The Industrious Spirit Company is the first distillery in Providence, Rhode Island since prohibition. All of their spirits are distilled from scratch, including their Ornamental Gin— distilled from a base of organic corn. Fifteen botanicals, including a the somewhat unusual Passion Flower, make up its contemporary leaning botanical bill.
Aroma: Somewhat nutty, with honeyed floral facets and hints of cascade hops.
Flavor: Complex, bright and quite loud. Floral notes create an almost fruity impression. Passion flower appears early, alongside lavender creating an impression of musky wisterias and honeysuckle.
The floral notes subside revealing a spicier, warmer back half. Earthy cassia gives Ornamental Gin a durable warmth; however the subtle, deep complexity evokes a wide range of flavors: simultaneously gentian root, star anise, almond and ginger.
Finish: Extremely long, mildly spice finish— echoes of galangal root buoy a faint licorice-led nuttiness. Ornamental Gin doesn’t easily disclose its secrets. Nearly any moment on the palate is an exercise in complexity, the flavor echoes multiple impressions, rarely ever clearly singing a single botanical.
Some of the complexity that makes Ornamental Gin a somewhat cerebral sipper make it a challenging cocktail gin— it will not work everywhere. While I think it makes a great Negroni, the complexity of the gin itself, fits right in with the complexities of Vermouth and Campari, it can be a bit discordant in bright citrus-forward drinks such as a Gimlet.
It pairs beautifully with Sweet Vermouth. Try it in a Martinez or a Bijou.
Overall, Ornamental Gin
Critics might find Ornamental Gin a bit too loud, able to overpower other ingredients in cocktails. Others may find it a bit lighter on juniper than they would like.
However, fans of contemporary gin— especially gins that boldly embrace new botanical profiles, will find a lot to like about Ornamental Gin.