We’ve talked a bit about Dillon’s work before, reviewing a few months ago their quite excellent Cherry Gin (). Whereas their Cherry Gin [among a couple others from their lineup] use a Rye base, their Unfiltered 22 is something of a change-up, an ode to the Niagara Peninsula where grapes and wine are among the regions’ specialty. Using a local grape base, gives this gin a bit more of a French touch, and puts it among some pretty lofty company with gins like G’vine Floraison (), Seneca Drums (), who also hail from famous wine regions and who use the local grapes.
The team vapor distill their gin and do not filter it, so that it retains more of the essential oils from the botanicals.
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New Years Resolution: Maybe a bit more personal photography. At left, we have a lovely picture of Seneca Drums gin, a bottle that I purchased while in Buffalo celebrating the holiday season with family. I bought it because it was “local:” the Finger Lakes Distillery is about 45 minutes south of Rochester near Burdett. NY. I’d never seen it at my usual liquor store favorites in New York City, so I gave it a shot. I’d never had a gin from upstate, but considering how good the one from downstate was, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised.
The first thing I noticed about Seneca Drums was the floral scent. Upon opening the bottle, I immediately drew a parallel to G’vine’s Floraison. Both use a grape spirit base in addition to neutral spirits to create a more unique and distinctly American style gin.
The juniper is subtly there, as is the citrus- perhaps a bit of orange and lemon, in addition to an assortment of herbs. Seneca Drums claims there are 11 different herbs in their gin. There were hints of clove and coriander, but none truly stood out above all the others.
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I’ve reviewed Nouaison by G’vine previously, but my first G’vine gin love was Floraison.
There is no more fragrant gin on the market. When you open the bottle of gin or take a sip of a drink with Floraison in it, the floral and fruity aroma hits you in the face. No, I’m serious. Its unmistakable- the blend of scents that reminds strongly of grapes (which is not coincidental, as the base is made from distilled grapes) and the taste hints of sweet baking spices and spring flowers, that linger. Floraison has a long refreshing finish that is unique among gins that I’ve had.
It is hardly traditional. The Juniper is hidden, almost not there. If you carefully savor it you can detect a slight hint of it in the background. This is one of those gins that I’ve served non-gin drinking friends- and they loved it. Its interesting like an exotic flavored vodka and complex like a port or whiskey.
It is great in a gin and tonic. Stay clear of the lime though, this gin does not need nor demand citrus accompaniment. Also, use a better tonic water as the sweet taste of more inexpensive waters drowns out the subtle complexities.
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