GSN Review: Frey Ranch Reserve Absinthe

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Frey Ranch estate distillery produces gin, vodka, bourbon whiskey, absinthe and other spirits using grains grown, distilled, malted and bottled on the historic, 1,200-acre Frey ranch. The 4,000 square-foot distillery is located on a 1,200-acre plantation owned and operated by the Frey family. With roots dating back to the 1850’s, the Freys have been farming grains including wheat, corn, barley, rye and alfalfa in Nevada for more than a century.

Their Reserve Absinthe is crafted using estate grown grain and a blend of botanicals sourced from around the world. They distill and soak 11 different herbs including Pontica Wormwood and Grand Wormwood for 35 days. The extraction of herbal oils creates a natural green hue found in the classic style of European absinthes.

The GSN offices received a bottle made from their first run.

Frey Ranch Reserve Absinthe (120 proof)
Visual: Yellow-green.
Nose: Heavy anise, with a touch of buttery Buffalo Grass funk.
Taste: Slightly bitter (as proper), quite sweet and herbal with a massive dose of anise, licorice and similar spice. The Wormwood keeps things from going off the deep end, and reigns in the over sweet tendencies.
Finish: Long and with a bit of fire way on the back palate, lingering sweet anise and a dry herbality.
Overall: A servicable absinthe made in the New World style.  Oddly though, when adding water, the louching effect is minimal, which makes me think that there is less oil in this than the usual absinthes made in Europe.  Still, it’s not all about effect, but taste.  A fine first effort
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Frey Ranch

GSN Review: Frey Ranch Barrel Finished Gin No. 1

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Colby Frey’s great-great-grandfather, Joseph Frey Sr., was a pioneer, acquiring one of the original land claims filed in Nevada in 1854 – a full decade before it was even declared a state.

The Frey family first made their mark on Nevada as farmers, supplying grains to Virginia City during the boom of the gold and silver rush. For generations, the earth was tilled, grains were grown, and slowly but surely the Frey Ranch roots grew in the region.

But it wasn’t until 2001 when Colby and his father, Charles Frey Jr., expanded their horizons. Seeing the importance of creating a higher valued crop that consumed less water, they planted a three-acre vineyard and began producing wine.

This sparked an even bigger idea.

Seeing the success of their wine-making efforts, they began experimenting with distillation. They applied for a Federal commercial license and, in January 2010, received permission to sell distilled spirits…making Frey Ranch the oldest legal distillery in Nevada.

Colby, his wife Ashley, and General Manager/Distiller Russell Wedlake rolled up their sleeves and designed the operation themselves. They were involved in every aspect of construction.

Today, the beautiful 4,700 square-foot building – located just steps from the Frey home on a picturesque ranch in Fallon, Nevada – is an homage to the rich history of the Frey family, and each guest that sets foot on the property becomes part of that history.

Frey Barrel Finished Gin Limited Release No.1 is made with their estate grown grains, which are complimented by juniper berries, citrus, lavender, and cucumber which are also sourced from the ranch and blended with other botanicals from around the world. The final product is then aged in oak barrels for several months.

Frey Ranch Barrel Finished Gin No. 1 (90 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Citrus forward with orange predominating, followed by a piney juniper base.  High top notes are quite floral and the deeper notes are of vanilla and mild wood.
Taste: The first impression is of a remarkably smooth and fruity gin.  There is a softness to the whole affair that has tempered any rough edges the actual gin might have had.  Having tasted many Old Tom styled gins, Frey Ranch BFG No. 1 easily holds its own against the big boys.
Finish: Medium long with no off flavors to ruin the journey.  Just a soft amble into the distance.
Overall: This is a gin that you can enjoy neat, something that you’ll rarely find.  As a bonus, this flavor profile makes this ideal for softer and more open gin cocktails, making it a great entryway for a gin novice.  It’s firing on all cylinders.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Frey Ranch