Sion Edwards and Tom Warner [hence the name of the distillery…] met in Agricultural school, are lifelong friends, and they’re not distilling gin on the Warner family farm. They consider themselves gin aficionados, so Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin is a product of love and passion, trial and error. They’ve written the entire story themselves on their site, so I’d be remiss to paraphrase and re-write it all here. But suffice to say, their agricultural background means that their Harrington Dry Gin is steeped in all of the philosophies of craft spirits: good high quality ingredients, and good water, are all vital to make a good spirit.
Furthermore, their Harrington Dry Gin makes up the base for several of their flavored variants— including their top-selling rhubarb gin and elderflower gin.
Nose: Citrus and baking spice. Strong hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, cardamom and a faint hint that calls to mind cola. Quite interesting, and unique. Bright and spicy. The citrus seems squarely to be orange peel.
Harrington Dry Gin on the Palate: Very complex. Juniper, cinnamon, initially. A spicy mid-palate with notes from many things briefly flashing: coriander, black peppercorn, angelica- the finish reveals more juniper and a rich warm coriander, cardamom complimented with a dry and somewhat confounding flavor that vaguely calls to mind chili powder and Garam Masala* like spice- not in heat, but in timbre. The finish is faintly citrus, long and dry with only a touch of heat.
In a Gin and Tonic— an almost malty almost Genever like character comes to the forefront. Cinnamon, nutmeg and dry baking spice and a touch of orange. A spiced gin and tonic if there ever was one. Really interesting, with a very muted juniper tone. I get a touch of that Garam Masala note here once again.
The Martini was really outstanding however. I found Harrington Dry Gin to be rich and complex in my usual 3:1 ratio. Similar notes to neat, but you get a richer more complex sweetness on the end thanks to the Vermouth. Combined the finish is reminiscent of Thyme and peppercorn, with a hint of cinnamon and pumpkin pie sweetness: ginger and angelica on the finish. Hint of citrus, and a dry finish. Quite nice, complex, and unique. I really recommend this.
Thanks to David for hooking me up with this small sample, which I must say was a bit too small considering two things: 1) the notes were so complex I polished off most of the sample neat just trying to make a determination of what was in there. 2) It’s also damn good, and I wish I had a bottle to call my own.
Overall, Harrington Dry Gin
Really, a stunning, complex and well made gin by gin-lovers for gin-lovers. It’s contemporary, but in a style that we rarely see pushed this far. A good amount of juniper means its sure to not disappoint fans of the classic style as well. I recommend it, but if you’re on the fence about spice forward gins, I suggest trying it out at a bar first— because it is quite different.
*For those who are curious, Garam Masala is an Indian spice powder consisting of cloves, cinnamon, black and white peppercorns, cumin, and an assortment of cardamom pods.