In intention, Green Hat’s year round Navy Strength gin packs a punch with not just Green Hat’s signature blend of botanicals, but some added juniper. Bottles at 114 proof, it’s designed to be your go-to cocktail gin. Like the other products from Michael Lowe and John Uselton’s New Columbia Distillers, the gin begins as Red Winter Wheat, mashed, fermented, and distilled on their traditional copper pot still, vapor infused with botanicals ranging from the traditional like lemon and juniper, to the less traditional like celery seed and grapefruit.
Articles Tagged: New Columbia Distillers
The season: that is the winter, brings to mind the notions of warmth, heat, and coziness. When I think of those words in terms of spirits, I generally thing of “aged,” “warming,” a bit “hot,” and “spiced.” If I were to paint a picture of the ideal winter spirit, it might capture as many of those ideals as possible. Some gins are naturally full of warm baking spice. Some gins are a bit hot, served over 80 proof, giving a nice warm feeling when sipped. And finally some gins are aged. And then yet other gins are all of the above:
What exactly is a “Ginavit”
Technically, an Aquavit should derive its primary flavor from Caraway or Dill, but like gin the notion of “primary flavor” has a great deal of variance from one distiller to another. Additionally Aquavit is rarely solely flavored by Caraway or Dill: other botanicals (herbs and spices) are used to create each distiller’s individual recipe. You might see how there’s a lot that these two spirits have in common right from the outset. Many of the traditional gin botanicals (anise for example) are common in Aquavit as well.
It seems like the chill in the air is here to stay. Halloween is just around the corner, and so are the holidays. Seems like just yesterday I was basking in the glow of the promise of a summer full of gin and tonics before me. Folks are saying things like “brown spirit season,” and usually this means us gin drinkers become merely a footnote or after thought until summer’s warm tidings beckon us once more. But not this year, Brown spirit season is open and gin drinkers are invited: several new aged gins hit the market in the United States this week, in one of the most exciting launch groups I’ve seen in some time:
I jumped the gun on talking about this a few weeks back, but it seems official now. New Columbia Distillers are launching their seasonal offering: a gin/aquavit hybrid they’re calling Ginavit. Considering my not so secret fascination with Aquavit [and how close I’ve come to reviewing the category as well] I am so intrigued and can’t wait to get some into The Gin is In test labs… Launches on November 2nd officially.
As the summer comes to an “on paper” close with Labor Day weekend, we have a couple very autumnal gin launches to talk about as well as a new gin set to launch this November in Australia. Overall, it’s been a quiet week as most cocktail writers have spent the last week of summer holed up on the beach with gin and tonics, or in the garden frantically harvesting mint to make the perfect Southside before Negroni season opens.
Cheers and happy labor day!
New Product Launches
It’s out! Green Hat seasonal Fall/Winter 2013 is now out from New Columbia Distillers. Caraway, Rye and a touch of aging.
It’s Out (tomorrow), This weekend is the long awaited launch of New York Distilling’s Chief Goawnus New Netherland gin.
On It’s way! A distillery that intends to launch with a gin next year is securing permits to locate on New York’s Lake George.
On It’s way! A dry gin with an Australian style to be called “Four Pillars Gin” is in the works, as is an Old Tom. The Australian craft gin scene is heating up [November, most likely]
Who Else Was Talking about Gin this Week?
It seems like there’s a few hot trends among gin distillers. One of them definitely is the creation of “seasonal” or “limited edition” runs. Green Hat Distilled Gin from New Columbia Distillers in Washington D.C. burst onto the scene just late last year, and in addition to their rather excellent, in this reviewer’s opinion, Green Hat Gin, they’ve released their first seasonal selection for this year’s spring and summer.
As it’s a seasonal gin for spring and summer, I’m heavily assuming this is a gin built for the official drink of summer: the Gin and Tonic. I’m going to factor that heavily into my review of this drink. In my opinion, if you’re putting out a seasonal gin for summer, you’ve got to be able to handle lazy days in the yard -being combined all willy-nilly with lemonade, tonic, or whatever else might be sitting in the cooler. But fear not, I’ll test it in some proper cocktails too, because although I like the idyllic vision of pulling a bottle gin out of the cooler on the beach, I know that properly made bar cocktails deserve a little bit of summer love too.
It is inevitable that in a rapidly expanding ecosystem such as microdistilled gins that conflict may arise. However, one thing that has been surprising to me is the frequency with which gins distilled in near complete isolation of one another have stumbled across the exact same name. Inevitably, as your name is your identity and how consumers will know your gin, its is important to get it right. In most cases, distillers differentiate themselves with flavors and botanicals to standout. But sometimes those differences aren’t enough [or more accurately, lawyers worry those might not be enough] and two brands take the dispute to court to fight for their name. Here is a short list of some of the more notable gin trademark disputes from the last few years:
2011: Brooklyn, NY and NOT Brooklyn, NY Perhaps the most famous of the gin trademark lawsuits. This one arose when Breuckelen Distilling [located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York] trademarked the name “Brecukelen” [pronounced exactly like the borough] and Miami based distiller Angel Santos trademarked the name “Brooklyn Gin,” which although it is not made in the borough, uses the borough’s identity as its inspiration for the bottle and design.
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.# Distillery Name – —
1 Greenhook Ginsmiths 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. 2 New Columbia Distillers Green Hat Gin [coming soon] 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.