I love me a good manifesto.
Forget all you think you know about gin. The founder of Sons of Liberty Co. Mike Reppucci told Bar Business Magazine “We will never enter a category unless we can reinvent it. We are proud to say that is what we have done here, whether everyone is ready for it is another question.” (source).
The brewers turned distillers at Sons Of Liberty Co. began by making a Belgian Wheat Beer composed of barley, wheat and oats. With all of those grains in the mash, they add coriander, orange peels, lemongrass and two kinds of hops. The botanicals are part of the foundational beer.
The beer is then distilled up to spirit proof. But never above 80% ABV. This means that the base spirit is going to retain a great deal of character from the original mash. Keep in mind that most neutral grain spirits and all London Dry Gins distill their base up to the theoretical maximum of 196 proof.
True Born Gin is designed in the genever style. During a final distillation pass the same botanicals from the mash are added to a vapor basket.
The aroma reminds me immediately of not just genever-style gins, but outright genever. A hint of foamy beer— grains, mash, and fermentation greet the nose. Hops are there as well, but mild. Think more the aroma of a lager than the aroma of an IPA. Sweet and bright with the citrusy side of the ingredient. True Born Gin has an amazing nose.
The palate is bold and round. There’s a slight grain presence here, reminiscent of a barley and wheat vodka— the grain residual is nicely treated as if a botanical.
Soft spice builds on the palate— coriander and cinnamon at first. The finish veers towards the lemongrass side of things with green makrut lime leaf and hints of rose and apple. Complex and surprisingly floral, True Born Gin finishes with bright hop notes that leave you with a note that suggests the finish of a really clean beer.
The beauty of True Born Gin is in its simplicity— as an Old Fashioned or Martini it’s stellar and reads as a more modern gin. Though there’s a lot of genever-like qualities in its production, as a spirit it works surprisingly well without many caveats.
Try it in a Negroni or Purl.
Bartenders should treat True Born Gin as a specialty spirit— if people are okay with the mild hop flavor, it mixes surprisingly well in most uses. I was less of a fan of it paired with lime and might steer clear of the Gimlet.
Overall, True Born Gin
You don’t need to reinvent a category to make a damn good gin.
But then again, sometimes maybe you do.
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.