All Gins from Oregon

Gin Reviews

New Deal 33 Portland Dry Gin

33-Portland-London-Dry-Gin-Bottle

With unflinching focus on juniper, New Deal’s 33 Portland Dry Gin uses copper trays for the berries in the distilling process. Furthermore, New Deal only uses Juniper Berries, heightening and tightening the focus botanically, while starting from a base spirit of locally grown Oregon wheat and finishing with the addition of local water.

The distillery is focused on the art of hand-crafted DIY spirits, with a bias towards local and organic in their ingredients.

Tasting Notes

Lovely, juniper and pine bough notes leap forward on the nose, but creamy hints of lemon and honey lie underneath, emerging among the low notes.

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Gin Reviews

New Deal Gin No. 1

New-Deal-Gin-No-1-Bottle

New Deal Gin No. 1 is a self declared “garden-style gin,” and the term itself might be a source of misunderstanding. Among the most common uses of the term I’ve previously seen has been as a catch-all for gins which are not really gins altogether. Art in the Age’s Sage spirit calls itself a “garden style gin” as it borrows from the gin tradition or botanical forward spirits, but does so without juniper.

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Gin Reviews

The Walter Collective Gin

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The Walter Collective (like many collectives it starts with a statement of purpose) says that contemporary gins can be so out there that there barely recognizable as gin; classic gins can be one-dimensional and overwhelming in their single focus.

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Gin Reviews

Merrylegs Genever-Style Gin

merrylegs_genever_bottle

The popularity of so-called Genever-like gins, especially stateside isn’t something new as much as it is the pendulum of fashion swinging back in the opposite direction. These gins, which might be more aptly described as Holland style (or Holland style inspired?) are usually pot distilled (rather than column distilled), and the spirit itself is designed to have a malty-grain like character (sound familiar?).

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Gin Reviews

Aria Portland Dry Gin

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Bull Run Distilling Co. has been making spirits since 2010, giving them a bit of seniority on the craft gin scene. The distillery is named for the watershed where the city of Portland, Oregon gets their drinking water, meaning that true to the gin’s name— there is a bit of Portland in this bottle. A mix of 10 botanicals, stated clearly on the bottle, Aria opts for a more traditional spin on Northwest gin, built on a base of 100% grain spirit and bottled at a pleasantly strong 45% ABV.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, pine-fresh juniper, with citrus and coriander playfully occupying supporting roles. There’s even a slight, warm hint of pepper in the low notes. The nose is classic in character, with a bright, nicely balanced freshness. I’d say it’s more Beefeater in its approach than it is Gordon’s (); however, classic and inviting all the same.

The palate is rife with fresh juniper, leaning towards the pine/green type of notes. Cardamom jumps out as a mid-palate background, lending some character but not stealing any thunder; citrusy coriander comes on late with a hint of pepper and orange zest.

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Gin Reviews

Dancing Dog Gin

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We should get it out of the way by way of introduction. This is probably one of my favorite gin labels out there.

Flooded Fox Den Distillery is located outside Portland, Oregon in Forest Grove and is designed with the quintessential “craft” ethos of “small batch” and “natural” with no added colorings or sweeteners. Alike many before him, Scot Lester came to the world of distilling via brewing. Once a brewing hobbyist, now a part-time distiller. His first product, the aforementioned gin hit the market in 2014 with a Rum launching early this year as well.

Tasting Notes

Spice and citrus on the nose: coriander, cardamom, grapefruit and lemon peel with lavender coming through as well. Nicely blended with no ingredient rising too far above the other; the aroma is harmonious and inviting.

The warm spice hits up front. Cardamom leads into a creamy, slightly floral mid-body. Lavender, turning into orris; there’s lemon rind, coriander and cardamom. The overall mouthfeel is rich and the spirit is most definitely warming. A nice gin that you would probably characterize as floral; however, there’s moments where it seems slightly more spice forward; and other moments where you detect the juniper peaking through from a tuft of lavender, just enough to be there and add a bit of a gin-like heft to it.

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Gin Reviews

Crater Lake Gin

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Compound Gin is the name given to gins in which the botanicals are added after distillation. These gins have a perhaps unfair reputation as being “cheap,” “low-quality” and “inferior.” This reputation has come from the myriad of store brands, local one-offs and bottom shelf compound gins which have sullied the concept.

Now it is true, I won’t deny it. Compound gins are cheaper to make, and therefore that is why so many bottom shelf gins make their gin this way. But Bendistillery causes us to question this. When a craft distillery takes the time to do it right, why can’t a compound gin be something better than ‘acceptable.’ can it indeed be good?

First thing to note, Crater Lake Gin clearly has a slight golden hue [almost that of a light white wine] largely owing to the botanical infusion.

Enter The Compound The nose is a little bit harsh. A vivid note of alcohol burn and a hint of mild fresh juniper.

The taste is one that I find rather pleasing though. True, there is a bit or harshness there. At 95 Proof,  its not to say that the harsh edge is disingenuous, I’d only go as far as saying that it tastes noticeably harsher than other gins at this similar proof point.

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Gin Reviews

Aviation Gin

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I’m not quite sure what I was expecting when I cracked open the bottle of Aviation gin. The bottle, the name, the styling: it all said “classic, London dry” to me. For those of you in the know already, it’s truly one of the new breed of American Dry. It is big and bold, but with the juniper in the background. It’s more of the bassist in this band. The citrus and the other flavors are in the front.

I opened the bottle, and was struck by how floral it was. It reminded me of G’vine Floraison; however, upon tasting it was a bit more subtle and balanced, calling to mind the balanced citrus and juniper harmonies in Bluecoat.

As for the botanicals, officially they are listed as:  juniper, cardamom, coriander, lavender, anise, sasparilla and orange peel. Unofficially, orange and juniper are easily detectable while cardamom and sasparilla are nearly undetectable (leave it to the experts, even knowing what I was looking for I wasn’t getting sasparilla). The lavender is present when sniffed; however, seems much more subtle in the drink itself. It is made from a 100% neutral rye base, and I can only hope that the fine distillers in Portland can continue unabated by the Nation’s rye shortage.

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