It’s difficult to quite know how to refer to O.S.H.O. Spirits’ #Gin in conversation. Is it “Hashtag Gin?” Is it “Octothorpe Gin?— Or “Pound Sign Gin?” In any case, it’s emblazoned with the now ubiquitous symbol.
#Gin is distilled from a base of cane (similar to their #Vodka and #Rum), and redistilled with a concise blend of five botanicals including juniper, coriander, cinnamon, lemon and orange.
Citrus zest and faint pine-forward juniper combine on the nose invoking further, slightly, floral notes with stewed orange rind, cooked strawberry and spice notes as well.
The spirit itself is somewhat thin on the palate. #Gin doesn’t have a lot of presence, aside from the heat— but more on that in a second.
On the palate, #Gin is at first dominated by citrus, and in particular the orange. It’s intensely present with rind notes, orange oil, and almost pure orange flavor. Mid-palate, juniper becomes quietly evident. Pine-forward, the juniper is nicely classic in character, albeit subtle. The finish is dominated by heavy notes of cassia and orange rind, with a bit of celery stalk and coriander playing the role of filling out the flavor.
Neat, there’s a roar of heat on the finish. #Gin finishes quite dry with plain cane spirit cleaning the palate with gentle coconut and grass notes. The finish is short with a lingering warmth.
#Gin is perhaps best mixed where the heat is moderated and the botanicals shine through. I found that it worked nicely in a Gin and Tonic. It’s a citrus forward G&T for sure, but recommended with #Gin nonetheless. The cane spirit suggested to me playing with lime and simple syrup. The Gimlet with fresh lime is a nice touch, but I preferred it with two dashes of Angostura bitters. Add this to your gimlet and you have The Bennet. Also quite good.
I thought it was a bit rough in a Martini and the citrus notes almost echo the orange zest on top of your Negroni. Whether it intensified a desired note, or washes out the juniper is perhaps a matter of taste. It’s acceptable but a bit harsh in more complex gin forward cocktails. If you are to shake a cocktail with #Gin, bartenders and home-mixologists best keep in mind that the citrus-forward perspective will be brought.
#Gin is certainly not without it’s high notes. However, in a market-space as crowded as the contemporary citrus-forward gin space, expectations are high both in terms of balance and smoothness. While I’d easily recommend it as an alternative to citrus-forward standbys like New Amsterdam, Hashtag Gin fails to meet the benchmark set by premium citrus-forward contemporary-style gins like Bluecoat.