Strait Gin

strait gin bottle

For today’s we review we look to our [my] Northern neighbor, Canada. It too has seen a surge in microdistilling and craft spirits in the past decade. The Myriad View Artisan Distillery has been in operation since 2006 and was Atlantic Canada’s first gin distillery. Their gin is based off of the triple distilled Strait Gin with a series of international botanicals added to a fourth distillation in their copper pot still.

The bottle proudly says “London Dry Gin” with a picture of London bridge in the background. So I’m expecting something classic right from the get go. Let’s open it up and see….

Taste
A nice bit of spice on the nose, a good deal of juniper. Juniper, lemon, as well as notes of cinnamon and sweet baking spices. Nice, but not straight forward classic.

The taste has a bit of heat, bottled at 51%, this is not surprising. But the flavor is nice and well balanced: Lemon and baking spices at first on the tip of the tongue, a rising bit of heat. Pleasant and warming but nicely balanced. The flavors are clear but not too loud. Juniper is most clearly characterized here in the mid notes, and the finish begins with heat fading, a warm hint of vanilla and almond, creamy spice on the close. There’s an acute citrus note here at the end that falls a bit flat, and the heat lingers in the back and front of the palate after taste.

Mixing Up Some Drinks.
I liked the way it worked with 1724 tonic. 1724 is a bit more floral, having a touch of sweetness and an uncharacteristically mild but piquant bit of quinine. I thought it was a nice counterpoint, and when mixed Strait Gin retains the juniper and spice notes, but the heat and lemon notes at the end are toned down. I quite enjoyed this.

I mixed it up into a martini, and I found myself in a tough place. I saw the herbal notes of the Vermouth competing and overpowering Strait Gin’s notes when the ratio was a bit closer to 3:1; dial up the gin a bit and you end up with a touch more heat than I generally like on my martinis.

If you’re like me, or a long time reader of this blog, you probably called it from the get go. “Well a higher than average proof gin with a lot of spice notes….I bet you this would make a good Negroni.” You’re right, it does. And what I like is the balance that the Negroni has. The juniper/citrus notes a bit obscured, but I think that’s okay. The spicy warmth of the gin comes through clearly in this case, notes of cinnamon sugar toast, and spiced apple pie. Really a lot of depth here thanks to the gin.

Strait Gin is a really good mixing gin, and I think that the drinks it does best generally skew towards the bitter, the amari, the herbal, and the spiced. But that’s not to say that it can’t make a good aviation. In fact, it does. I think the best drinks it made were ones that emphasized those sort of notes. So I’d recommend it for the Southside, the Last Word. The tonic is great as well.

strait gin label

PRICE: $30/750 mL
ORIGIN: [flag code=”CA” size=”16″ text=”no”] Canada
WHAT TO DRINK IT IN:  
Gin and Tonic, and Negroni stood out to me.
AVAILABILITY: Alberta and Prince Edward Island in Canada only.
WEBSITE: http://www.straitshine.com/
RATING: Good with some warm spice notes, a nice amount of juniper, and at a higher proof it mixes well. It’s a good well rounded gin that espouses a bold point of view without ever forgetting gin’s roots. 
[Rating:3.5/5]

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Last updated September 2nd, 2013 by Aaron

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