Here we have another award winning gin from the state of Colorado. Wood’s Treeline Barrel Rested Gin took a silver earlier this year at the ADI’s craft spirits judging. I was on the panel, and I admit being rather impressed with this sample, although at the time I had no idea what gin it was [I did write in my notes, “never had this one before.” So of course, when the kind folks at Wood’s High Mountain Distillery offered to send me some samples of their gin, I was quite excited to give the gin a closer look in my test kitchen.
Firstly, the barrel rested gin is simply a barrel rested version of their main Treeline Gin offering in terms of botanicals. However, while the main offering is bottled at 40%, the barrel rested is bottled at 45% and therefore has a slight amount more kick. It has a pronounced, bronze/golden huge. Looks fairly darker than probably 2/3 of the aged gins out there, but nowhere near as dark as say Few’s.
What does it taste like?
Nose is classic aged gin to me. Juniper, a hint of char. Woodsy, hints of cedar and smoky grain. A touch of heat on the nose too. The gin parts of the nose still come through but it has a note of smokey cedar which hints that this might not be your standard unaged gin.
The taste is a bit tangy and gin-like at first, lemon, licorice, and juniper up front. Then you get the woodsy touch in the front while heat builds strongly from the corners. It tastes very hot, quite intense. This roar of heat isn’t deafening but it is pronounced and might be enough to invite some to add a dash or two of water to sipping it neat. The closing notes as heat diminishes, gradually we get a hint of licorice and freshly ground black peppercorns. The closing notes in the back of the mouth, a woodsy, smoke and char sort of note on the very back of the palate, clinging through- at first charred wood then an almost bitter burnt black toast note sliding into subtle bitterness. Loud the entire way through, and it leaves a hot touch of fire in the mouth even as the taste subsides.
Treeline vs. Negroni
I overwhelmingly drink my aged gin neat, or with a single ice cube on a hot summer day. But one cocktail of the gin canon where aged gin surely deserves a mention is the Negroni. Wood’s Treeline Barrel Rested Gin acquits itself nicely, although the notes you get the most of are really the charred and woodsy notes, not so much the juniper and licorice that came across so clearly when sipped neat. Nice, balanced with a touch of sweetness, the char lends a burnt caramel sort of crispness to the Negroni that isn’t always there. A nice drink, although probably slanted towards the whiskey/whisky drinker who likes those dark woodsy and char notes in their drinks. It mixes well and has a nice flavor, but the color of those notes really puts it squarely in the camp of “will appeal to whiskey drinkers who like gin,” possibly more so than the “gin drinker who wants a dash of whiskey.”
Overall, I think it’s quite good. It does some things well and will appeal to those who are looking for a gin which does these things.
Price: $30 / 750 mL
Origin: [flag code=”US” size=”16″ text=”no”] Colorado, United States
Best consumed: Neat/Negroni
Rating: Well made, but bold statement-making aged gin. It has a point of view. A tad more wood and char than most aged gins, but I think it comes across nicely and I really enjoy sipping this neat.
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