Henry Knox, the man whose name was lent to Djinn Spirits‘ Henry Knox Gin, was the United States’ first secretary of defense. He rose to fame during the American Revolutionary War. He was the youngest Major General in the entire army at that time. Though he died somewhat ignominiously, Henry’s life and contributions to the American Revolution make him a bit of a folk hero in New England.
Lavender, grapefruit and grain hit the nose of Henry Knox Gin. It’s aromatically complex with some hints of less traditional and more contemporary aroma.
The palate retains some base spirit flavor— even some of the sweet hay notes that you get in Djinn’s flagship gin. Sweet ruby red grapefruit and bitter orange a bit early, mid-palate becomes a bit spicier. Dark spice, peppery notes, barley wine and even a slight umami flavor suggestive a bit of shiso leaf give Henry Knox Gin some unusual color.
The finish is rather terse— a dash of citrus and a flash of juniper, before a dull but durable hint of parsnip lingers at the recesses of your palate.Artillery Cocktail, Photo by Foodie Pilgrim
Henry Knox Gin is a challenging mixer if you look to just replace a standard London Dry staple like Gordon’s in a cocktail. The still present character of the base spirit, and rather loud spice perspective suggest that Henry Knox is more suited to a background role. Try it in a Negroni or White Negroni and the spicy warmth elevates the whole cocktail.
But I still don’t find that it works as well in things like the Gin and Tonic nor Gin and Juice.
The Gin wife, “I like the warm note… It’s not heavily one way or the other… It’s got just a hint of [wood?] to it… I think it would make a good Hot Toddy. It would make a good bracing drink with bitters.”
John from Foodie Pilgrim recommends The Artillery cocktail for both flavor and historical touch.
Overall, Henry Knox Gin
With still a bit of the base spirit shining through, Henry Knox Gin capitalizes on some of its best qualities. I don’t quite agree that classic gin fans will find that Henry Knox is a plug and play replacement for many mainstream gins, I will say that appreciated on its own rights— Djinn Spirits have made a nice contemporary style gin that fans of the style (and fans of their initial Djinn Gin) will appreciate.
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.