With unflinching focus on juniper, New Deal 33 Portland Dry Gin uses copper trays for the berries in the distilling process. Furthermore, New Deal only uses Juniper Berries, heightening and tightening the focus botanically, while starting from a base spirit of locally grown Oregon wheat and finishing with the addition of local water.
The distillery is focused on the art of hand-crafted DIY spirits, with a bias towards local and organic in their ingredients.
Lovely, juniper and pine bough notes leap forward on the nose, but creamy hints of lemon and honey lie underneath, emerging among the low notes. Juniper-forward on the nose, it does have considerably complexity which suggests other botanicals. This speaks to the success of the distillation with juniper that they were able to coax out not just the traditional pine and resin notes, but to have also preserved some of the citrusy, limonene notes that fresh juniper often has when freshly cracked. In short, a long way of saying the nose is lovely.
On the palate, New Deal 33 Portland Dry Gin has traditional juniper at first, then spruce and fresh cut fir notes, and then resiny, earthy pine sap. The finish is gentle warm with lemon rind, wet stone, and cool Carvone notes suggestive of the coolness of mint and caraway. Medium long finish with a nice mouth-feel and well balanced warmth.
If those tasting notes don’t turn you on, let me simply say that New Deal 33 Portland Dry Gin is an exquisite gin, and should be shortlisted as among the American Gin Drinker’s answers to the classically styled gins of England and the UK. Juniper is the shining star here, and while it’s nicely balanced enough to appreciate just on its own, I found it to be a delightful mixing gin as well, with the juniper shining in everything.
The Martini is among my favorites of American distilled gins. Lots of juniper, a hint of citrus, and it really let’s a good Vermouth shine. Try La Quintinye Royale, in a 10:1 ratio, served up with a twist. Man, that’s a drink you can take to the bank. With Q Tonic it makes a perfect Gin and Tonic. The back of the bottle recommends a variation on the French 75 (the French 33, with New Deal’s Gin Liqueur), but I recommend the French 75 in its most traditional form. Good in Aviations, Gimlets and Corpse Revivers as well. The strength, juniper flavor, and overall spirit balance is incredible. There’s a lot to love here, and this is a gin I certainly hope to have in my home bar on a more permanent basis. It’s near perfect, and I think that fans of classic styled gins and American distilled gins will find a new best friend when they pick up a bottle. Or you pick up a bottle. You should pick up a bottle.
New Deal 33 Portland Dry Gin is an exquisite, juniper focused gin that maintains its juniper forward personality in cocktails and remains smooth and distinctive enough to sip neat. Fans of classic styled gins, especially those looking for an American distilled answer to the traditional gins of the UK will find a lot to like here. Far from an imitation, it’s an Emersonian or Thoreauian answer to a Tocquevillesque critique. Truly our own, highly recommended in its class, but recommended to all gin fans period.