Hardshore Distilling Company‘s flagship gin is an exercise in concise botanical selection. Creator Jordan Milne chose only five botanicals for his Hardshore Original Gin.
The five are split furthermore for the distillation. Both sets begin with a base of wheat spirit. The juniper, coriander and orris are macerated and distilled together— and then the rosemary and mint. The resulting distillates are blended and chill filtered. Hardshore Original Gin is diluted and bottled at 46% ABV.
By the nose, there’s a hint of fresh hay, melon, carmelized pineapple— think pineapple upside down cake— and a faint terpenic air of woody rosemary giving Hardshore Original Gin a slight gin character. There’s an unusual fruity/floral nose here, especially given the sparse botanical selection. But I find it quite inviting.
By the palate mint is the dominant botanical here. Hardshore Original Gin is quite herbal and fresh. A note of fresh picked apple mint leaves with a touch of lemon verbena and pineapple sage.
Towards the back end, the mint continues to be dominant. It finishes with clean notes of fir needles, rosemary and Earl Grey tea.
The spirit has a nice texture, moderate viscosity and a fair length and gently warm finish.
For only five botanicals, the flavor profile of this gin is quite impressive. And even more so the depth of sensations that they invoke— citrus without citrus, a whole array of herbs— is really impressive.
Hardshore Original Gin is quite delightful on its own, but I find it lends itself quite nicely to Martinis or other martini-like cocktails— for example the Alaska Cocktail.
The herbal impression of citrus might be the most striking facet of this gin on its own, and you can play that up in a Gin and Tonic or Southside. Works excellently in a Bramble. Hardshore Original Gin also is delightful simply paired with lemonade.
Bartenders will find this gin a versatile mixer; however, they should be advised that it will add that bright sweet mint note to anything they mix with it. It fortunately goes well in many gin cocktails, but it won’t be hidden.
Overall, Hardshore Original Gin
Hardshore Original Gin is focused, balanced and absolutely stunning. Fans of contemporary style gins should put Hardshore on their must-try list.
Admittedly, it’s a bit light in juniper, which will leave some classic style gin fans a little wanting.
Recommended in its category.
Made possible through the New England Gin Exchange
Special thanks to John at Foodie Pilgrim. Since 2012, John has shared and sourced gins from New England and nearby that we at The Gin is In haven’t tried yet. This gin sample was shared by John, who is also a big fan of gin. So check out his New England Gin Reviews as well.