Black Fox Farm and Distillery was founded by a pair of third generation Canadian farmers who run what they describe as a “non-traditional farm” emphasizing “spirits and flowers.” Black Fox Oaked Gin is one of several products they’ve released, many designed to include local ingredients such as Saskatchewan Caraway and rhubarb grown from their farm.
But going back to their Black Fox Oaked Gin. It acquires its color by being rested in unused American White Oak barrels for about six to eight months,
Poured, it has a beautiful deep amber hue. It is perfectly transparent still; however, it’s a much deeper shade than a good deal of other aged gins out there; likely owing to Black Fox’s use of virgin oak.
Black Fox Oaked Gin has a delicate nose that is spicy and warming with some floral lightness. Notes of banana bread with walnuts, pumpkin spice latte, toffee and musky, rose make it a complex and inviting aroma.
The palate of Black Fox Oaked Gin has an unusual hint of smokiness, especially at first that may suggest that that this is one of the first aged gins that may appeal to Scotch drinkers— or at least those who are fans of some of the gentle offerings from the Lowlands.
Though the smokiness is mild and accompanied with a hint of mint, it recedes gently, giving way to the other botanicals and flavors. Ginger, cinnamon, a hint of celery mid-palate, then banana, caraway, vanilla give into a moderately long finish with quiet juniper and peppery overtones.
Black Fox Oaked Gin is complex with a lot of barrel character, as evidenced by many of the tasting notes suggesting oak influence as suppose to outright gin botanicals. However, one major difference in its barrel character is that I find it to be very smooth, unctuous, with a rich mouthfeel and very little in the ways of tannin and astringency. Even after several sips, Black Fox Oaked Gin doesn’t build and overwhelm the palate.
Aged Gin can be a bit of a difficult mixer, and I prefer Black Fox Oaked Gin simply neat. But if you’re looking for a way to turn on fans of mixed drinks to aged gin, try it in an Aged Gin Old Fashioned [might I recommend it with an Abbott’s Type bitters such as this one] or topped with soda and garnished with lemon peel. Think of it kind of as a Gin-based Whiskey and Soda.
Overall, Black Fox Oaked Gin
One of the moments I’ve been waiting for in the aged gin space is that moment where aging process and botanical process collide, rendering each other something else altogether. Black Fox Oaked Gin is one of a small group of Aged Gins being made around the world that suggest that aged gin is becoming its own category, and not simply a mashup.
Fans of whiskey and whisky will find quite a bit that’s familiar about Black Fox Oaked Gin. But then again so will gin drinkers. There’s a nice mix of spice, floral notes and barrel character that no other spirit category can provide.
Black Fox Farm and Distillery have made an intriguing product that’s worth seeking out. I look forward to trying more of their work in the future.