Q: What is a “Greyling”?
A: The Greyling is the informal term which refers to any fish in the genus Thymallus. Graylings are colorful, sometimes spotted fish which can grow up to 30 inches long. They live worldwide in freshwater lakes in the northern hemisphere. They are extremely sensitive to changes in the quality of the water they live in and are therefore sometimes referred to as “indicator species.” In other words, when Graylings diminish in numbers, other species are soon to follow. Also, they are quite delicious*.
Specifically the Greyling in the case of Greyling Modern Dry gin is an homage to the once common species of Greyling (T. Arcticus) which once was widely found in the great lakes [and may soon return]. For a gin made of Michigan spirits and Michigan botanicals, the Greyling is an appropriate reference to the place where this gin comes from.
Now on to the gin.
The nose is mildly floral, but with juniper in the center. The floral notes make you think this gin could go in a contemporary direction (a la Modern Dry Gin) but the juniper is clearly there.
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Aaron’s Note: This was a very early batch of Death’s Door Gin. Some have told me that the formula since these early batches has changed significantly. This review is based on the bottle I bought back in early 2010 and reflects the product and batch I had at the time.
The Botanical Gin revolution is alive and well. I applaud it. Anything that gets people out and talking about gin, or better yet— experimenting boldly with gin is a good thing. Generally, I think a lot of good things have come out of these experiments. There are more delectable varieties of gin out today than I’ve ever seen before. But every now and then, I taste a gin that doesn’t work.
Death’s Door is another gin from the United States, made in Washington Island, Wisconsin (map here, because I didn’t know where that was either) entirely from native botanicals grown on the Island. The gin also fits into a larger picture of local farmers working to promote keep the agricultural community going and to show off the flavors of the great lakes region. This is all great stuff, and really exciting stuff.
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