Congratulations to all the winners across all of the categories for the American Distilling Institute’s 7th annual judging of American craft spirits. Below you’ll find a list of the winners from the gin category with links to reviews where applicable.
It seems a fantastic list with a lot of great gins represented as well as a tribute to the vast amount of high quality gin that’s coming out across these United States. Hopefully in the coming months we’ll be able to fill in the gaps with reviews for all of the winners.
In the meantime, congrats again to the winners and hope you’re all enjoying some of this great gin. Cheers!
CLASSIC DISTILLED GIN
Best of Category: Rock Town Distillery – Brandon’s Gin (silver)
CLASSIC RECTIFIED GIN
Best of Category: Captive Spirits Distilling – Big Gin (gold)
Bull Run Distilling – Aria Portland Dry Gin (gold)
Veracity Spirits – Vivacity Native Gin (silver)
CONTEMPORARY DISTILLED GIN
Best of Category: Myer Farm Distillers – Myer Farm Gin (silver)
Dancing Pines Ditillery – Gin (silver)
Dancing Tree Distillery – Gin (silver)
Treaty Oak Distilling – Waterloo Gin (silver)
Corsair Artisan – Steampunk (bronze)
Maine Distilleries – Cold River Traditional Gin (bronze)
StilltheOne Distillery – Jarhead Gin (bronze)
CONTEMPORARY RECTIFIED GIN
Best of Category and Best in Show: Valentine Distilling Co.
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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you probably have already heard and seen some of the gins in Corsair’s line of spirits reviewed already.
The fact that there are even three offerings in gin to review is a testament to the level of experimentation and creativity that Corsair Artisan Distillers line of spirits shows. For example, among their other offerings (that aren’t gin) they have an Oatmeal Stout and Chocolate Mocha Porter whiskey, a spiced rum, pumpkin spice moonshine, and a vanilla bean infused vodka. While I’m often excited to see a distillery try one gin, Corsair has pushed it to a new level offering three different gins.
How does their experimental barrel aged gin hold up? Let’s delve forth. First, we sip it neat.
The nose is a little heavy on ethanol. You can definitely tell there’s some alcohol in here. But if you back away, and waft it a bit, you can pick out some citrus and a sweet sugary note of vanilla. Not a whole lot of oak or aged notes on the nose, it surely doesn’t overwhelmingly strike you as aged, or even gin at that rate.
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Corsair Gin hails from a part of the United States that you might mistake for “bourbon country.” Corsair Artisan has two distillery locations: Tennessee and Kentucky. It may be that this unexpected location contributes some to the creativity in Corsair Gin. It boasts a rather unexpected array of flavors for a gin and shines in some rather unique ways.
We had the pleasure of tasting Batch 89 of Corsair Gin during our 50 States of Gin tasting. Let’s look a little bit closer.
A closer look, I mean taste.
The nose is complex and interesting. The most prominent flavor I get is a deep, broth-like smell that makes me think of the way the kitchen smells when you begin heating up a vegetable stock to make some soup. Hints of citrus and a bit of sweetness strike you early, but not a whole lot of juniper. Interestingly enough, on the nose alone I’m not sure I would pick this out as gin. But that’s not to say it calls to mind comparisons to any other spirit out there, there’s not a vodka or a rum or even bourbon that boasts a similar nose*.
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