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.
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Often when we get talking about craft gin in the United States we inevitably get to talking about “contemporary” gin. Those “crazy,” “new western,” “new American,” “out there,” “not your grandpa’s gin,” and other such descriptors. Perish those terms from your mind now. Denver Dry Gin is none of those and a whole lot more. This is truly a craft gin for those who were raised on classic London Dry gins who might now be looking for a craft alternative.
Nose is bright, full of juniper, soft citrus and a touch of coriander. Nice, immediately recognizable as gin, and classic at that. Taste is remarkably smooth, quiet building juniper, a touch of earthy notes with bright spicy coriander and hints of lime. Finish is slightly warm, but never burning, smooth. Medium length juniper and citrus finish. Nicely balanced.
Juniper comes out brightly and dominant in classics such as a gin and tonic. Highly recommend this for summer G&T’s for lovers of classic style gins. I was equally as impressed with its presentation in several other drinks. Makes for a very smooth, very pleasant martini. The bright citrus and coriander notes stand out, and is very easy to drink.
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