One of the great parts of trying to review a gin from every state is that there is a little bit of the unexpected at work here. It didn’t take long to realize that distillers everywhere are getting creative in places where you might not have expected it at first glance. From the small city of Atchinson, 11,000 strong, a place best known for its ghost stories and haunted homes, High Plains Distilled Spirits opened and became the first distillery in Kansas since prohibition.
Though High Plains Distilled Spirits are probably best known for their award winning Most Wanted Vodka, which aims to provide a high quality vodka at an affordable price. Most Wanted Gin enters this space relatively unchallenged by other American distillers. While most microdistilled gins enter the space at around $30 for a 750, another writer said he was able to get 1.75 L for $20. Most places I see online list it as about $15 for 750 mL which is among the best deals around. So the price is good, but how does the taste stack up?
The nose of Most Wanted Gin is a little bit of juniper combined with a distinct alcohol scent.
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On the eve of the 50 States of Gin tasting, fellow writer David [of Summer Fruit Cup] and I made one final stop at the package depot to pick up the last few gins that had come in time for our tasting. We walked that mile home carrying a few gins we bought at the store, all of our Navy Strength and Barrel-Aged Gins that we had schlepped to Brooklyn, and a last few boxes. One of these last arrivals was Captive Spirits’ Big Gin.
Although none of us had tried Big Gin before the tasting, and although it was in one of the final heats [due to us tasting in order of the States’s admittance to the union, Washington joining the states in November of 1889] Big Gin managed to wow us and win a very competitive heat, despite our weary gin tested taste buds.
So how did it manage to win us over? Simply put, Big Gin was as one reviewed noted “big.”
Immediately, one noticed that the nose of Big Gin is strong and assertive. You can catch the sweet aroma of juniper as you pour the gin.
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If you have ever heard of a craft beer or ever been into a bar that sells more than just Bud, Bud Light and Heineken on tap then surely you’re familiar with the name “Dogfish Head.” They are certainly best known for their beers. During the time of my life where I could drink beer [for those of you new to this blog, I’m unable to eat gluten] I was a big fan of Dogfish Head’s microbrews.
Fast forward a few years to the “50 States of Gin” tasting, and I discovered that Delaware [our nation’s first state, mind you] has only one gin distilled within its boundaries. And that hailed from the place best known for its beer.
Unfortunately, they only sell “Jin” at their distillery. Fortunately for David and I, they were willing to send us a bottle for their tasting. So now if you’re passing through the state of Delaware, and maybe your homebrew buddy wants to drag you through a brewery tour, I can let you know just what will be awaiting you when you get to the tasting room.
On to the tasting:
The first thing I want to point out about Dogfish Head Jin is that it boasts a relatively straight forward selection of botanicals that are clearly identified on the front of the bottle: Juniper [x], Coriander [x], Cucumbers [x] and hops?
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