Portland’s Thompson’s Point has dramatically changed in recent years. Only a short few years it wasn’t a place you would really go for much of anything, let alone Maine crafted spirits. As one Yelp writer put it, “parking felt like an off-roading activity and all the buildings were nothing but run-down, abandoned brick structures.”
In 2017, the Portland Press Herald declared it, “the city’s newest neighborhood.” Thompson’s point is alive with music, housing, and of course— both brewing and distilling.
Stroudwater Distillery calls Thompson’s Point home. They operate a bar/tasting room that serves exclusively Stroudwater spirits, including Stroudwater Gin.
Stroudwater Gin opens with a fairly classic and traditional style nose. I get notes of lemon rind, some citrus, and piney juniper.
On the palate, subtle citrus brings on a jammier, citrus strong mid-palate. There’s a hint of soft wheat spirit in the middle where subtle juniper begins to operate in the background. Stroudwater Gin culminates in a fairly long juniper-dominated finish.
Some of the downsides of Stroudwater Gin might be again the base spirit. It’s aggressive and somewhat astringent, especially sipped neat. Secondly, the botanicals leave space for some of the bitterness and medicinal quality of straight ethanol.
Though these qualities affect the perception neat, they are greatly muted, especially when Stroudwater Gin is mixed in cocktail
The Gin and Tonic was rather nice and balanced, with what I would describe as a traditional G&T flavor. Citrus early, juniper late— it was a smooth and really enjoyable drink.
I also found Stroudwater Gin to work well mixed with other spirits as well. A gentle juniper aroma comes through in the Negroni, while some of the absinthe notes color in between the lines for a Corpse Reviver #2..
Stroudwater Gin is a solid gin that veers almost classic style in cocktail design. Bartenders will likely find Stroudwater Gin is one of those gins that could easily be a workhorse well gin.
Those who prefer their gin in more gin-forward roles like the Martini, Neat, or On the rocks, I think may find it to lack complexity— or worse— be a bit too harsh.
Overall, I think this is a good starting point for a gin but I’d love to see Stroudwater Distillery add another botanical or two (or dial up an existing one) to balance out the mid-palate and add character where some of the gaps in the palate are.
Made possible through the New England Gin Exchange
Special thanks to John at Foodie Pilgrim. Since 2012, John has shared and sourced gins from New England and nearby that we at The Gin is In haven’t tried yet. This gin sample was shared by John, who is also a big fan of gin. So check out his New England Gin Reviews as well.