Brown Mule American Style Gin is distilled and produced by Pinedale, Wyoming’s Cowboy Country Distilling. As of writing, the do not sell an un-aged gin. Brown Mule Gin is their flagship gin. Further, it distinguishes itself with a couple uncommon choices.
The gin is distilled with nine botanicals, including an unusual juniper berry. The Western Juniper or Juniperus occidentalis grows in rocky, sandy mountain foothills. As the name might suggest, this type of juniper is prevalent in the Western United States. After distillation the gin is rested in former oak brandy barrels. For an aged gin, the choice of barrel is also somewhat uncommon, especially for an aged gin produced in the United States.
Color: Blonde chiefly, with a slight brown hint— reminiscent of Tuscan Sun.
Nose: Rich with confectionary notes. Vanilla, sponge cake and buttered maple syrup.
Flavor: Quiet at first with a sharp mid-palate burst. Vanilla and moderate volume pine-forward juniper. Brown Mule Gin eases into a nutty, almost sweet back half. Maple, toasted coriander, pecans, nutmeg and butter cracker with slight lemon and orange oil facets.
Moderate to long finish with a suggestive sweetness and mild and restrained bitterness. It doesn’t have a strong tannic quality to it, but there is a touch of astringency to it.
Brown Mule Gin is rather easy to drink neat or on the rocks. The buttery, vanilla kissed palate calls to mind an Aged Gin which uses sweetening (such as Tom Cat), but without the sugars. This gives it a leg up in an aged gin Old Fashioned where it doesn’t require much in terms of sugar to get that rich, unctuous body. Because it puts a lot of its flavor in the sweet, creamy notes, it is nicely complemented with a botanically intense bitters, such as Angostura or Peychaud’s.
Further, it works well in mixed drinks like the aged gin and cola (seltzer).
Overall, Brown Mule Gin
While somewhat lighter than others on the botanical characteristics, Cowboy Country Distilling have produced an accessible aged gin. The barrel (with its vanilla and maple notes) is the star here; however, the underlying gin does poke through.
Fans of lighter whiskeys will find a lot to like here, while fans of classic gin will wish there was a bit more juniper. That being said, overall Brown Mule Gin is accessible, enjoyable, and surprisingly quaffable just on its own. For an 86 proof gin with no added sweetening, that is indeed high praise.