Tommyrotter Distillery Cask Strength Bourbon Barrel Gin begins as Tommyrotter Distillery’s Signature American Gin. It then is aged in new White American Oak barrels.
Note, many aged gins that say “bourbon barrel” are so called because they’ve rested in former bourbon barrels. Tommyrotter’s is called because it’s rested as if a bourbon. The spirit enters #3 char barrels at 62.5% ABV and after an unspecified time it is bottled at 61% ABV— exactly as it leaves the cask.
As Tommyrotter Distillery Cask Strength Bourbon Barrel Gin is bottled north of Navy Strength, we expected a hot, ethanol drenched nose. However, that’s far from the case. It’s terpey with pine resin, dark honey crystals, orange rind and lightly smoked oak. It’s bright and aromatic. Lots of gin and botanical character are still present.
Sipped, again it has a sweetness and smoothness that seems to fit a spirit much less its ABV. Early, young oak segues into intense notes of cinnamon, cassia, and nutmeg. An intense, almost cough syrup melange of spice hits you early on the palate.
The finish becomes lighter. As the intense spice fades, a beautiful intense smokiness sits on the palate. It has a fresh, campfire note. A little bit less literal oak and more smoked cedar planks, charred ash and picon pine. If you’ve ever tried Atapiño Liqueur from Santa Fe Spirits, you might pick up on some similar notes.
Diluted with a bit of room temperature water, cinnamon and pine and birch bark emerge on the nose.
The palate becomes even slightly more cinnamon forward, with the delightful smokey finish muted.
As a cask-strength gin, it’s probably best enjoyed diluted or mixed. 61% ABV can be a bit intense to drink on its own.
Overall,Tommyrotter Distillery Cask Strength Bourbon Barrel Gin
I love the nose and the finish. I’m not a fan of some of the cinnamon, red hots and spice mid-palate.
That being said, I applaud Tommyrotter Distillery for the smart decisions with the barrel and aging time. The barrel adds a lot of intentional, smoked wood character. The aging time wasn’t long enough so that all the botanicals volatilized.
Overall, it’s middling as a sipping gin— but a fun example of what distillers are doing to move the category forward.