Karner Blue Gin is the flagship gin of Flag Hill Winery in Lee, only a relatively short drive from the oft traveled I-95 as it hugs along the coast of the state.
Flag Hill Winery was founded in 1990 and has been distilling spirits using local ingredients since 2004. Probably best known for their General John Stark vodka, they launched Karner Blue gin in Fall 2011.
Karner Blue begins with a base spirit distilled from local apples. Among the botanicals there are a couple of unique points of difference from most gins. Joining the classic juniper, citrus and orris root, are savory and cubeb berries.
The state butterfly of New Hampshire is the Karner Blue Butterfly .The Karner Blue butterfly is threatened in its natural range in New Hampshire, Vermont and Upstate New York, but fortunately conservation efforts have been successful at maintaining the Karner Blue’s numbers in recent years.
Hence the gin is a tribute to the local environment as well.
The nose of Karner Blue Gin is immediately floral with notes of citrus and warm tropical fruit, almost fruit punch like.
The first taste on the palate of Karner Blue Gin is a pleasant burst of juniper. A bit sharp, but gives way to peppery background notes and robust citrus.
The juniper lingers and has a long smooth finish.
Straight, very pleasant with a good amount of nuance. Its easy to recommend it for a martini based on this. The floral notes are going to please fans of modern American contemporary gin, but the juniper is there and forefront for enough of the tasting to make clear that this is a gin.
Karner Blue Gin works well in any number of cocktails. I like the floral/juniper combination and this gin works exceptionally in an Aviation.
This gin makes a great gin and tonic as well. Certainly easy to recommend it for folks who are not normally gin fans, but even easier to recommend for people who are.
Overall, Karner Blue Gin
A good amount of depth, and a unique enough flavor profile makes this an enjoyable and unique gin that is worth of a purchase— especially for fans of floral contemporary gin.