Occasionally, it takes me a while to get around to getting a review up. I’ve had this wonderful bottle of tonic syrup chronicled in my notes for some time. I unexpectedly received another bottle very recently which prompted me to look in my notes and realize [to my chagrin] that I have not written about this fantastic syrup here.
Bradley’s Kina Tonic is small batch, made by hand, and hails from Seattle [Hi Seattle!]. It’s alike many other tonic syrups in terms of appearance and aroma; however, you won’t quite know exactly how it differs until you open it up. That’s right, the “spices” labeled on the back are not listed. They’re a secret. You’ll just have to taste for yourselves.
The color is a light cocoa, with this hint of rusty maroon, giving it an almost ciderish appearance. The liquid is thick and somewhat viscous; however, not unctuous I’d place it somewhere in the middle, and perhaps slightly less rich and syrupy than other tonic syrups.
The nose is lemongrass, orange, and nutmeg. It smells a bit rich and earthy, with some background notes that read as somewhat sweet; however, it is the spice and citrus which carries through most strongly.
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Up in the distilling hotbed of the Pacific Northwest, Counter Gin hails from Batch 206 Distillery in Seattle Washington. They’ve quickly become one of the bigger names on the Seattle distilling scene. Today we take a look at their flagship gin.
In our Own <100 Words
“Small batch,” “local,” “handmade” and “artisan” are among the words that describe the products and philosophy at Batch 206 from the products themselves all the way to the still they’re made on. The gin begins as their flagship vodka. Then, the eight botanicals are steeped in the vodka for 36 hours. The infusion is then redistilled to make Counter Gin. The cucumber and lavender are local, but the rest have their provenance well defined, the juniper is from Albania for example, and we all know how important that can be.
The nose is floral and herbal. Orange, tarragon, rosemary and lavender notes shine out. The notes are bright and fresh, each easy to pick out on its own; however, the nose is a little restrained and not overwhelming. There’s a low vegetal note present as well, calling to mind hints of tarragon and cucumber.
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For our next review, we travel back to that distilling hotbed that it is Washington State. This mini I picked up when I was in Seattle for the American Distilling Institute gathering this past spring. I’d heard good things about Sun Liquor Distillery and wanted to try for myself.
In our own < 100 Words
If you haven’t heard of Sound Spirits’ offerings, you might have seen them– that is if you’ve ever flown Alaska airlines. Rare is the local product which rises (pun intended) to the level as to be served on a major airline. That aside, Sun Liquor was first a lounge (2006), then a restaurant, bar and distillery (2011), and they’ve been selling their gin over the counter ever since. Hedgetrimmer is meant to be the more classic of their offerings (let’s play word association: Juniper, Pine, Green, Hedge?) and is distilled with neutral grain and nine botanicals, including one oddball: Washington State Cannonball Watermelon Rind.
The nose has hibiscus, and green juniper in the high notes, though a more complex side emerges as the spirit has a second to aerate: lemon, ethanol and grains of paradise notes mix, but then fading to a more blank alcohol note on the finish.
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