Spring 44 Gin is very on point with some of the more recent trends in gin and liquor overall. It uses several locally sourced botanicals and Rocky Mountain Spring water that bring to mind Cottage Grove Distillery’s location at 9,000 feet elevation in Roosevelt National forest. Sure, the vision I get in my mind is idyllic. A road that can only be accessed by four wheel drive; seeing the milky way from the backyard, the entirely-off-the-grid production process using solar panels (see the Spring 44story from their website for more). But how does the gin actually hold up?
Firstly, the flavor profile is something directly between London Dry and New American. Unlike many gins which boast a floral and somewhat exotic profile, there is a very noticeable juniper flavor here. And unlike many gins that put the juniper prominently in the mix, there’s a floral overtone. Would I be remiss in saying that if Aviation Gin + Beefeater had a child it would be something like Spring 44? Perhaps, but only because I wouldn’t want to say that Spring 44 can’t stand its own among gins. It does. In addition to the juniper and floral notes, there are mint, lavender, and even rosemary in the mix. The finish is striking. I don’t want to sound like a wine-reviewer (because I’m not) or like I think everything tastes like where it was made (extreme terroir?) but the finish reminds of of a stony smell. Really, its quite interesting and very pronounced in a gin and tonic with no lime.
Spring 44 is mixable, and does a lot of interesting things. But I’m not sure if I can pick one cocktail where it is truly exceptional (nor the opposite). It has an enjoyable and unique flavor profile which may appeal to those who like gin. The smoothness and diverse range of flavors will keep you coming back. Some may not like the juniper/floral combination, but I think very few gins walk this line and walk it well, so for that alone this gin is definitely worth trying.
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