Bees have been associated with alcoholic beverages for thousands of years, with honey used in beer, mead and of course pollination of the flowering herbs and plants that are distilled and infused in our spirits. Caledonia Spirits & Winery located in Ferrisburgh, Vermont takes this one step further, by using locally harvested honey as the basis for their vodka. They also add honey to their gin and elderberry cordial.
Crafted by master apiarist Todd Hardie, he utilizes a holistic and natural approach to making his products, with the end result being truly regional spirits that reflect the style and agriculture of the Vermontonian countryside. I expect great things from this distillery in the years to come!
Barr Gin (90 proof)
Nose: A load of clove and allspice up front. Juniper berries appear a little later. Very spice driven with a definite honey nose.
Taste: Sugar sweet with a kick of juniper and subtle pepperiness. Bracing and yet at the same time feminine in it’s approach.
Finish: Quite sweet and almost fruity. The juniper disappears fairly quickly, but the overall tang of the spice and herbs blend lingers on the roof of the mouth and mid-palate.
Overall: A unique spirit that somehow reminds me of an aquavit, yet still very much a gin. The sweetness is also reminiscent of an Old Tom gin. As I said, very unique. This is a gin that is well worth experimenting with in original cocktails.
GSN Rating: A
Elderberry Cordial (14.4% ABV)
Visual: Rich deep garnet.
Nose: Pure elderberry with tons of fruit.
Taste: Medium sweet with a somewhat smokey fruit flavor. The elderberry has a slightly spicy quality that is found in fresh dark berry skins.
Finish: Fairly short, but leaving a lingering essence of berry fruit.
Overall: This is a really well done cordial. Try it in a gin based cocktail, or as a bourbon sidecar.
GSN Rating: A-
For more information go to: Caledonia Spirits