Can it be true? Rumors abound that Stay Tuned Distillery in Pittsburgh, PA has closed. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania distillery had something of an interesting partnership with Virginia’s Copper Fox Distillery. Partnering up to create a gin based on Copper Fox’s distinctive malt base spirit, the team at Stay Tuned produced a truly seasonal gin, with each batch having its own unique character, embracing the variation inherent in their process. The botanical blend they chose is called G7b5, named for the musical chord. This review is for their Pathogin Batch 16.
If you want to compare the different batches, we’ve also covered Pathogin Batch 14.
You can quickly detect the warm malty character on the nose, but there’s a bit more going on here as well. Licorice and fennel make an appearance as well. The palate has a bit of fennel seed, peppery juniper and a bit of lemon peel as well. The finish is full of vivid licorice, with a faint peppery dryness. Finish is long and quite warm. The quality of the base spirit is clear as well: thick, rich, and luscious, especially in the way it coats the mouth. Quite nice.
First, I mixed it up in a Singapore Sling. Pineapple and frosty sweetness on the nose. The profile is clearly tropical in nature, with alot of the overall sweewtness of the juice coming through. There’s a bit of grain present as well, with some cinnamon, licorice and sweet notes later. Pathogin is certainly a bit lost, but in this drink, you might expect that. Quite nice.
The Hawaiian Cocktail began with some grain on the nose, much more than the Singapore Sling. Orange and Lemon up front, you get the licorice and fennel seed notes, with juniper as well. Basically the fruit up front, with the gin pulling up the rear. Could probably benefit from a fresh citrus juice addition.
Next in the Gin and Tonic with Strong Hibiscus Tonic, we had grain and ginger notes first, with molasses, honey and vanilla spice on the finish. (Spectacular!) Refreshing and well-balanced, this is the stuff perfect pours are made of- Yes!
Finally, the Martini. There was a nice dose of licorice, but overall it didn’t really radically transform what the gin is. It was good, and warm, with some of the grain coming through. I wrote in my notes, “perhaps a good warming holiday martini.” I’ll break Pathogin Batch 16 out again come winter.
Quite lovely, the base spirit is a co-star here, with it adding a lot of depth which really rounds out the botanical picture. Fans of contemporary gin will find Pathogin Batch 16 fits squarely within the more spice-forward offerings within that category. It’s not a heavy-on-the-juniper sort of gin, but like I said, the quality of the overall product is incredibly high, but you’re opinion of this gin will likely rest on your opinion of licorice/anise/fennel forward spirits.