All Points West Distillery styles its Cathouse Gin as a “Mid-Atlantic” style. David T. Smith coined the term in the early 2010’s by describing it as gins that straddle the line between London Dry and contemporary.
While not an official term, that’s the gist. All Points West elaborates a bit further on how they define it: “This style does not try to differentiate itself from the Dry London standard with unusual botanicals instead it achieves distinction by being softer, richer and broader in flavor.” [source]
Cathouse Gin features a coriander and juniper forward botanical bill with eleven others including elderberry and rose hips. The botanicals are macerated in wheat spirit before distillation.
The aroma is contemporary and sweet spice forward, with heavy Asian spice influence. Cardamom, toasted cumin seed, ginger and coriander all are present. Slightly warming, with menthol/ginger heat-like facets.
Sipped, Cathouse Gin exudes a lot of character. Overall though, despite the Mid-Atlantic approach, I’d say this one is quite contemporary.
On the palate, sweet gingerbread cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting evolves into a surprisingly fruity mid-palate. Hints of good and plenty, rose hips, and cranberries usher in a long, faintly juniper and faintly cardamom and pepper finish.
Cathouse Gin has a long and evolving palate. This definitely shines in a Martini or Alaska Cocktail.
Despite the bold profile, it gets a bit lost in a Gin and Tonic.
The warmth definitely is an asset in the Hot Toddy or Gin Alexander. The intense spice lends it nicely to pairing with hot (think hot pepper) ingredients or Asian inspired ingredients (such as Yuzu).
Overall, Cathouse Gin
Boldly contemporary, Cathouse Gin packs a lot of flavor into a pretty exciting palate. The coriander and spice shines, a bit to the detriment of the juniper. However, for fans of spice-forward contemporary style gin, this is one worth checking out.