Fraser Valley Distilling opened in 2018 in Fraser, Colorado. In ski seasons, Fraser is jumping. It’s located just minutes from the famous, longest running ski resort in America, Winter Park. In fact, the first time I visited Fraser Valley Distillery and tried Fraser Valley Gin was during a near blizzard. Yes, it truly is a winter park.
Fraser Valley Gin, similar to nearby Spirit Hound Distillery, sources their juniper from the abundant local populations. It is distilled from a base of grain and bottled at 45% ABV.
The gin has a relatively classic style nose with some hints of spice. Coriander and cardamom, with slight vanilla facets greets you at first sniff. Powdered lavender with slight hints of citrus occupy some space while juniper takes a terpey, piney, background presence.
Sipped, spices and fruity/floral notes dominate. Lots of linalool come through, marking a middle ground where oily coriander and floral lavender combine. Orange rind is on the early-to-mid palate. Towards the end, a heavy dash of cinnamon sugared cookie, fruit loop cereal and dark green pine ease you into a moderate length finish.
The finish is clean and dry; however, has a nice mouth feel with nearly no astringency. Even at 45% ABV, it taste deceptively lighter.
Considering that Fraser Valley Distillery is also a popular bar and restaurant during ski season, it’s not surprising that Fraser Valley Gin works well in a wide range of cocktails. Mixed with citrus in a Tom Collins or French 75, the spice and lavender flavors come through more strongly. I find that mixed with ginger ale or tonic water, Fraser Valley Gin reads as slightly more classic with a bit more juniper.
Overall, Fraser Valley Gin
Those who prefer stronger juniper character in their gin will likely find Fraser Valley Gin a bit shy in that regard. Fans of contemporary style gins will appreciate the boldness of flavor, though sipped on its own some will find it a bit too soapy, or a bit too heavy with cereal flavor.
That being said, it’s a good mixing gin and a good middle ground sort of gin that will have fairly wide appeal in a home bar.