St. George spirits located in Alameda, California has been at the forefront of the craft distilling movement from the very beginning. Founded in 1982, they produced American style eau-de-vie at a time when no one else was doing so. In the 32 years since, they have moved into virtually every other area of spirits production. They were also the first company based in the USA to create legal absinthe after a ban of 95 years.
Still experimenting with new ideas, they recently came out with a trio of gins that are entirely different from one another. Many of the botanicals are sourced locally, creating a symbiotic relationship with the local community.
Botanivore (90 proof)
Nose: Obvious juniper with a more subtle herbaceous nose of woodruff.
Taste: Crisp and dry with a soft and curious autumn-like flavor. Round and semi-creamy in mouthfeel, this is a warm and more darkened gin than London Dry’s.
Finish: Long with a lot of terroir and character. There is a lot of minerality and chalkiness here which adds body to a cocktail.
Overall: Quite good and a solid gin to put within hand’s reach.
GSN Rating: A-
Dark Rye (90 proof)
Nose: Reminiscent of white dog moonshine with a drier nose. Unusual and unlike any other gin I’ve tried.
Taste: An almost minty quality comes through with elements of caraway and peppercorn. The caraway makes this far and away more like an unaged Aquavit. Definitely one for a Red Snapper cocktail.
Finish: Very much like rye bread. Chewy, intense and with a Scandinavian sensibility.
Overall: Unique, but one that works in herbal cocktails more readily than citrus based drinks.
GSN Rating: B+
Terroir (90 proof)
Nose: Fresh cut fir-tree with a juniper heart.
Taste: Loads of pine and sage. Over the top with herbality that makes the juniper the canvas upon which everything else is laid. But, there is a sweetness to the whole endeavor that offsets what could have been a bitter flavor.
Finish: Medium long with lingering sweetness. I’m reminded of the flavor of authentic spruce chewing gum.
Overall: This makes for a cocktail in itself. Serve ice-cold with a lemon twist and you’ve got a very wintry martini. Skip the vermouth.
GSN Rating: A-
For more information go to: St. George Spirits