GSN Review: Gray Whale Gin

While on a camping trip in Big Sur, California, Gray Whale founders Marsh and Jan Mokhtari looked across the turquoise ocean to admire the beauty of the California coast and spotted a gray whale and its calf on their northern migration. In that very moment, the idea for Gray Whale Gin was born.

The gray whales’ migration path from Baja California to Mendocino on their way to the Arctic inspires the flavors in every bottle. Gray Whale Gin is distilled with botanicals foraged along the California-coast portion of the whales’ 12,000-mile journey. Included are: Juniper (Big Sur), kombu (Mendocino coast), almonds (Capay Valley), limes (Baja California), fir tree (Sonoma), and mint (Santa Cruz).

Each bottle of Gray Whale Gin is seven-times distilled in Sonoma, California. Made from a gluten-free corn base, fresh fir needles and hand-zested citrus are placed into a vapor-extraction bag and tied inside the copper-pot-still helmet, hovering above the spirit. As the alcohol vapors rise up to the extraction basket, they delicately heat the citrus and fir, releasing those notes into the pot still. These rich flavors continue across the line arm to cool and condense. Gray Whale Gin rests for 48 hours before it is bottled and sealed with a 100% biodegradable cork.

Every bottle of Gray Whale Gin supports Oceana, the largest organization in the world solely devoted to marine conservation. Oceana’s vision is to make the oceans as rich, healthy and abundant as they once were, creating the ideal environment for marine life, like the California gray whale. Additionally, as a 1% for the Planet member, Gray Whale pledges to contribute at least 1% of annual sales to environmental causes.

Gray Whale Gin (86 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: A clean nose of pine followed by some citrus. Further nosings reveal the kombu (a type of kelp) which gives the spirit a briny saline scent. Quite interesting.
Taste: The kombu comes through at first giving an umami-like character. The fir/pine aspect plays a more subtle role, and the citrus even less so. It really does have an oceanic character.
Finish: Medium long with a dry finish.
Overall: An unusual gin that succeeds. This goes especially well with sushi, sashimi as well as pork and red cabbage.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Gray Whale Gin

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