Times change, and so do distillers’ equipment, techniques, botanicals and so on. A few friends of mine suggested that I take another look at Death’s Door Gin. Initially, back in those early days of the craft gin movement, I was less than impressed. But in those times, you took the good (yay, craft distilling!) with the bad (not so much my cup of tea).
Going into this re-review, I can tell you that this Death’s Door Gin shares a couple things in common with the previous version I had: the name [nope, hasn’t changed] and the botanical mix [same three ingredients]. But the flavor has changed, and because of that. I have to change my mind and admit that there just might be something here.
In our Own <100 Words
One of the earliest gins on the market to bandy about words that now seem like quotidian utterances, to which today’s gin drinkers nary bat a brow: organic and local. It also distinguished itself for the attention paid to its base spirit: a combination of local Washington Island wheat and malted barley from Chilton [yep. I had to look it up too].
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The Pink Gin was boozy spoonful of sugar designed to help sailors keep the seasickness medicine down. But I wanted to see if something could be done to perfect the beverage. So rather than shaking with ice and diluting the gin, I put my bottle of Death’s Door Gin in the freezer for a few hours prior to making the cocktail. I chose Death’s Door gin, because I felt that the notes in the Death’s Door would not have been too overwhelming, and would allow the Angostura’s flavor to really come through. Unlike sailors, I want to taste the bitters.
So here’s how it turned out. The cold gin really allowed the cocktail to shine in a boozy fashion. This was no easy-going cocktail. The coriander and juniper notes of the Death’s Door were still overpowering and were the only notes that really came through in the final beverage. I suppose that for one to really taste the bitters, perhaps more generous dashes (or more of them) may be necessary. I really felt like I was drinking a straight gin martini. Sure it was cold, sure it was gin, but I was hoping for just a little bit more.
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