Krahn has been on the lower shelf of my neighborhood liquor store for a long time. And for some reason I was always reluctant to try. It was the last gin that they stock that I bought. And once I had it at home and began mixing with it, I was not sure why I had taken so long. It was actually quite excellent.
First a bit of background on DH Krahn gin. Its an upstate New York microdistillery founded by two graduates of Cornell University. They do a few things to distinguish themselves from the outset. Firstly, the user a maceration process to impart the flavors to the gin. This seems to become more and more common among gins with exotic flavors. The more unusual distinguishing notes are the single distillation. Its marketing vogue to distill things multiple times. DH Krahn Gin makes me question the purposes of these multiple distillations- if you can make something this smooth from a single pass, why go two, three, four or more times? Anyway, I digress, but this is also the only gin I know of which is put in steel for a few months before bottling.
As for the flavor, it’s a remarkably smooth gin. I was quite surprised by the complexity and the interesting combination of flavors. Officially, its Juniper, Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, Coriander, and Galangal. But I detected a subtle exotic flavor that hearkens to something of lemongrass. Whereas many gins pick their citrus note (Bluecoat and Orange; Breucklen and Grapefruit) DH Krahn creates a unique citrus flavor by combining three different ones. Because lime is omitted from the maceration process, the lime fits perfectly into a cocktail with this gin. (Hello G&T)
The Vaguely lemongrass flavor I alluded to may be because of the Thai Ginger, but I think if anything it makes this gin faintly exotic and distinctly different from many other gins at this price point. I found it to be very smooth, enjoyable in a martini if a little sweet, but one that it is very accessible particularly to gin novices. I think it makes a spectacular gin and tonic, a very good Tom Collins and an interesting Negroni and a sweet but not unpleasant martini.
One cocktail I made with this gin that was particularly well received was a muddled blueberry and basil cocktail, topped with a splash of soda water. The juniper and coriander helped add a pleasant bit of spice while the blueberries and citrus melded into the background.
Price: $25/ 750 mL
Best consumed: in a gin and tonic, but this is a plyable gin that can do nearly anything you ask of it and do it well.
Availability: Common in NYC
Rating: A well balanced gin that adds enough points of difference to help it stand out without taking on the persona of a specialty and limited use New-American styled gin.