I love the concept of it all. Berkshire Mountain Distillers, creators of the already good Greylock Gin, release nearly annually a new batch of limited edition gin which they market under their Ethereal Gin moniker.
Previously, I reviewed Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4, so it is of course with great excitement that I have a chance to review their latest batch.
Immediately, the nose is much more floral than the previous batch of Ethereal Gin. Its light and flowery, a bit reminiscent of Hendrick’s subtle nose. There’s a bit of lavender and rose, a bit of lime and orange. Not a lot of juniper.
The taste is smooth and almost fruity. There’s a bit of juniper up front, smooth and flowing, and it unfolds slowly revealing notes of lime and lemon, before finishing in an almost fruity “fruit punch” sort of way. None of this is up in your face, its a subtle finish. Notes of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Blueberries and cream and even a hint of spiciness. The tail note where you get a slight hint of anise is vaguely reminiscent of the Ethereal Gin I tasted previously.
I mixed Ethereal Gin No 6 with tonic water and you get a bit of the same floral notes shining through.
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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.
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Berkshire Mountain Distillers are best known for its mainline of gin known as Greylock Gin. And although I went to Astor Place Wine and Spirits looking specifically for Greylock, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the green label and a name like “Ethereal Gin.”
The Ethereal Gins are small-batch, handcrafted, and limited edition. Other versions exist such as #3 in a yellow bottle, #2, in the pink bottle, and #1 in a green one. Each one is a limited batch and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Fortunately, it seems every year they Berkshire Mountain releases a new one, and if #4 (my sad and late introduction to their line) is any indication, they will all be worth looking forward to.
Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4 press release (.pdf)
The bouquet is herbal and complex. Juniper and pepper are immediately present upon tasting, and the gin lingers with a sharp but pleasant anise. This gin is a key player in cocktails. The flavors are not to be denied. For example, Ethereal Gin No. 4 is one of the few gins that can really alter the profile of a Negroni.
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