as juniper and citrus notes. Nothing outrageous or out-of-the-box; just a good, solid drink.

 

Greyling Gin is available for around $28  for 750ml from InternetWines.com

Cocktails with… Yahara Bay Extra Dry Gin – From Wisconsin!!!

Those of you who have read my review on Death’s Door will know of my fondness for its US State of origin, Wisconsin. So, as you may imagine, I was delighted to find out that there is another gin that comes from Madison, Wisconsin, made by the same distiller that makes Death’s Door.

The gin in question is Yahara Bay, which is made by master distiller Nick Quint at the Yahara Bay Distillery in Madison, Wisconsin. The bottle, to anyone familiar with Madison, is striking: tall and bright, with the Capitol Building of the State of Wisconsin in the background.*

Yahara Bay Distillers also make a range of Vodka, Whiskies, Brandy and Liqueurs, as well as selling the fascinating “Age Your Own Whiskey Kit”.

But for now, let’s get back to the gin. Yahara Bay is made using a Carter-Head-style still, is based on a wheat/corn spirit mix and contains 5 botanicals:
Juniper
Coriander
Fennel**
Orange Zest
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And, finally, Cucumber; but, unlike Hendrick’s, this is part of the botanical mix rather than an essence added at the end. As such, the cucumber flavour works with the rest of the gin in a different way to those where it is added afterwards.
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Own
Nose: Juniper and angelica; it’s also slightly salty, with a hint of cucumber and gherkin accompanied by a touch of brine.
Taste: Smooth. An initial sweetness is followed by dry juniper and a slight savoury sweetness from the cucumber on the finish. Very pleasant and a different, more savoury, sort of cucumber flavour than you get from Hendrick’s or Miller’s.Frozen
This was more viscous and floral than having the Gin at room temperature. Juniper and coriander came through, as do some of the savoury notes, including the cucumber; very good indeed.
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Gin & Tonic
Coriander and orange initially, before fresh herbal notes from the cucumber. This a really fresh drink, which is slightly fruity. Packed with flavour, there were dry juniper, citrus and leafy characteristics, as well as a little vanilla towards the end and a superb, lasting finish. Top notch!
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Martini
Superb. Whilst obviously being a Gin Martini, this is one with a twist. The primary flavours are of juniper and coriander, with some savoury notes of fennel and fresh, slightly salty, cucumber. Lovely stuff.
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Negroni
Very tasty; soft, silky and savoury. There is a touch of sweetness just before the typical Negroni bitter finish, but not that much. This makes for quite a complex and rich cocktail, with the herbal notes of the Gin working well with the even deeper herbs of the Campari and Vermouth.
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Alexander
Given how savoury this Gin is, I was surprised how well it worked in an Alexander; the resultant drink was pretty clean and not too sickly, with a hint of fennel and hot spice at the end. It works quite well.

Gimlet
Interesting combination, savoury and quite spicy. This finishes off with some tart lime. reminds me of Thai fishcakes.

Pink Gin
Quite a savoury and slightly bitter concoction, this was also rather bracing, but quite clean. A lot less sweet than many Pink Gins and, actually, the best I have had in a little while.

In Conclusion
Yahara Bay is another great example of the contemporary style*** of gins being made in the USA at the moment. I’m a big fan of Death’s Door and so it’s really good to see another excellent spirit come from the same distillery in Madison Wisconsin.

It was also nice to try a gin with distilled cucumber and see what that brings to the spirit in a different, but not necessarily better, way to the use of an essence in Hendrick’s or Martin Miller’s. And, of course, to finally try a gin that began with a “Y” has been a long time coming.

My favourite cocktails with Yahara Bay were the Martini, Gin & Tonic and Gimlet. If you get a chance to try this, I’d really recommend it.

* I toured this building during my time in Madison; rather spectacular!
** Those of you who are familiar with Death’s Door may realise that Death’s Door also contains the first three of these botanicals. Unlike Death’s Door, however, the fennel in Yahara Bay is much less dominant.
*** By “contemporary style”, I mean not in the Classic London Gin style, i.e. not dry and not heavy on the traditional botanicals of, not just juniper, but coriander/angelica/orris and citrus. Whilst those in the contemporary style are obviously still gins, with the juniper being present, they are also notably different.