Just off the coast of California lie the Farallon Islands, the inspiration for Coastal Spirits’ Gin Farallon.
Gin Farallon is self described as a “New World Style” gin. It begins from a base of grain and adds twelve botanicals. All the citrus is zested by hand and the botanicals are split between maceration and vapor infusion based on how delicate the botanicals are.
After distillation the spirit is brought down to proof with cucumber-infused water. Cucumber is a natural partner to juniper and gin. This technique gets around the fact that cucumber can be difficult to distill with heat. When heated the cucumber can often taste “cooked” or “stewed.” Gin Farallon preserves the vegetables natural brightness, similar to how Hendrick’s Gin and Martin Miller’s Gin are made.
The initial aroma is vibrant and spice forward. Cardamom and spiced orange peels emerge from the glass. While the cardamom is dominant aroma, there’s sufficient depth to keep Gin Farallon from being a one-note wonder. Quite the contrary.
On the palate there’s a sweetly spice forward flavor profile. Cardamom, coriander and a powerful suggestion of orris root lend it a powerful gravity. There’s a slight sweet vegetal flavor, likely from the cucumber, lending a honeydew background note that is present nearly from start to finish,.
Coriander becomes more dominant late, with a sweet spiciness. Grapefruit and sweet orange come in surprisingly late.
The finish is complex with dark, herbaceous juniper, lavender leaves, and cucumber skin. A scintillating spiciness and warmth adds brightness and character.
The sweetly spice forward flavor profile of Gin Farallon lends itself nicely to earthy, unctuous cocktails. It’s a nice companion in both the Negroni and White Negroni. The Gentian in the latter might be an even better complement than Campari.
With tonic, the cardamom and sweet spice comes through. I’d suggest a Gin Tonica style serve with cinnamon stick and orange peel— using a clean, less sweet tonic like Fever Tree’s light variation.
Overall, Gin Farallon
If you’re not a fan of cardamom nor spice-forward contemporary style gins, Gin Farallon is not for you.
If you are a fan of spice-forward contemporary style gins, it’s worth checking out Gin Farallon. It takes the cardamom and coriander flavors common in the category and brightens them with floral lavender and the unusual addition of cucumber water to proof.
The palate is complex and evolving. Sipped neat, Gin Farallon takes you on an exciting journey from start to finish. Though it can be somewhat difficult to mix with if you expect it to work in every gin cocktail— where it does work, it works really well.
Recommended in its category.