Considering the sheer mass and quality of gins that came out in 2011, 2012 has a nearly impossible standard to live up to. That being said, though I think there were fewer super-high-profile launches in 2012, there’s been several quite good ones. So to celebrate the end of the year that was in gin 2012, we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest, best, and more important launches of this past year.
American Dry Gin
Reviewed April 2nd
If you thought the New York distillery scene couldn’t support another gin, you would have been wrong. Though perhaps I’m biased because I live in New York, this was one of the higher profile names that came out this past year. Their cold temperature vacuum distilling and bright contemporary flavor set it apart and helped the gin earn its keep among the crowded craft gin shelves of New York city.
New Columbia Distillers
Green Hat Gin
Another one of the fairly high profile launches this past year was the first distillery in Washington D.C. since prohibition. The gin blogosphere was buzzing weeks before the launch with the information that we’d soon be seeing this gin on shelves.
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I love the concept of it all. Berkshire Mountain Distillers, creators of the already good Greylock Gin, release nearly annually a new batch of limited edition gin which they market under their Ethereal Gin moniker.
Previously, I reviewed Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4, so it is of course with great excitement that I have a chance to review their latest batch.
Immediately, the nose is much more floral than the previous batch of Ethereal Gin. Its light and flowery, a bit reminiscent of Hendrick’s subtle nose. There’s a bit of lavender and rose, a bit of lime and orange. Not a lot of juniper.
The taste is smooth and almost fruity. There’s a bit of juniper up front, smooth and flowing, and it unfolds slowly revealing notes of lime and lemon, before finishing in an almost fruity “fruit punch” sort of way. None of this is up in your face, its a subtle finish. Notes of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Blueberries and cream and even a hint of spiciness. The tail note where you get a slight hint of anise is vaguely reminiscent of the Ethereal Gin I tasted previously.
I mixed Ethereal Gin No 6 with tonic water and you get a bit of the same floral notes shining through.
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Berkshire Mountain Distillers are best known for its mainline of gin known as Greylock Gin. And although I went to Astor Place Wine and Spirits looking specifically for Greylock, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the green label and a name like “Ethereal Gin.”
The Ethereal Gins are small-batch, handcrafted, and limited edition. Other versions exist such as #3 in a yellow bottle, #2, in the pink bottle, and #1 in a green one. Each one is a limited batch and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Fortunately, it seems every year they Berkshire Mountain releases a new one, and if #4 (my sad and late introduction to their line) is any indication, they will all be worth looking forward to.
Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4 press release (.pdf)
The bouquet is herbal and complex. Juniper and pepper are immediately present upon tasting, and the gin lingers with a sharp but pleasant anise. This gin is a key player in cocktails. The flavors are not to be denied. For example, Ethereal Gin No. 4 is one of the few gins that can really alter the profile of a Negroni.
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The Gin is In wishes everyone the happiest of World Gin Days
Our World Gin Day Cocktail of choice is: Ethereal Gin No. 4 and Fever Tree Tonic.
Ethereal Gin No. 4 is a limited edition gin from Berkshire Mountain Distillers. It’s extremely smooth and has a nice herbal flavor and just a hint of Anise that lingers after each sip. We paired it with Fever Tree Tonic because the clean strong flavor of the tonic plus just the hint of sweetness that it brings to the table is the perfect compliment. I left out the lime because of Ethereal Gin’s predominantly herbal profile. Cheers!
For more on World Gin Day: http://worldginday.com and http://yetanothergin.co.uk
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