Adrift Gin— or more completely— Adrift Distillers Gin is a small batch gin out of Washington state with a base spirit distilled from local wheat. All of the spirits from Adrift Distillers incorporate local ingredients and “weave the story of the landscape into every bottle.”
Somewhat unusual among the botanical blend that general steers rather classic is cranberry. Did you know that the Washington’s coast is one of the nation’s biggest producers of cranberries?
We are reviewing Batch 005 of Adrift Distillers Gin.
To the nose, Adrift Distillers Gin has a spicy, complex nose. Hints of sweet almond glazed coffee cake emerge from clear notes of orange peel, cinnamon and cardamom.
Sipped, Adrift Gin shows a bit more of its juniper and gin side.
Surprisingly early, there’s hints of sweet cinnamon. Juniper is most prominent early-to-mid palate with a darker, greener character to it. Citrus is also very loud mid-palate. Orange and lemon rise to the fore with a powdery, lavender note.
Towards the finish, the spice adds warmth especially at the back of the palate. It’s peppery with a hint of anise. The tail end of this taste continues to evoke for me a slight semblance of browned almond coffee cake.
The finish is long with a hint of sourness. Adrift Distillers Gin has a long residual flavor and not a ton of astringency nor warmth. That being said, the base wheat spirit has a soft mouthfeel but not a ton of additional viscosity.
Cocktails tend to emphasize Adrift Distillers Gin’s more spice forward side. Though the citrus is present with tonic (lemon zest), it’s the spice that comes through most acutely on the finish in a Gin and Tonic. I also tend to get a bit more cardamom once it is mixed.
Though texturally it’s nice, it’s not enough to carry a Martini on its own. I recommend pairing it with a nice dry Vermouth. But perhaps even better, Yellow Chartreuse adds texture and really brings Adrift’s gentle spice to the fore. Try it in an Alaska Cocktail.
Spice notes sometimes clash with floral in cocktails— but Adrift Distillers Gin is an exception. It works nicely with violet and would be worth mixing up in an Aviation.
Bartenders can mostly utilize Adrift Distillers Gin as a versatile craft alternative to some of the more prominent names in gin; however, I do think it shines best when treated as its own thing and has cocktails built around it.
Overall, Adrift Gin
Adrift Distillers Gin does a lot of things well. Fans of contemporary gins and especially citrus/spice style gins will enjoy what they’ve done here.
While I think there’s a lot of positives here— I find the powdery note mid-palate to impart a slightly soapy note which may throw some gin drinkers off. Secondly, although the base spirit is soft, the botanical choices in Adrift Gin amplify some of its thinness on the finish.
That’s not to say it’s a bad gin— in fact far from it. But if I were to pick one of the two offerings from Adrift Distillers, I’d definitely suggest checking out their excellent Love Warrior Gin as your first choice.
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