Thinking Tree Distillery is a sustainability minded distillery located in Eugene, Oregon. Their Gifted Gin is distilled from a base of Oregon grown wheat, distilled on their also Oregon built column still.
The botanicals (sans cucumber) are macerated for 48 hours before pot distillation. Similar to Martin Miller’s Gin, Conniption Gin and a handful of others, the English cucumber (thinner, fewer seeds) is treated separately and infused after distillation.
Finally, to finish off the Oregon influence— Gifted Gin is brought to proof with water from the McKenzie River.
Aroma: Clear, clean cucumber notes, with celery green, angelica and pine-forward juniper.
Flavor: Gifted Gin sings with cucumber throughout. The vegetal palate is highlighted by a strong angelica note mid-palate. Late lemon oil and lemon grass begin to come together, strongly making an impression of makrut lime leaves. Hints of spice echo towards the back of the palate.
Finish: Moderately astringent with an almost sour, citric note on the back of palate.
With so many cucumber infused gins on the market— especially forerunners like Hendrick’s and Miller’s, it seems much modern gin mixology has coalesced around cocktails where the cucumber note from gin can shine.
Gifted Gin shines in a Last Word. I love the way it pairs with lime juice, so try it in a Pegu Club or Gimlet.
You could try it in a gin and tonic and garnish it with a cucumber wheel. However, I think contrast with garnishes can add some excitement to the nose. Try it Evans Style with both lemon and lime or gin tonica style in a copa garnished with a floral touch like violets or rose petals.
Despite being versatile, I still advise bartenders to treat it like a specialty gin behind the bar. It’s not a 1:1 replacement for a classic gin like Gordon’s. However, I do think gins like Gifted Gin are great craft options to expand the oeuvre of brand-loyal Hendrick’s drinkers.
Overall, Gifted Gin
While it’s easy to contextualize Gifted Gin within a broader movement of gins that use post-distillation cucumber (as I just did), it’s worth stating that it does indeed stand on its own.
Unique for it’s spicier, angelica and lemongrass buoyed mid-palate, it is simultaneously adventurous and familiar. I love the way the botanicals unfold on the palate in an evolving journey, and the concept from wheat base to cucumber is well executed.
Fans of contemporary-style gin, especially herbal/cucumber-forward ones will find a lot to like about Gifted Tree Gin.