Reader John wrote to us:
Thanks for writing John! And thank you for the compliment. We’re excited to try the gin and offer up a review for it. Looking around the web doing some research for this review, I was impressed how little was out there about McCormick Gin. The McCormick Distilling Company is located in Weston, Missouri. They don’t even provide additional information about the spirit on their website, aside from “yes, we make a gin!.” The back of the bottle informs us that the base spirit is grain. The distillery itself is one of the oldest in the US: in operation since 1856, though one of the first mentions we find of their gin is in the 1947 Joplin Post.
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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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Should you drink the liquor in those quote unquote “collectible” miniature bottles?
The answer seems to generally be “no,” due to spoilage, evaporation, and “fear of the unknown.” But I am not a collector. I have no aspirations in my life of harboring assortments of things which have no greater use. So when I receive a mini, my question is: can I actually consume this?*
This specific bottle of Piping Rock Mint Flavored Gin seemed an ideal candidate for experimentation. It was well sealed and seemed to have suffered from seemingly little evaporation. It was in a glass bottle and seemed to be only (only!) about thirty-ish years old. I can vouch for the safety of thirty-year old booze, but that’s another story altogether.
Tell me a bit about Piping Rock…
Firstly, Piping Rock still exists and still does make gin. Predictably, it is rather inexpensive. Their Sloe Gin is still widely available for a little less than a single Hamilton [and that’s for a full 750mL]
The name Piping Rock has been in use as a brand for gin since 1935 (and was registered officially in 1955) by Luxco hailing out of St.
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Organic gin is something that we’re seeing more and more of, especially within the American microdistillery scene. Pinckney Bend has nine botanicals, each of them certified organic and all of them including the wheat in the gin’s base are American grown. In fact everything about this gin, right down to the glass of the bottle is made in the states.
Additionally, Map geeks such as myself will likely appreciate the beautiful map on the label as well showing those of us unacquainted with Missouri geography (myself included) where exactly Pinckney Bend is. Now on to the gin:
The nose is hot, with an overwhelming alcohol scent. Though there are pleasant and subtle notes of citrus- predominantly orange, the alcohol scent overwhelms them a bit. At 46.5%, that there is a distinct heat on the nose isn’t unsurprising, but when compared to other gins which clock in at over 40%, I’d say Pinckney Bend might be one that betrays its intensity on the nose more strongly than others.
On to the Taste
The tasting begins with a slight earth note of cinnamon which lasts only a half a second before the heat and the citrus take over.
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