Unassuming at first glance, Faber Distilling Co.’s line of spirits took aim at (at least what is in my humble opinion) the most under-served-by-craft-distillers part of the liquor store shelf* and bar**.
But Faber Gin defies the expectation of the price tag. At an incredibly affordable (at time of writing) $16/L, Faber Gin rises above what its affordable price point and simple label might otherwise suggest. I’ll begin this review with what is usually the final sentence: Faber Gin is a well made gin that will appeal to fans of both classic and contemporary styles, with a flavor and quality that would fit right in at the standard $30/750mL bottle. Designed and aimed at the bar set, through an aggressive word-of-mouth campaign the team at Faber Distilling Co. got their spirits into bars all over Pennsylvania with a spirit that both in taste— and most surprisingly price*** was competitive with what many bigger names could afford to.
Pleasant, classic-styled juniper forward nose. Amidst the juniper is a pleasant citrus bouquet as well.
The palate begins with a bit of juniper. The juniper will stick with you on the palate from start-to-finish. The mid is characterized by a pleasant and bright burst of citrus. Bitter orange, lemon zest and a touch of sweet orange with a sherbet-like note catch you. It gently fades into a finish of pine and juniper, with the slightest hint of baking notes. Angelica adds some depth on the finish, coloring the pine and juniper notes in.
The finish is surprisingly durable and long-lasting. A bit of bitterness makes itself felt here, but there’s a delightful, very classic style astringency that balances it out.
Faber Gin is a great workhorse mixing gin. Juniper and citrus are brought to nearly every occasion. Although only 40% ABV, I found that the flavor of Faber Gin stood out even with assertive ingredients, like in a Negroni. I also found that it worked well in a Martini, even Dry and Dirty— it reminded me a bit of asking for a Martini with Gordon’s Gin. It just simply works.
Bartenders will find a lot to like about Faber Gin. It works in a wide range of applications, with enough citrus and modern flair to appeal to fans of contemporary style gins and enough juniper to appeal to classic fans. It works well in a Gin Sour, whether with sour mix or with lemon juice and egg.
Ultimately, Faber Gin seems designed for this use case more so than any other application. It’s a workhorse mixer, perfect for parties and bar managers (at a price point attractive to both). I wholeheartedly recommend it at its price point, but I was impressed with it on its own, that I think it would be worthy of merit even if it weren’t a mere sixteen bones per liter.
Recommended at its price point.
*The bottom shelf
** The well
*** Unfortunately, this is the number on reason why most local gins struggle to catch on as house pours, even in their local communities. The economics of competing with the per-case price of gins from the big names (think Diageo) means that bars often have to make decisions rooted in the interests of making a profit. It’s not a question of quality, but instead the reality of economies of scale.