Around the turn of the 20th century you could find two broad categories of gin. Brand names and local no-name gins. If you look at a stockist’s roster you will find these gins generically referred to by their grain— for example “Barley Gin” or “Rye Gin.” Rye was once a somewhat common alternative grain for gin to be based on. In that way St. George’s Dry Rye Gin is a bit of a throwback.ch
100% distilled from malted rye on a 1,500 liter copper pot still. In order to have the botanical presence of juniper compete with the flavorful base spirit, the team at St. George’s increased the amount of juniper by 50% when compared to their Botanivore and Terroir Gins.
Dry Rye Gin has a nose suggestive of genever. Warm hay and malted grain tones with a yeasty, brewery aroma. Lime zest, and herbaceous juniper lend color and character.
The palate begins with some notes suggestive of beer schnapps and white whiskey— the impact of the rye base is evident at the front of the palate. The botanicals take over mid-palate a bit wherein hints of aniseed, cracked black peppercorn, and quite a bit of citrus.
The flavor profile of Dry Rye Gin is round and full. Juniper adds some scintillating pine notes towards the finish, but the juniper despite being so dominant in terms of botanical ratio, adds a woody, earthier character than the traditional pine.
The finish reminds me a bit of Aquavit. Notes of caraway, grain and rye suggest to me perhaps a hint of Jewish deli rye or Finnish Rieska.
St. George’s Dry Rye Gin is a surprisingly versatile mixer. Easily both the White Negroni and regular Negroni are standouts where the juniper and surprising base character shine through. Even with a bit of caraway on the finish of the regular Negroni.
The pairing with Vermouth serves it well in a Martini, but I find it is a little better suited to being swapped for the Rye in a Perfect Manhattan where the sweet Vermouth perfectly complements the botanical blend.
I found Dry Rye Gin to be a bit more challenging as a mixer in fruit forward drinks. Things like the Aviation or Clover Club Cocktail aren’t what St. George’s Dry Rye is best suited to.
Overall, Dry Rye Gin
St. George’s Dry Rye is a beautiful, elegant, and most importantly— balanced— Holland/Classic style gin that marries together so many disparate strains of gin thought.
There’s things that will appeal to whiskey fans, classic gin lovers and contemporary gin lovers. I still recommend St. George’s Dry Rye Gin as much today as I did when I first reviewed it back in 2012.