Wigle Ginever: “it’s GIN-ever. No. It’s not a Genever.”
But something interesting is going on in this name. Wigle has taken a bold step towards trying to define this new type of gin [Just as House Spirits tried and was quite successful at doing with Aviation gin and the “New Western” designation] which no longer seems an anomaly or an experiment.
Wigle Ginever is built from a base of rye spirit which also makes up the foundation of their Ryes. It is then distilled one more time with botanicals. The team at Wigle Whiskey is seeking to invoke a few historical facets with this. The rye base is a throwback to the late 19th century when generic local gins were simply referred to by the type of base they had. And secondly, it’s a throwback to the German culture of Pittsburgh and the once important role the city served in the transport of rye.
Very malty and warm. But notes of sweet baking spices on the nose, some cassia and cardamom. Not a lot of hints of juniper or anything overtly “gin-like.” But inviting nonetheless.
Pepper and bright juniper hit your lips immediately on first sip. Remains a bit peppery through the mid palate taste when suddenly Wigle Ginever’s rye base character hits you. The grain character begins to fade revealing some trailing floral notes.
Lavender and a hit of citrus astringency closing. Perhaps some lime or grapefruit, or it may even just be the citrus notes of the Coriander coming through. A burst of heat in the back of the mouth, leaving a warm malty character.
Wigle Whiskey has a very white whiskey like finish w/ a hint of juniper still coming through. On the distant tail of the taste, minutes after sipping there’s an interesting grassy like note that remains. Not sure if its an aspect of the grain character on the base or evidence of an herbal botanical such as thyme coming through on the end.
For example, the bright whiskey like character shines, bringing out high notes of juniper and a bright peppery character in a Negroni. I’d even suggest throwing out the Negroni recipe in this case and making it more like a Boulevardier. I think this works quite excellently because then you get some of the interesting floral notes and grain character more clearly, while still retaining a lot of the essential character of the Negroni.
Perhaps tonic water and quinine don’t work, but if you want a fizzy drink try a gin fizz. The little bit of simple syrup will take some of the edge off, but the plain carbonated water will allow Wigle Ginever’s notes to come through without being clashed with. I found a dash of citrus to work quite nicely here.
Also, whiskey lovers will really like this spirit in a martini. I think it works quite nicely with Vermouth and many of the variations on the martini. The perfect martini variation a la a perfect Manhattan is perhaps the best way to go here.
Overall, Wigle Ginever
This is a good example of the emerging category of gins that have a whiskey like character to their bases. Fans of this style will find Wigle Ginever to be a welcome addition to their cabinets with some interesting new notes on this style. Those who haven’t been convinced by this style probably won’t find anything in Wigle Ginever to change their minds.