Bourbon Barreled Big Gin. 100% Corn base spirit, with a relatively traditional botanical bill buoyed by Tasmanian Pepperberry and Cardamom, the folks at Captive Spirits Distilling rest their flagship gin in barrels formerly used by Heaven Hill Distillery for their Bourbon.
Articles Tagged: Barrel Aged
Waterloo Antique is the darkest Barrel Aged Gin we’ve seen yet. It’s dark brown, almost root beer or cola hue sets it apart. (Is this really an aged gin?) Another aspect of Waterloo Antique that is rare among aged gins is both the length of the aging and the methodology. It is composed of a blend of gins, each which have been aged different lengths of time, and in some cases as much as two years.
Wow, what a nose on this gin! Sweet, caramel, brown sugar and pecan pie, even a slight touch of dark rum. There’s some citrus and honeysuckle in the background, but this one is a stunner. Unlike any gin I’ve ever nosed before. It presses the buttons of what exactly you think an aged gin can be.
On the palate, it begins a little quiet than expected, with hints of rosemary, grapefruit. There’s a pronounced rich honeysuckle notes in the mids, rich and syrupy before the palate seemingly turns over itself, with a roar of spice and citrus, you’re getting hints of clove, allspice, nutmeg and then some tart lemon rind. The finish is unrepentant with long charred note, smoked cedar and grill, a touch bitter.
The season: that is the winter, brings to mind the notions of warmth, heat, and coziness. When I think of those words in terms of spirits, I generally thing of “aged,” “warming,” a bit “hot,” and “spiced.” If I were to paint a picture of the ideal winter spirit, it might capture as many of those ideals as possible. Some gins are naturally full of warm baking spice. Some gins are a bit hot, served over 80 proof, giving a nice warm feeling when sipped. And finally some gins are aged. And then yet other gins are all of the above:
What exactly is a “Ginavit”
Technically, an Aquavit should derive its primary flavor from Caraway or Dill, but like gin the notion of “primary flavor” has a great deal of variance from one distiller to another. Additionally Aquavit is rarely solely flavored by Caraway or Dill: other botanicals (herbs and spices) are used to create each distiller’s individual recipe. You might see how there’s a lot that these two spirits have in common right from the outset. Many of the traditional gin botanicals (anise for example) are common in Aquavit as well.
Previously on the Gin is In: We reviewed Smooth Ambler’s Greenbrier Gin. We were impressed with the mash base, its whiskey like notes complimented with a bold gin like profile. We found it delicious and notable.
Today on the Gin is In: We get the opportunity to try Smooth Ambler’s Barrel Aged Gin. Batch 1. Its an original edition. Volume 1, Edition 1. Aged 3 months in oak, will it live up to the expectations set by its predecessor? Will we be as impressed? Will the oak add anything.
Stay tuned, as we boldly venture forth to find out.
Opening the Bottle Immediately on the nose I was struck by the warm notes of burnt sugar and caramel. In a cup though the gin like qualities open up a bit, revealing spruce and juniper, a mild sweetness and note of orange.
Tasting, it starts slow, building from a quiet beginning in an increasing build until the juniper and the oak almost hit you all at once on the back of the mouth almost a second after bringing it into your mouth. Tastes remarkably smooth for being 99 proof [49.5 %].