One Eight Distilling’s product line is called: District Made, Rye-forward spirits. Their gins, like the rest of their product line, showcase the unusual choices in base spirit. We don’t often talk about the mashbill for a gin, but District Made does: 66% of it is Abruzzi Rye. Developed in the 1950’s it is a high yielding heritage varietal of winter rye. The rest of the base spirit is corn and malted rye.
Their Barrel Rested Ivy City Gin begins with the same ten botanicals as their Ivy City Gin, then adds orange peel before being split between two barrels. Some of the gin is rested in new char American Oak for six months. The other spends the same amount of time in ex-bourbon casks.
Color: Biscotti in hue and perfectly transparent.
Aroma: The orange is evident right away, notes of orange marmalade sit with vanilla kissed wood and pine-forward juniper. A pleasing balance of gin, botanicals and aging.
Flavor: The taste veers in a nearly completely different direction. Hints of jerk spice, with notes of allspice, cinnamon and a touch of cayenne (no capsaicin, just the flavor). The barrels are prominent here as well with vanilla and custard.
There’s a pleasant warmth throughout, owing to the rather strong bottling strength (51% ABV); however, it’s well paired with a texturally smooth and interesting underlying spirit. That warmth begins to give way late on the palate as more orange peel comes through with that jellied sweetness that was initially pleasant on the nose.
Finish: Long and slightly warm with a lasting flavor of dried Turkish apricots.
Cocktails and suggested serves
While I was impressed with the overall complexity and bright citrus notes when sipped neat, Barrel Rested Ivy City Gin lends itself nicely to cocktail craft— maybe more so than some other aged gins.
I recommend it in the latter with Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters.
Overall, Barrel Rested Ivy City Gin
One of the hardest notes to preserve in a barrel aged gin is one of the most volatile: citrus. I love the bright, jammy orange character in Barrel Rested Ivy City Gin that sings on both the nose and palate.
More fruit and dried fruit than other aged gins, One Eight Distilling have walked a beautiful line— the combination of the two aging techniques softens the harshness of new barrel aged gins while maintaining some of that intense wood flavor and vanillin contributions.
In short, balance is where Barrel Rested Ivy City Gin excels. Juniper, citrus, and barrel are all in harmony with plenty of supporting notes to make it interesting and complex. If you’re a fan of aged gins, this is one you should seek out.
Recommended in its category.