Up north to Washington we go, to the Pacific Northwest. If you haven’t heard, it’s quite a hot bed for distilling. Enter Dry Fly, from Spokane Washington. Their gin is made from all local ingredients, all the way up from the base through the botanicals.
GINISIN POP QUIZ: Given what I just told you. Dry Fly Gin is made from all Washington Botanicals AND it’s from Washington, what quintessential Washingtonian export might you expect to find in Dry Fly Gin?
I’ll give you a hint. Last year the state had one of the largest crops in history and it made the national news when it was revealed that up to 1/4 of the crop might be left on trees from lack of people to pick the fruits.
Did you guess?
Without looking at the link?
Well, the answer is apples. And you’d be correct if you suspected there might be some Apple in here. (In addition to mint, lavender, and hops.) Oh yeah, juniper and the usual suspects too. Intrigued? I know I am. Let’s get down to some drinking, shall we?
Wow, a tad malty on the nose with a distinct scent of stewed heavily spice apples. There’s some brightness to the spice, but it’s mostly not clear. Hints of juniper, angelica, and other baking spices. Nice, quite inviting. But definitely contemporary.
The taste is smooth and very drinkable just on its own. It goes down quite easy. Citrus, apples (!), and a hefty punch of lavender on the closer. You’re getting some juniper in here, especially on the long tail of the finish, but it’s not too pronounced. This is contemporary gin as you might expect it, with juniper in the background, dialed back to a supporting role. A nice refreshing bitterness and a lingering heat on the finish. Hoppy, but only in the slightest. Nice and rather unique.
If you thought the apple and contemporary flair wasn’t strong enough when sipped neat, it really comes out and becomes amplified in cocktails. The apples comes on stronger with tonic, but I find that the juniper comes out a bit more too. Vermouth does nice things and showcases the array of botanicals, even hinting that there might be mint in here, but never quite coming full on with the hoppy finish taking over.
This is a great mix for the more fruity set of cocktails. I love the way it works with jam and lemon juice, and also found it to be nice in an Aviation, even bringing out a more cherry like note. It stands up well with Cherry Heering and other bold flavor liqueurs, but not so much in a traditional gin sense. The apple and hops come out most brightly. This isn’t to say it’s not good. It is, but it’s among the most decidedly contemporary gins I’ve had. Whether or not you like Dry Fly Gin will likely rest on solely whether or not you like a) apple in your drinks or b) contemporary styled gin. It’s far from a one note spirit, but the specific unique notes are so prominent that I think it might be hard to concentrate on the other facets if the apple isn’t quite doing it for you.
Price: $33/ 750 mL
Origin: [flag code=”US” size=”16″ text=”no”] Washington
Best consumed: One of the most refreshing Gin and Tonics I’ve had in awhile, but don’t be shy about mixing it up with some cherry jam and lemon juice. It mixes quite nicely.
Availability: Pretty good coverage nationally, but check their site for specifics.
Rating: Bold flavors and vividly contemporary. I’m not sure these flavors are for everyone. It’s a great gin for those who are just making their foray into the world of gin or for a craft bartender looking to update the appletini with a sophisticated not too literal apple based spirit. Traditional gin fans should probably stay clear as they won’t find much here which will remind them of the gin they’re used to.
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