Gale Force is Triple Eight Distillery’s flagship gin. Although Triple Eight Distillery is a microdistillery in the United States, its founding predates many others in the distilling hotbed of New England. Founded in 1997 on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, it was the first microdistillery in the region. Though Triple Eight Distillery is probably best known in the region for its flagship self-titled vodka, Gale Force Gin is a worthy addition to their line that could make more waves (get it?!) with gin’s rising popularity. Bad puns aside, let’s get on to the gin.
Gale Force Gin is a throwback of sorts. In a world where most gins register at 80 proof, Gale Force clocks in at 44.4% (or 88.8 proof for those of you doing math) and therefore packs slightly more punch than some of its peers. This slight difference may not seem like much, but when mixing cocktails I assure you the difference between 90 proof and 80 proof can be like night and day.
The nose is a gentle juniper with hints of coriander and other spices. It smells clean but somewhat refreshing. The tasting is where you really begin to appreciate the full depth of this gin.
When sipped straight it fills your mouth with warmth immediately, but its not sharp. The burn is decidedly muted for an overproof gin. Though the scent and the warmth are clear juniper, the taste is refreshingly citrus. A little bit of lemon and orange expand to fill the mouth and round out the feel of the gin. Though juniper fades into the background here, it is a well balanced gin. The earthy base isn’t very strong, but the classic London Dry feel is present, so I suspect a combination of Coriander and Angelica. The finish is peppery and smooth, reminding me a bit of the closing notes of Bombay Sapphire East*.
Gale Force is a pleasure to mix, although not juniper forward, it holds itself and doesn’t get diluted easily. The high proof and the juniper/citrus notes stand up well in a cocktail. One of my favorite parts of overproof gins is that the gin stands out more strongly in a gin and tonic. Though sometimes you can drown a gin in a ratio such as 3:1, Gale Force Holds its own. (5:2 being the golden ratio of a G&T I think). I experimented with Gale Force in a couple of less common gin cocktails such as the Twentieth Century and thought that worked well even with unconventional flavors such as chocolate from the Creme De Cocoa in that cocktail. But here’s one drink where I think that Gale Force might have shown best: The Negroni. And you know how I feel about Negronis**.
Overall this is a gin that I enjoyed quite a bit. Its a gin that mixes like a pro and holds up in every standard gin cocktail. The only negative that I can see that someone who really likes classic style gin may mention is that Gale Force isn’t juniper forward enough for them.
Best consumed: At 44.4%, it holds up really well in any cocktail. I thought the Negroni was among the standout cocktails I tested Gale Force Gin with.
Availability: New England and online mostly. [availability from Triple Eight Distillery website]
Rating: Superb gin with a lot of versatility. Highly recommended.
* Gale Force Gin beat Bombay Sapphire East to the market by quite a bit. So, just saying.
** I am deeply, madly in love with Negronis. Hardly a secret.
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