Price: $30/ 750mL
Origin: Arkansas, United States
Best consumed: Neat, Martinis, or Martini-like drinks do Brandon’s Gin the most justice.
Availability: A few states, primarily close to Arkansas. [See availability here]
Rating: A fine gin which adds only a few subtle contemporary notes to the classic formula. Exceptional gin and highly recommended.
Firstly, I apologize for the delay in this review. The fine folks at Rock Town Distillery were so kind as to send me a bottle of their gin. I had promised this review prior to Memorial Day, before some sudden family events. Better late than never, I suppose.
Brandon’s gin comes in a simple and elegant bottle, with the batch and bottling numbers clearly labeled on the top [This particular bottle is from Batch 11]. The botanicals are added via “vapor infusion,” which the distillers say “gives our gin an amazingly fresh aroma and a wonderful taste, without the juniper overpowering the other botanicals. [source]” Though the botanicals are not listed, Brandon’s Gin seems at first sniff/taste seems to be squarely in the “classic” style gin category. But at a closer look, you can see where it stands itself apart in the taste.
The nose of Brandon’s Gin is sweet and a hint spicy as well. There’s a distinct aroma of sweet juniper, but also a hint of warm spice that I can’t quite place. It seems a bit peppery, with a hint of herbal and a note that seems to reference ginger, but only ever so slightly. But overall, on the nose, this gin says juniper.
The taste is rather smooth. Again, for a gin slightly north of 90 proof, it doesn’t betray its strength in terms of heat. The initial taste is a bit sharp, that peppery note that we caught on the nose is again up here at the front. But it quickly gives way to a mid palate note of warm (not as sweet as on the nose!) juniper and a sweet candied lemon/citrus note. These flavors fade gracefully into a vague nutty/spicy finish that I can’t quite place among botanicals.
Brandon’s Gin makes for an excellent mixing gin. Try it and its nice lemon aromas in a Tom Collins or summer classic Southside Cocktail. I think Brandon’s Gin stands out and makes a top notch Gin and Tonic. But I perhaps might recommend Brandon’s Gin most highly in Martinis and Martini-like [think Alaska, Bronx Cocktail, etc] drinks. It is smooth enough to be sipped straight, but with enough complexity to stand out in even a dry Martini. At 92 proof, its hardly strong enough to warrant a warning as being “deceptively potent,” but I have to say, that even while drinking it neat it rarely betrays its strength. Again, its smooth and pleasant.
Being that the juniper is strong with this one, and that its strongest assets are its subtle variations from the classic formula, this might not be a gin to recommend to those who are on the fence about gin. But for those who know their gin, like their gin, and want something just a bit different from their grandfather’s gin [but not so different that the ghost of your grandfather is admonishing you from the parlor], Brandon’s Gin fits the bill perfectly.
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