In < 100 Words
When you think of Utah, you probably think more about the picture below than gin. It can be understood, after all when one thinks about alcohol and drinking, Utah is closer associated with the opposite. Beehive Distilling is doing their best to dispel entirely the notion that Utah and good spirits are opposites. Jack Rabbit Gin is “small batch” and “small scale” featuring local touches (Sage for example) that give it a distinctly regional flavor profile, and floral touches such as rose, which give it a unique and bright flavor with mass appeal potential.
Utah, as I usually picture it.
Bright rose hits you right away. Unmissable. But there’s much more happening beneath the surface that keep it from becoming a one-note bomb. Coriander, camphorous juniper and mint background notes, with even lower a touch of orange and citrus in the lows. The rose note immediately draws a comparison to Hendrick’s (), but it really might have out-Hendrick’sed even Hendrick’s with the rose.
The palate surprised me initially, taking an almost left turn. The camphorous mint-like low notes are bright and clear as day on the palate as sage.
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A peculiar review indeed. But perhaps not for the reasons you might think. We’re taking an opportunity to take a look at an early favorite of the Gin is In’s: Hendrick’s Gin. Really the ultimate in gateway gins. But this time, we’re taking a look at the version of Hendrick’s that you folks in the UK are used to seeing. You see, here in the states Hendrick’s is bottled at 44% or about 88 proof. but in the UK? a full 6 proof points lower. 41.4% or 82.8 proof. Does it actually make a difference? Or has my sentiments on Hendrick’s changed in the last 3 years since my initial review?
Getting down to it: Nose and Taste
The nose is heavy on the rose, bright and floral with a hint of alcohol as well. Not something I remember from my initial tastes of even the stronger American version. The taste though is smooth and slow at first, very easy to be drank. But quite, cucumber and neutrality, not much going on. The other flavors accelerate and crash altogether, juniper and earthy angelica, hints of coriander. It fades, leaving a warm alcoholic burn taste in the back of your mouth and a bright hint of floral long after the initial taste.
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When I first drove across Iowa, I found it a state that confirmed my expectations while simultaneously defying my expectations. My family never took long car trips. In fact, before I was 22, the furthest west I had ever been was Erie, PA. So let me just say that I had this impression that all I would see upon entering Iowa were field of corn and an unending flatness.
Well firstly, it was May, so the corn was naught but a gleam in a farmer’s eye. But also, who could have thought that moment where the horizon explodes and unravels itself before the unsuspecting driver, stretching itself further out than I suspected eyes could see ahead would have been so stunning. My first experience with the state of Iowa was unexpected- who would have thought I would have hung photos of the Iowa landscape in my apartment years later? But I digress, merely wanting to stop and note that I once found something wholly unexpected in Iowa, so perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised to find something so unexpected in a gin from the same state.
Stop me If you’ve Heard this One Before
A gin that boasts rose and cucumber among its botanicals.
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This has to be one of the easiest reviews I could do. Hendrick’s has been one of my favorite gins since I was first introduced to the beverage. Its lighter on the Juniper, but it’s not completely absent. The high notes are cucumber and rose, and you’ll notice that savvy bartenders will garnish a Hendrick’s and tonic with a cucumber instead of a lime. The cucumber is a subtle taste, that blends in. It can be easily overpowered by either a strong tonic or lime juice. The rose stands out to me more. The floral notes are strong; however, not as strong as the saffron in the Saffron gin.
Because of the unusual blend of flavors and their mildness, this gin I think is best served as straight gin with tonic. I’d leave out the lime juice to fully appreciate the flavors in this bottle. But surprisingly, despite the unusual notes, Hendrick’s is surprisingly versatile. Not bad, though its best parts are obscured in a Tom Collins; the floral tones work beautiful with creme de violette in an aviation. As a martini Hendrick’s shines as well and it falls into the category of “gateway” gins, as the kind of gins that might appeal to a less enthusiastic gin connoisseur; however, unlike some of the sweeter more eccentric boutique gins, I think Hendrick’s offers enough of the things that gin drinkers like to be a worthwhile bottle to add to their collection
Price:~$25 for 750ml
Best consumed: w/Tonic (sans lime) or Aviation
Availability: Fairly common, usually on the shelf of your corner liquor store, ubiquitous in any big liquor store.
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