Striped Gin— the flagship gin of Charleston South Carolina’s Striped Pig Distillery starts out on a base distilled from locally grown corn. It is grown at Myer’s Farm in nearby Bowman and has a fair amount of character to start. It “still [carries] the sweet corn flavor from its locally grown raw material…[and] carries more flavor than a lot of other plain vodkas.” [source]
Striped Gin takes it one step further adding lavender and orange peel for a contemporary style gin that invites fans of floral styles to step up for a closer look.
The distillery is truly grain-to-glass-and-back-to-field-again, with each ingredient sourced locally, distilled at the distillery, and then the waste in turn brought back to that same farm.
The nose is vibrantly lavender-forward with a brightness not often seen in distilled gins with lavender. It reminds me of the vibrant brightness of Springfield Manor’s Lavender Gin. Beneath the lavender is a hint of citrus and juniper, but generally Striped Gin is a one-note bomb of a beautiful aroma.
To the taste, Striped Gin begins with a bit of sweet orange oil at first. Mid-palate there’s lavender, subtle-pine-forward-juniper along with intimations of Neroli and chamomile. The finish is intensely floral with lavender, violet and rose notes all coming through with a bit of citrus rind adding depth.
Striped Gin has a pleasant and viscous texture. Almost silky soft at first sip, it has a nice oiliness that sticks all around the palate, helping prolong the beautiful floral aromas.
That being said, Striped Gin is predominantly floral. However, I the floral notes are so beautifully expressed with an incredible brightness. The process at work behind Striped Gin yields one of the truest-to-actual-flowers tastes I’ve ever had in a non-macerated floral gin. Some of these botanicals are so delicate that it can be very difficult to get that flavor without some of the stewed notes you can get from over-cooking your botanicals.
Behind the bar, Striped Pig’s flagship gin is a floral workhorse. It works extremely well with citrus (Tom Collins, Gimlets) and pairs really nicely with herbal dry spirits— try it in an Alaska Cocktail or Dry Martini. The lavender is a nice complement to floral cocktails as well. Although the Aviation is good, I think the best might be a pairing with Grand Marnier— something like a Moonlight Cocktail with an orange liqueur is one of the best ways to highlight Striped Gin’s simple, but bold aromatic profile.
But I simply like this gin best with Tonic Water and Bitter Lemon.
Overall, Striped Gin
There’s a latent and mostly-still unfulfilled appetite for beautiful, well-executed floral gins out there. And Striped Pig with their Striped Gin has come to save the day. If you like the floral notes of Hendrick’s Gin or Nolet Gin— Striped Gin is just a step bolder in that direction. While it sacrifices some of the juniper to get there, the clarity, brightness and true-to-its-botanicals character makes Striped Gin a winner in its category.
Bartenders will find this gin an apt gateway for those just beginning to explore the style, while fans of floral-forward contemporary style gins should take note— this is a must try.
Recommended in its category.