Q: What is a “Greyling”?
A: The Greyling is the informal term which refers to any fish in the genus Thymallus. Graylings are colorful, sometimes spotted fish which can grow up to 30 inches long. They live worldwide in freshwater lakes in the northern hemisphere. They are extremely sensitive to changes in the quality of the water they live in and are therefore sometimes referred to as “indicator species.” In other words, when Graylings diminish in numbers, other species are soon to follow. Also, they are quite delicious*.
Specifically the Greyling in the case of Greyling Modern Dry gin is an homage to the once common species of Greyling (T. Arcticus) which once was widely found in the great lakes [and may soon return]. For a gin made of Michigan spirits and Michigan botanicals, the Greyling is an appropriate reference to the place where this gin comes from.
Now on to the gin.
The nose is mildly floral, but with juniper in the center. The floral notes make you think this gin could go in a contemporary direction (a la Modern Dry Gin) but the juniper is clearly there.
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Knickerbocker hails from Holland, Michigan (just on the shores of Lake Michigan) and the bottle proudly looks backwards to those who looked forward. “Knickerbocker” was the name attributed to Dutch settlers of the American continent. As the Dutch founded New York née New Amsterdam (hence the New York Knicks), so did the Dutch found Holland, Michigan and hence the name of New Holland Brewing Company’s Knickerbocker Gin. History aside, I think this is a rather apt name for the gin. But first, the tasting.
The nose is rather clean. Warm notes of lemon rind, sharp juniper and a little bit of alcohol are present. You can tell that this gin is going to have a little bit of harshness to it. But you can also tell that this gin is going to put on a traditional dry profile. There’s a faint sweetness present, but overall you would think this in the Classic style and you would be correct.
The taste opens with warm juniper on the front of your tongue, giving way to a little bit of alcoholic heat (again, at 85 proof I found that a bit surprising. It tastes a bit stronger than it is).
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