The botanicals in Sweet Spice are macerated in a base of neutral American grain for 24 hours before distillation on a copper pot still named “George.” Among those botanicals include a couple of spices (nutmeg and grains of paradise), as well as some bold herbs, including wormwood.
The nose immediately sings with spice. Grains of paradise, cubeb pepper and coriander are all present. There’s a kind of hot-toddy like warmed over and wet facet to all of these spices. An indistinct greenness, garden-like, that hovers just behind it.
Tinkerman’s Sweet Spice is at a good volume on the nose. The aroma is plentiful but not loud.
The palate of Tinkerman’s Sweet Spice begins to remind me of a fruit and nut board. Plump, dried apricots sing for a long time on the palate. Hints of honey, marcona almond and raisins lend gravitas to a pleasant waxy juniper note. There’s moments that Tinkerman’s Sweet Spice reminds me of mincemeat pie or Christmas pudding.
Some of the Hot Toddy notes on the nose steered me in the direction of that cocktail. Warmed, Tinkerman’s Sweet Spice brings a bit more of that baking spice character out. it’s nicely complemented with a cinnamon stick garnish.
Other than that, I really like it as a Martini. I thought the overall smoothness and dried fruit complexity worked well with Vermouth and a lemon twist.
Overall, Tinkerman’s Sweet Spice
Don’t judge a book by its cover. You might see the word “sweet spice,” and think “spice-forward contemporary style.” There’s none of the usual signatures of that style here: no anise, no cardamom.
It’s more of a spiced cake take on gin. The dried fruit notes here make it jammier and brighter.
Overall, Sweet Spice is another winner from A. Smith Bowman who I think are really onto something with their labeling and execution in the Tinkerman’s line.