Chicago Distilling Company was founded by a trio of DiPrizio family members— brothers Jay and Vic, along with Jay’s wife Noelle. The distillery was opened in 2010 an Finn’s Gin was one of their first products.
The botanicals are added to neutral grain spirit and macerated before undergoing a single distillation in a German-built copper pot still.
Also of note, Chicago Distilling Company has pioneered the canned gin and tonic. I talked to Jay DiPrizio in my 2017 piece on Canned Cocktails in Artisan Spirit Magazine, in addition to reviewing Finn’s Gin and Tonic on this site.
Finn’s Gin has a creamy spice to it on the nose. Cardamom is the star, but hibiscus and orange round things out.
On the palate, the entry is creamy and rich. Suggestions of vanilla custard and fine grated orange zest early. The mid-palate of Finn’s Gin is where the spice really comes through. Fresh opened cardamom pods burst forth, and then evolve to become a bit more suggestive of chai tea with spicy background notes.
Now the finish is where I get a piquant spice that almost cools the palate like eating a Szechuan peppercorn. Cooling illusion aside— the flavor of the peppercorns is loud and clear with a peppery base that calls to mind Tellicherry peppercorns.
Mixed in a Gin and Tonic, a bit more of the floral notes come out; however, just as in their canned gin and tonic Cardamom is dominant.
And overall that’s a theme in cocktail-craft with Finn’s Gin. If you want to add some cardamom notes to a drink, it works well. Some of the best options might be a Gin Alexander where the combination of cream an fresh grated nutmeg (I suggest cinnamon here) make for a delicious and boozy Chai-gin-alexander. You might even add a hint of Coffee Liqueur for balance.
Overall, Finn’s Gin
Finn’s Gin is a well made cardamom gin. Juniper is subtle and subordinate to the spice in here. Fans of classic style gins may want to stay away. But fans of contemporary style gins, especially spice-forward gins— may want to check Finn’s Gin out and see just how far other botanicals can be pushed and still remain within the category guidelines.
Overall, I enjoy Finn’s Gin on its own merits. Texture, mouthfeel and flavor— it’s a good spirit. But I do admit that even for me, an unabashed supporter of breaking rules and pushing boundaries— it’s a bit light in juniper. Proceed accordingly.