When Gilt Gin burst onto the scene I remember a couple of folks on Twitter saying “New Make Scotch?! That’s not even a thing!” Well for the sake of clarification, its just that the base is made of malted barley 100%. Which is the same base neutral spirit which would be used to make Scotch Whisky if they chose to pursue that route. They haven’t. Technically, there’s nothing “Scotch” about this, except that it is Scottish. And Scottish Gin is definitely a thing, a trend, and an emerging area of the gin thing that’s exploding everywhere.
A little bit of hay/grass on the nose. A tad bit of sweetness as well and a touch of anise. The taste is crisp juniper at first, a building bit of heat, caramel and burnt sugar in the middle, giving it a touch of sweetness. Lots of earthy notes. Coriander, citrus and anise again. The closing warm with a touch of heat and Orris root.
A little bit discordant in a gin and tonic. Though it doesn’t have as strongly of a whiskey character as some of the other novel grain bases, it does have that sort of “this just doesn’t meld” sort of taste.
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We’ve talked about Few’s quite excellent Aged Gin on this blog before, so I’m not sure how many surprises I have in store for you in this review.
In my previous review I threw around the word “Genever” a little bit, referring to the fact that unlike most gins which use a neutral-character base akin to vodka (in many cases, actually vodka). Few uses a base closer to a “white dog,” or white whiskey. This means that although it can be considered “neutral” in some sense of the word, it carries with it a distinct warming, toasty, almost grain-like flavor to the cocktail.
We’ve commented on this a great deal in the past. Other gins, such as Ingenium Gin, St George’s Dry Rye Gin and Smooth Ambler’s Greenbrier Gin have come at gin from this similar angle. The Beverage testing institute has described gins like this as “Genever-like Gin” in their recent evaluations of gins similar to Few. I’m not sure if that is the right name for it, but I believe that it properly conveys what is going on here.
Few American Gin is not a Genever. But it is not a normal gin.
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