Sippewissett Gin

Sippewissett GinSippewissett is a region, slightly north of Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. The word itself dates back to the area’s first people. The Wampanoags’ word for small cove, or small river is Sippewisset.

AstraLuna brands’ Sippewissett Gin is defined as traditional London Dry style but with a contemporary arrangement of Cape Cod botanicals including the Thanksgiving table staple— the cranberry, and the humble beach plum— a fruit that we covered at length in our review of Greenhook Ginsmiths’ Beach Plum Gin. AstraLuna Brands partner, John Fryer, and his wife pick wild rose hips and beach plums for their gin. Sippewissett Gin is distilled from grain as well.

Tasting Notes

The nose is gently floral with quickly fleeting rose-tinged top notes. As those evaporate, piney juniper, a ghostly hint of lavender and violet, as well as some amorphous hints of spice.

At first, there’s a bit of bitterness and ethanol on my palate and neutral grain spirit flavor; a wheat vodka note, but with a hint of residual grain character. Around mid-palate the gin botanicals come a bit more into focus. There’s a slight hint of berry/fruit here. Additionally, notes of cardamom Towards the end juniper occupies a significant chunk here, but that rose note builds and builds and builds until it takes over the finish, leaving a dusty, rosy astringency.

Sippewissett Gin is clean and dry, furthermore, leaving a very dry finish.

Cocktails

Cocktails with bold up-front tastes in particular worked best with Sippewissett Gin, and let it have the finish. Citrus and fruit juices worked exceptionally well. Try the Bronx Cocktail with its fresh orange juice. Or the Twentieth Century with that fresh squeezed lemon juice. Also recommended is the Greyhound with the grapefruit juice dominating the nose and first taste, the sourness eases nicely into the floral and dry finish.

If you’re looking more for something at the beach, to me Sippewissett Gin is more Gin & Bitter Lemon than it is Gin and Tonic (almost a tad too much astringency with the quiet opening on the palate and tonic’s focus on the finish). Or even a Gin and Juice gin.

Overall

Sippewissett Gin is crisp and dry. I found it to be a suitable mixing gin, but on its own some of that ethanol/vodka-like base spirit character was a bit overwhelming.

Fans of classic gin will probably find it to be quiet in terms of its juniper levels, while contemporary gin fans may like the botanical blend, ultimately, they just aren’t sticky enough in the gin overall. Whether it’s a lack of the so-called fixative effect, or just an oil quantity and solubility question, Sippewissett Gin is a solid option if your goal is to mix with something local.

One thought on “Sippewissett Gin

  • September 21, 2019by Rob Evans

    I love the bitter edge to this gin, and I find it occupies a unique perch in the landscape of London Drys. As one whose go-to daily is always Beefeater, and whose more nuanced choice is Hayman’s, Sippewissett is now the third leg in a taste-tripod for one seeking refuge from the sweet, juicy American cocktail world. Bitterness is as valid a taste category as sweetness, salinity or sourness, and to my caveman (ancient) palate, it conveys healing properties in direct opposition to the cloying, dangerous presence of sugar in most American comestibles. I am tempted to give this a 5 rating, but I’m a tough grader. Sippewissett will be on my shelf going forward, and my standard for those who are sympatico, friends or foes.

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