I’ll admit to being a bit of a road geek. I’ve fallen in love with and written songs about many a highway— the New Mexico 20, the California 128. So I’m saying, I completely get the romance of the open road and naming things for scenic roads. Hwy 9 Gin is specifically named for the North Carolina 9, a highway which passed through the home of H & H Distillery, Asheville, North Carolina.
Hwy 9 Gin is designed to be a citrus-forward contemporary style gin. It features four kinds of citrus fruit among its nine botanicals.
Hwy 9 Gin is bright and aromatic with a lot of citrus on the nose. Sour rounded grapefruit rind and pith, lime and bitter orange notes as well. There’s a middle of hibiscus tea and some spicy coriander, pepperiness as well. Well rounded with a lot of aromatic character.
Sipped, Hwy 9 Gin is clearly citrus-forward still. Sweet lemon, mandarins and grapefruit come on early. It becomes a bit more, then a lot more lime-forward towards the finish. Juniper does poke through here and actually becomes quite assertive. Resinous with a lot of green character, despite the beginning Hwy 9 Gin does take the gin drinker on a journey that ends in a big juniper bush.
It’s well suited for a lot of classic gin mixed drinks. The citrus and juniper character is nice in a Gin and Tonic and The Southside. I like the choice to bottle it at 45% ABV, because the citrus and juniper also is pleasant and comes through in a Negroni.
Bartenders will have no problem using Hwy 9 Gin in pretty much any cocktail. It’s certainly on the contemporary side, but it doesn’t veer too far into anything unusual or challenging to mix with.
Overall, Hwy 9 Gin
Citrus-forward gins are quite popular and common. But what really stands out me is the journey through a couple of kinds of citrus before hitting back to a bold juniper finish. It’s a contemporary style gin that will read as gin to even the most critical gin drinker.
But more importantly, Hwy 9 Gin is just simply a fun gin and a good gin for those looking to branch out from Bluecoat, New Amsterdam or other mainstream citrus-forward gins.