Berkshire Mountain Distillers are best known for its mainline of gin known as Greylock Gin. And although I went to Astor Place Wine and Spirits looking specifically for Greylock, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the green label and a name like “Ethereal Gin.”
The Ethereal Gins are small-batch, handcrafted, and limited edition. Other versions exist such as #3 in a yellow bottle, #2, in the pink bottle, and #1 in a green one. Each one is a limited batch and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Fortunately, it seems every year they Berkshire Mountain releases a new one, and if #4 (my sad and late introduction to their line) is any indication, they will all be worth looking forward to.
Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4 press release (.pdf)
The bouquet is herbal and complex. Juniper and pepper are immediately present upon tasting, and the gin lingers with a sharp but pleasant anise. This gin is a key player in cocktails. The flavors are not to be denied. For example, Ethereal Gin No. 4 is one of the few gins that can really alter the profile of a Negroni. The herbal and spicy notes fill in the gaps that sweet herbal vermouth and the cloying bitterness of Campari leave available. While the press release prominently mentions The Last Word as a cocktail of choice (and why not? The Anise and herbal bouquet pair spectacularly with Chartreuse) I also find it makes a good gin and tonic. The wide array of interesting flavors also make it a good gin for a martini, and the smooth flavor with well balanced juniper also make it a good choice for weening those last few vodka martini holdouts off of their inferior drinks.
Interestingly enough, I found that the flavors of this gin did not pair ideally with citrus. So I would recommend forgoing the lime in your G&T, and likely avoiding the Tom Collins altogether.
An impressive gin that does a lot of things really well and leaves me very excited for Ethereal Gin No. 5 or doing some hunting for one of the previous versions.
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