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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If you have ever heard of a craft beer or ever been into a bar that sells more than just Bud, Bud Light and Heineken on tap then surely you’re familiar with the name “Dogfish Head.” They are certainly best known for their beers. During the time of my life where I could drink beer [for those of you new to this blog, I’m unable to eat gluten] I was a big fan of Dogfish Head’s microbrews.
Fast forward a few years to the “50 States of Gin” tasting, and I discovered that Delaware [our nation’s first state, mind you] has only one gin distilled within its boundaries. And that hailed from the place best known for its beer.
Unfortunately, they only sell “Jin” at their distillery. Fortunately for David and I, they were willing to send us a bottle for their tasting. So now if you’re passing through the state of Delaware, and maybe your homebrew buddy wants to drag you through a brewery tour, I can let you know just what will be awaiting you when you get to the tasting room.
On to the tasting:
The first thing I want to point out about Dogfish Head Jin is that it boasts a relatively straight forward selection of botanicals that are clearly identified on the front of the bottle: Juniper [x], Coriander [x], Cucumbers [x] and hops?
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