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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Naturally, when there’s 30+ gins to be tasted it cannot be done all at once. As much as we’d like to try, to do a proper tasting our livers and mental capacities just couldn’t take it. So in order to give every gin a proper tasting and a fair shot, we spread it out into 6 mini tastings over the course of a long day. So as promised, here’s a recap of what we tasted side by side and with what– and I’ll share with you my top two from each heat.
For full gin reviews of every gin covered in the 50 States of Gin tasting, you’ll have to stay tuned to the Gin is In this fall. If my first post was the 10 miles high overview, this is the one from 50,000 feet. The full reviews will be on the ground: up close and personal.
Heat #1 ///
The Participants: Dogfish Head Jin from Delaware [the nation’s first state, I’m sure you see where we’re going with this], Pennsylvania’s Bluecoat Gin, Southern Gin from Georgia, Gale Force Gin from Masscahussetts and finally, New Hampshire’s Karner Blue gin.
Overall a strong opening.
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Knickerbocker hails from Holland, Michigan (just on the shores of Lake Michigan) and the bottle proudly looks backwards to those who looked forward. “Knickerbocker” was the name attributed to Dutch settlers of the American continent. As the Dutch founded New York née New Amsterdam (hence the New York Knicks), so did the Dutch found Holland, Michigan and hence the name of New Holland Brewing Company’s Knickerbocker Gin. History aside, I think this is a rather apt name for the gin. But first, the tasting.
The nose is rather clean. Warm notes of lemon rind, sharp juniper and a little bit of alcohol are present. You can tell that this gin is going to have a little bit of harshness to it. But you can also tell that this gin is going to put on a traditional dry profile. There’s a faint sweetness present, but overall you would think this in the Classic style and you would be correct.
The taste opens with warm juniper on the front of your tongue, giving way to a little bit of alcoholic heat (again, at 85 proof I found that a bit surprising. It tastes a bit stronger than it is).
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