Curiously Bright and Complex is one of three gins in A. Smith Bowman Distillery’s line of Tinkerman’s Gin. The tinkerer is the distillery’s master distiller Brian Prewitt.
The first thing you’ll notice about all of the gins in the Tinkerman’s line is the radical transparency on the label. It says right on the label: 100% American Grain, a majority of the botanical bill and fairly specific distillation notes that vary from release to release. Similar to their Citrus Supreme Gin, Curiously Bright and Complex also uses a combination of maceration and vapor methods to create their gin.
Curiously Bright and Complex has a heavier juniper emphasis than its citrus version, especially at first aroma. Warm jasmine green tea and resiny angular juniper juts from the glass. Mildly perfumed, a hint of lemon exists in the background as well. Pleasant and suggestively herbal and classic to the nose.
The palate of Curiously Bright and Complex gives you a lot more of that Asian spice feel, without veering too far from the tropes of classic style gin.
Ginger and orange early, it immediately gets a strong lemongrass note just before the mid-palate. There’s a leafy green character to the citrus that becomes evident here as well, as well as bright juniper.
Lime leaves flow into bay and earthier hints of green tea with just a touch of cinnamon and cassia. The finish has a modicum of warmth, juniper fades with a jasmine facet.
Tinkerman’s Curiously Bright and Complex is a bit harder to compare directly to another gin in terms of how a bartender could use it behind the bar. Suffice to say, the pleasant herbal and spice elements lend itself nicely to being paired with vermouth. It’s a solid Martini gin— if you’re looking for that hint of ginger and tea in there.
Warmed, Curiously Bright and Complex blossoms in a Hod Toddy. A cinnamon stick and a hint of fresh lemon elevate this gin to a whole new level.
Overall, Tinkerman’s Curiously Bright and Complex
If Tinkerman’s Citrus Supreme is their citrus-forward contemporary gin, Tinkerman’s Curiously Bright and Complex is their herbal-forward contemporary style gin.
The tea and lemongrass lend it an herbal character, but it’s a bit more crisp than other herbal gins. I’d compare it to the difference between a dried bay leaf and fresh parsley. The latter is leafy, green, and slightly mentholic, Curiously Bright and Complex is crisp, sharp and more camphorous.
Either way, everything I’ve tried thus far in the Tinkerman’s lineup has been a winner.