In 2015, co-founder Ben Bradley told Edible Idaho about his No Return Gin, “It features botanicals that are endemic to the Northern Rockies, we’re really trying to capture the flavors of [Sun] Valley.”
At the time of their founding, Warwick was the only combination brewery and distillery in Idaho. As many distillers learned, pioneering a state’s legal code for the first time doing something new can be quite trying. Four years later though, Warwick and No Return Gin are still going strong.
No Return Gin uses its botanicals to capture the feeling of the Rocky Mountains— pine evokes the scent of the mountains and sage evokes the scent of scrub and foothills.
Gentle spice-forward notes support a piney and slightly terpey core of fir and juniper. The nose has the sweet spice of cardamom and a touch of anise. The combination of pine and baking spice strongly suggests a bit of a holiday feel to No Return Gin.
There’s a nice blend of the spice and juniper on the palate as well. No Return Gin’s nose is true to its palate 100%. Everything you thought you might taste is in there. I like the quiet beginning and how it paves the way for some sweet fennel seed and cardamom notes. The juniper merges with the pine and sage to form this coniferous backbone. It becomes a bit more mentholated and sage-like as the taste progresses.
Towards the finish there’s a pleasant balance of sweet spice— this time a hint of cinnamon bark lends a creamy warmness to it. Pine slowly fades away as No Return Gin’s moderately warm finish also dissipates.
Mixed with Q Tonic Water, No Return Gin shows a bit more of its spice side. Similarly when mashed up with another Idaho product— East End Tonic, the spice rather than the pine carries it. The finish is an amplified combination of sweet cinnamon spice, aniseed and even a mild suggestion of cloves.
I found that in general most mixing with No Return led to a bit more of that spice forward-side coming through. The one exception might be the Martini. Whether served with a twist or olive, No Return Gin complements both.
Bartenders can mostly use this gin in a number of cocktails, though should be forewarned that although it mixes well, it can come across as being less than traditional in Tom Collinses, Gin and Juices or Aviations— for example.
Overall, No Return Gin
This is a beautiful gin with a well-integrated nose and a contemporary style spice forward palate that doesn’t forget the juniper. While it might not be a classic style gin, there’s enough of the latter in there to have appeal to both contemporary and classic gin fans.