…or perhaps even three. But I’d be getting ahead of myself.
Firstly, the premise. The hook: there’s at least two distinct kinds of gin out there.
The Bourbon/Rye Parallel: It’s not as night and day as say rum vs whiskey. Even when both are aged, you can clearly distinguish between the two. It’s more of a distinction between say Rye and Bourbon. I know, at your local dive bar, or for folks who make cocktails once a year, having a “whiskey” is sufficient. But when is the last time you’ve seen a cocktail menu of any repute simply call out a whiskey, as if to imply to the drinker, the finer points don’t quite matter here?
For example, I don’t have to have had Buffalo Trace Bourbon to ascertain whether or not it fits my tastes. I’m largely familiar with other Bourbons, so although not all Bourbons are the same, I can roughly ascertain, “this might be a sweet, a bit smoother and have less edge.” If I’m looking for something with ‘a bit more spice, something peppery, some heat,” I might opt for the Rye sour….well maybe not, but you see where I’m going with it.
Read More ...
The United States is far from a homogeneous nation. From region to region, we have as much divergence in culture, climate, and attitude as some entire continents. But yet, often I am asked, “Which gins are the most quintessentially American?,” or “What is the most American gin?”
While I will go on the record saying, “I’m not quite sure that such a thing as the Most American Gin exists,” I think it’s a worthwhile exercise to try and compile a list.
That being said, this list is my opinion/thoughts on which gins are the most quintessentially unique American gins. You’ll notice two things: this list doesn’t correspond with my ratings [if you want that, just sort by the highest rated, find the American ones and boom!]. Second, you’ll notice my rationale isn’t always [only sometimes] about the flavor.
I’ve also set myself a couple of ground rules: 1 gin per distillery. Even if a gin makes a couple of worthy entries to this chart, I’m holding myself to just one. Two, it has to be what could somewhat be considered craft. I know this is a loaded term, but I’m excluding names like Seagram’s and Fleischmann’s [among which those two might be the biggest American distilled gins] to focus on the smaller guys.
Read More ...