Durham Distillery’s 2020 edition of Conniption Barrel Aged Gin takes botanical inspiration from their Navy Strength Gin, and then rests for ten months in ex-bourbon casks from Utah’s High West Distillery. It is bottled at 47% ABV.
Color: Hay colored and perfectly transparent.
Aroma: Pine forward juniper with some earthy, woody facets. Dried fig, with a quiet blend of spices suggestive of a mild garam masala.
Flavor: Cinnamon and piquant dry spice early. Coriander eases into a surprising clear note of toasted caraway seed.
Finish: The juniper feels rolled up into a bold, herbal bouquet of rosemary. Very light on tannin. Smooth finish with a gentle oaky spice note that feels more literally “bourbon-like” than other bourbon-barrel aged gins.
Distiller Lee Katrincic recommends a Negroni or Martinez. Both are great here as the deep fruity notes of Vermouth perfectly complement the fig and oak.
The rosemary and savory profile are illuminated by herbal complements like mint. Try it in a Southside or Julep-style.
The smoothness and balanced barrel notes make this edition of Conniption Barrel Aged Gin unusually well positioned for creamy, textual drinks like the Gin Sour or Gin Alexander where the oak notes might be too much in other barrel aged gins.
For cocktail applications, Conniption Barrel Aged Gin has created a diverse spirit that can stand in as a mildly aged gin or as a light bourbon.
Overall, Durham’s 2020 Conniption Barrel Aged Gin
Durham Distillery has a reputation for making excellent contemporary style gins that still keep juniper at their core. Juniper, barrel and botanicals are in balance here. The resulting gin is flexible behind the bar, something that more barrel aged gins need to do to help the category mature. And it’s equally great sipped on its own.
I’m excited for future releases in their barrel aged gin series.