GSN Review: Junipero Gin

As America’s first craft gin since Prohibition ended, Junipero Gin is celebrating 25 years of pioneering the premium craft gin category in the U.S.

Established in 1996, Junipero Gin is still made by hand in San Francisco by Hotaling & Co.’s Master Distiller, Bruce Joseph – a member of the original founding team responsible for developing the final Junipero liquid back in the mid-90’s. Referred to only as ‘The Water Committee,’ Joseph and his colleagues were assigned to a covert project commissioned by Anchor Distilling Company visionary and former owner, Fritz Maytag whose success in the craft beer industry inspired him to secretly explore the lost art of pot distilling gin and whiskey in the U.S.

Maytag and ‘The Water Committee’ spent more than two years “testing the waters” and tinkering with the botanical blend behind closed doors. In addition to experimenting with copper pot still distillation, they also removed the step of chill-filtering to create a crisper, bolder palate. By September 1996, the final recipe for Junipero Gin was born. A testament to the staying power of this groundbreaking craft gin, the Junipero production process and botanical blend remains unchanged since the brand’s inception. The 12 botanicals found in Junipero are juniper, coriander, cubeb, grains of paradise, lemon peel, orange peel, orris root, cassia bark, cardamom, bitter orange peel, aniseed, and angelica root.

“Junipero Gin exists today because Fritz Maytag and ‘The Water Committee’ dared to challenge the status quo,” said Dan Leese, President and CEO of Hotaling & Co., Junipero Gin owner and producer. “As we celebrate Junipero’s 25th Anniversary, we also celebrate other changemakers who break with convention to pursue an original path and we continue to proudly support forward-thinking organizations like In the Weeds and the Harvey Milk Foundation who advocate for positive change in our communities.”

GSN’s Remarks: This gins still rocks. Crisp, briskly juniper forward, and fulsome with texture and body, it’s no wonder that Junipero continues to set a benchmark for American gins after a quarter of a century. The nose is enticing, with citrus, herb and piney tones. The mouthfeel has a lovely softness and curious creaminess to the endeavor that settles in after a minute, leaving the palate refreshed and engaged.  And the flavor is perfection. Everything in balance and working like a fine tuned machine. This is a great, great gin for any cocktail from the dry Martini to a Gin Blossom and everything in between. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Junipero Gin


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