Tamworth Distilling celebrates the native flora of New Hampshire in their Barrel Reserve Flora Gin.
First, it begins as their Flora Gin. Several delicate flowers are macerated in grain spirit before distillation, meaning no heat ever touches the flowers. Labdunum resin, also a common perfume ingredient is harvested from the “Rock Rose” plant (Cistus ladanifer) and is added after distillation. Then, the spirit is sweetened with a small amount of wildflower honey.
But then, they take that gin and rest in former wheat whiskey barrels for over a year before ultimately being bottled at 50% ABV. The resulting spirit has a gorgeous goldenrod hue.
Nose: Vanilla and angelica mingle with hints of woody oak and a slight floral facet suggestive of jasmine.
Flavor: Creamy throughout with vanillin early and late. Hint of citrus, chiefly grapefruit mid-palate. Juniper builds to medium volume with resiny, dark evergreen notes. Late, elderflower, chamomile, stewed pineapple and hints of milk chocolate.
The finish is exceptionally long. A pleasant, moderate warmth is present throughout. Tannins and oak notes are present, but never bitter.
Barrel Reserve Flora Gin is a beautiful sipping gin. It doesn’t need much— save an ice cube (because it’s a relatively assertive 50% ABV— to really shine. Even an Old Fashioned is a bit overkill because of its inherent sweetness and complex, bold botanicals in both the head, heart and base.
I didn’t find it a very welcoming mixing gin, in that it really shines bright enough on its own.
Overall, Barrel Reserve Flora Gin
Tamworth Distilling have managed to do something quite incredible. Combining a wide range of techniques from distilling, macerating, infusing and barrel aging— they’ve created something truly unique and outstanding.
Barrel Reserve Flora Gin sets a high bar for what aged gin can be at its very best.
If you’ve been on the fence about barrel aged gins, this one could change your mind. While the gin leans contemporary, there’s enough juniper to appeal to fans of classic gin as well.