From that distilling hotbed that is the Pacific Northwest, we have another new entry. This one is from Bluewater Distilling in Everett comes with a sustainability focus. A portion of profits go to an environmental organization; the gin itself proudly declares it “organic.” It also performed well at the Seattle Gin Society’s annual Ginvitational. Halcyon won best Washington gin.
Followers of gin and gin awards in particular should know by now that there’s certain predilections among certain awards. Last year the Seattle Gin Society trended towards preferring classic style gins. Martin Miller’s, a personal favorite of this blog won “best gin,” and the best Northwest Gin was the also excellent and classic leaning Big Gin. As the winner of best Washington Gin this year, would it be a classical styled gin? Yes. Let’s get on to the tasting.
Bright with juniper, fresh lemon and a hint of cinnamon spice on the nose. Smells smooth, very nice, very gin-like. The taste echoes the nose beautifully. Deceptively smooth for a 92 proof gin. A little earthy and warm first, juniper builds quickly with citrus sweetness hovering just around the edges, never quite overpowering the juniper forward approach. A nice earthiness with angelica and orris root hovers on the edges. Juniper forward, and actually quite smooth the whole way through. The tail is moderate, juniper and citrus, leaning citrus. Mild heat, but never burning. Very nicely balanced with a good quality and nice flavor. I’m really enjoying this gin, and we’re at the part of the tasting where I’m sipping neat. Quite impressed.
I really liked it with tonic, giving off a nice warm juniper and gin like character that compliments the quinine. Pulls of the Negroni nicely, with a subtle juniper flavor. Doesn’t taste as powerful as other 90+ proof gins in this drink, but it’s still quite good. The smoothness and flavor of it cause Halcyon gin to excel in a martini. Again, I will say that at 46%, it is actually deceptively strong based on the taste alone. And that taste is quite great. I found it hard to find a cocktail that I did not like this gin in. Aviation? Beautiful. Corpse Reviver? Southside? Double Check. Where other gins sometimes wilt, or highlight “off” notes, Halcyon excels across the board.
For folks who like classic style gin, there’s few better options out there. Halcyon Gin is on a short list of American craft gins which should compete for the palettes of gin drinkers who love the Gordon’s, the Beefeaters, Tanquerays, and Boodles of the world. I don’t mean this to be disparaging about the classics that are out there – most are quite good. But for a long time, if you wanted to drink American, you weren’t drinking alternatives to the big classic names. However, now they have competition. It’s not exactly Beefeater, but I would without a doubt recommend Halcyon to the classic gin drinker. The take is a good, slightly unique, but still juniper forward with citrus and earthiness to compete with the big names.
In short, this is a gin that I am pondering making an addition to my cabinet.
Price: $34/ 750 mL
Origin: [flag code=”US” size=”16″ text=”no”] Washington, United States
Best consumed: If you like classic style gin, this is going to work for you in everything from a glass of gin neat to the Corpse Reviver #2 and Aviation. Adds a nice, but not overpowering juniper/citrus note to any cocktail you want to put it in.
Rating: A well styled classic gin from the Pacific Northwest. Mixes well, has nice strength and a fantastic smoothness. Highly recommended to all fans of Classic style gin.
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