I love the concept of it all. Berkshire Mountain Distillers, creators of the already good Greylock Gin, release nearly annually a new batch of limited edition gin which they market under their Ethereal Gin moniker.
Previously, I reviewed Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4, so it is of course with great excitement that I have a chance to review their latest batch.
Immediately, the nose is much more floral than the previous batch of Ethereal Gin. Its light and flowery, a bit reminiscent of Hendrick’s subtle nose. There’s a bit of lavender and rose, a bit of lime and orange. Not a lot of juniper.
The taste is smooth and almost fruity. There’s a bit of juniper up front, smooth and flowing, and it unfolds slowly revealing notes of lime and lemon, before finishing in an almost fruity “fruit punch” sort of way. None of this is up in your face, its a subtle finish. Notes of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Blueberries and cream and even a hint of spiciness. The tail note where you get a slight hint of anise is vaguely reminiscent of the Ethereal Gin I tasted previously.
I mixed Ethereal Gin No 6 with tonic water and you get a bit of the same floral notes shining through. Its definitely a contemporary styled gin, but one which unabashedly embraces several of the signatures of the “New Western” style gin. But yet it is still unmistakably recognizable as gin. Although it is perhaps a background note, the juniper is able to be picked out of the botanical mix.
It is smooth and compliments a light vermouth nicely in a martini. Paired with a vermouth with stronger herbal compliments, some of the more subtle notes are lost. Overall though, I find that it works quite nicely nonetheless. The citrus forward character is complimented nicely by the citrus in a drink like the Tom Collins. But where I found this gin working the best? I loved the way it added a slight underlying floral note in harmony with the jam in the Madam Geneva Gin Cocktail that I’ve recently been making a lot of.
In stronger cocktails like the Negroni, some of the milder notes were lost. As was in a floral cocktail such as the Aviation. I think that Berkshire Mountain’s Ethereal Gin No. 6 shines brightest when it is the unquestioned star of the cocktail. In cocktails which more closely approach “equal parts” or where there is another strong flavor, the things that this gin does best can be lost.
A notable contemporary styled gin that will certainly appeal to gin drinkers in search of something new. But if you’re going to go through the work of seeking out this limited edition gin, I suggest not limiting its use to cocktails where its mild floral and fruity elements can shine, and not overwhelming it in complex drinks with bold supporting ingredients.