Dancing Dog Gin

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We should get it out of the way by way of introduction. This is probably one of my favorite gin labels out there.

Flooded Fox Den Distillery is located outside Portland, Oregon in Forest Grove and is designed with the quintessential “craft” ethos of “small batch” and “natural” with no added colorings or sweeteners. Alike many before him, Scot Lester came to the world of distilling via brewing. Once a brewing hobbyist, now a part-time distiller. His first product, the aforementioned gin hit the market in 2014 with a Rum launching early this year as well.

Tasting Notes

Spice and citrus on the nose: coriander, cardamom, grapefruit and lemon peel with lavender coming through as well. Nicely blended with no ingredient rising too far above the other; the aroma is harmonious and inviting.

The warm spice hits up front. Cardamom leads into a creamy, slightly floral mid-body. Lavender, turning into orris; there’s lemon rind, coriander and cardamom. The overall mouthfeel is rich and the spirit is most definitely warming. A nice gin that you would probably characterize as floral; however, there’s moments where it seems slightly more spice forward; and other moments where you detect the juniper peaking through from a tuft of lavender, just enough to be there and add a bit of a gin-like heft to it.


First, we mixed up a Negroni. Bright spice, cassia, bitter citrus rind, belie a distinct creaminess that ends with a sparkling of spice on the finish. Floral intimations as well, cardamom and coriander adding to the mix.

The Gimlet was mostly sour and expected until the mid-notes erupted with the gin’s character: mostly spice, but surprisingly more juniper was present than I had recalled even neat.

And now for a real masterpiece. I tried it in a Gin and Jam Cocktail with The Gin Wife’s Gin Jam. Sweet at the front, with a strongly floral perspective, the gin-based jam amplifies the cocktail adding a really bold juniper-forward mid-note. Cardamom, cinnamon, lavender segue into a finish of lemon, blackthorn drupes and a smooth, fruit forward finish. Quite nice and Highly Recommended. 

Finally, what’s a gin review without a Gin and Tonic? [not a gin review many of you might say…] I used Fever Tree’s Elderflower Tonic ([icon name=”star” class=””][icon name=”star” class=””][icon name=”star” class=””][icon name=”star” class=””][icon name=”star-half” class=””]). Elderflower dominates on the nose, and the drink managed much more of the same. The Elderflower reduced the gin to a very secondary role, with only faint notes of it coming through on the edges. Sure, there was clearly gin in here, but it seemed that both were talking at the same volume at the same points on the palate. You didn’t get very much of the bright spice, fresh lavender, or even that bookend of juniper. It was very much meh. Dancing Dog pairs better with a more subtle, or less flavored tonic.


Price: $29 / 750 mL
Proof: 80
Distiller: Flooded Fox Den Distillery
Origin: Forest Grove, Oregon
Availability: Oregon [see here].
Rating: Smooth, warmly aromatic and brightly flavored, Dancing Dog Gin is an excellent example of craft gin done right. Classic style gin aficionados might be wondering where the juniper is, but fans of more contemporary styles will find plenty to like here in the nice balance between spice and floral.  [Rating:4/5]


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2 thoughts on “Dancing Dog Gin”

  1. Dear Aaron,
    I’m looking forward to trying this on my next trip to the North West coast, it’s been on my list of ones I’m keen to try for a little while now. From your comments I’m intrigued by the floral, citrus and spice balancing act in flavor profile. Many Gins manage to accentuate one or two main tastes but it’s rare a Gin can manage 3 – after this they all seem to become one harmonious taste – and I’m struggling to think of another Gin that manages 3 like this does!
    Regards, David.

  2. The lavender always stands out as a favorite to me. I notice also that the elderberry does detract from many drinks. But on the other note, if i have a less-than-perfect gin (too much burn) it will help with the burn.