From the land of Scotch, Firkin comes from the Gleann Mόr Spirits Company who specializes in bottling “rare” found whiskys. Their Firkin Gin isn’t a found gin. Rather it’s a commissioned dry gin that is rested in American Oak barrels.
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Firkin Gin comes out of the bottle an attractive shade of Lemon chiffon.
The nose is reminiscent of Scotch whisky, with a slight, almost smoky, ashy wooden note on the nose. I’m not getting much on the nose that’s suggestive of gin at first, the wood dominates.
The palate immediately comes across as whisky-like; however, a patient sip allows the flavor to develop on the tongue, showing some complexity beneath the oak that dominates. A slight hint of vanilla, toasted toffee, black walnuts, and a bit of juniper. The finish is long and generally dominates by the wood notes however.
Overall, it lacks balance however, and I think the wood takes over, and the London Dry Gin base beneath that wood is too weak to really carry the day. It’s an intriguing experiment, but one that I think is too much about the oak and not enough about the botanicals. I’d like some more gin flavor to come through.
I’d suggest treating Firkin Gin more like a whiskey/y than a gin. It actually made a pretty intriguing Scotch and Soda. As in I really mean, just Gin and Soda. It clashes a bit with tonic water and dry Vermouth, so I don’t really recommend the Gin and Tonic nor Martini. I think this gin works best neat, or on the rocks. Drink it like you might Scotch or whiskey and appreciate it for the wood notes.
If you have a Scotch drinker in your life that you’ve been looking to turn on to gin, this might be a good option. I think others will find it to be a little too muted in terms of its gin-like character to really be anything more than a novel experiment. The thing is, the kind of person for whom this flavor will be most appealing (those used to sipping whiskey and Scotch neat) will probably find it a bit too young and not fully developed enough to replace their current tipple; those who like gin might be straining their palate to pick out how the botanicals are really elevating this.
Overall, it’s a novel experiment worth a try but one that I just have a hard time finding a place for in most bars or home liquor cabinets.
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