Sometimes I get a sample of a gin that hasn’t actually crossed my radar at all. I hate to say it, but Colorado Gold? This is the rare gin that I hadn’t heard anything about before it ended up in front of me to taste. I’m not sure I can tell you any story about it other than that David was able to obtain me a sample while at the ADI Conference in Colorado this past Spring.
What I can say [and thanks to a little bit of internet research to back this up] is that Colorado Gold Gin is part of the illustrious tradition of Colorado distilling.
Local grain [✓]
Local and sourced water [✓]
Something Local + Juniper = Colorado Gin, without exception.
Now I’m not a big believer in the “water thing,” in that water affects the final character of a beverage in a unique and distinct way. But I do like that for some places, like Colorado, water is an important part of life and the terroir culture. So of course, sourcing the water and using spring water is important to Coloradans and therefore should be part of their distilling culture*.
Getting down to the Tasting:
The nose is strong and astringent. Malty and citrusy, with a rich note of malted grain. Orange and Lemon too and a bright sport of licorice. Note a lot of juniper, Quite strong and aromatic, but not too alcoholic smelling on the nose.
The flavor is a bit hot. Licorice and anise, hint of fennel seed. Juniper and heat in the middle. The tail is where that licorice note comes back again, rearing itself loud and clear, trailing out long after the heat and rest of the flavor has passed. Not a lot of grainy flavor, whereas you get hints of it on the nose, you don’t get any of that on the palette. It tastes clear but again, focused around one note. That Licorice. And while I like that flavor, it doesn’t seem to be mingling with the other notes. It comes in early and it stays late. Finished dry on the palette.
Getting down to the Mixing:
Making a Gin and Tonic is usually a big test for me about how a gin is going to work when it’s out in the real world. I mixed one up, a roughly 2.5 parts to 1 part gin, and took a sip. And was surprised. Somewhat discordant, the licorice notes are amplified and really pushed all the way out of the comfort zone. It was a little much for me. Reign it in with some lime, but that being said, it’s not a subtle or understate take on the gin and tonic. A bit sour and note quite as refreshing as it should be. The quinine compliments the flavor, adding a much needed counterpoint, but I just don’t feel like it’s working.
I made up a Negroni as well, and I just didn’t get much of the flavor out of it. A hint of licorice, but not much more. It didn’t bring the juniper and it really kind of faded into the background. I think that licorice is a quite a nice counterpoint to the notes Campari and Vermouth bring, but in this case [and surprisingly after the G&T] it didn’t quite do what I was hoping it might.
The drink where I thought it worked best was the super dry martini. Easy on the Vermouth, and you get a drink which highlights the Licorice notes and lets the subtle take on juniper shine through.
That being said, I feel like Colorado Gin has a point of view, but it could be more nuanced or could be better rounded out. Perhaps some citrus notes could be amplified, or botanicals like Coriander could be kicked up to give it some depth. Right now, unfortunately, Colorado Gold struggles in some classic drink situations and might be best reserved for those who are a fan of the predominating note.
Price: $27 / 750 mL
Origin: [flag code=”US” size=”16″ text=”no”] Colorado, United States
Best consumed: Martinis or neat, if you’re a fan of the flavor.
Availability: Colorado and Online.
Rating: Lots of licorice, a hint of juniper, but unfortunately mixing with it didn’t bring out its best side. I like the idea but I’m not quite sure the balance is where I would want it to be. Fans of Licorice notes in their gin would be remiss to not check it out, however.
*To know just how important a part of Colorado’s identity outside of Colorado is, look no further than beer commercials. Mountains and water being used in the creation of alcoholic beverages is at least half of some beer companies’ advertising campaigns.
** This gin was a sample sent to me courtesy of my friend David. It was a small sample and therefore the tasting notes might not be as thorough as they would have been had I had a full bottle with which to test.
*** P.S. The first I heard about this distillery was when I heard it was for sale. Their facebook page says it is still for sale, but given their location, range and space, I certainly hope someone has picked it up. I don’t have 3 million dollars, so sadly it is outside of my range [though if I won the lottery? Or if I have wealthy reader who would like to make an investment… ;-)]
Thanks for submitting! Your review will be posted shortly.