100 Mill St. is best known for their peculiar choice of base spirit, laboriously distilled from Maple Sap. In 2022, they released a limited edition spirits that innovate and riff on their excellent flagship gin.
Their Toasted Old Tom Gin uses maple syrup for sweetening and then is briefly aged with toasted maple chips. In other words 100 Mill St. Toasted Old Tom pays homage to the Wisconsin Northwoods‘ abundance of maple on three levels.
Color: Light goldenrod, similar to shortbread.
Aroma: Similar to other gins in their line, Toasted Old Tom has some of the signature sweetness on the nose. Hints of vanilla, lavender, suggestions of biscotti cookies, custard and jasmine. However, it’s all enhanced by a very subtle hint of maple syrup.
Flavor: The palate combines the added sweetness with some of the tannic, harsh wood of the maple chips to add a robustness to the flavor that 100 Mill St.’s standard gin doesn’t have.
Citrus, chiefly grapefruit comes on early with hints of mandarin orange. Mid-palate the wood adds a pleasant earthiness while pine begins to be offset by more sweet orange.
Towards the back of the palate, the combination of citrus, subtle sweetness and spices give Toasted Old Tom hints of spiced cakes like lemon loaf and carrot cake.
Finish: The maple sweetening comes through most strongly here. Any harshness of the wood is completely muted. There’s a radiant warmth within a subtle note that reminds me more of maple sap itself (it’s subtle) than a more concentrated maple syrup.
Cocktails and suggested serves
With the bottle, 100 Mill St. sent a suggested recipe for a Martinez with Barolo Chinato. While I love Barolo Chinato, I found that ingredient somewhat overwhelmed some of the complexity of their Toasted Old Tom. The wood, maple and a hint of citrus come through— but the rest were obscured.
Even though the Old Tom style is complex and not well defined— I think that even within the category 100 Mill St.’s Toasted Old Tom might be a bit atypical even within the style. I wouldn’t simply use it in traditional cocktails that call for an Old Tom. I’d treat this drink as its own thing.
Overall, 100 Mill St. Toasted Old Tom
While somewhat atypical, 100 Mill St.’s Toasted Old Tom is a victory in terms of flavor and balance. The underlying gin and its citrus/juniper notes are present. The maple adds some sweetness without overwhelming. And the wood chips are used judiciously to add some earthy edge, but they never overwhelm, only adding a mild woody complexity.
While a lot is happening, it all works. 100 Mill St.’s Toasted Old Tom is an expertly constructed gin that defies traditional categorization.