GSN Review: Spring44 Vodkas & Gin

9044 feet above sea level, Spring44 distillery is located high in the mountains of Colorado.  Utilizing natural spring water and locally grown botanicals, they achieve a terroir in their products that is unusual in the spirit world.  Read on to discover more…

Spring44 Vodka (80 proof) – I found some small white particulates floating in the bottle, otherwise crystal clear.  The nose is intense with aggressive pepper, mild dried vanilla bean and ethanol.  The initial taste is spicy with a vanilla custard overtone.  The grain mash bill is wheat, rye and corn giving an almost baked chewiness to this vodka.  There seems to be more heat coming off the vodka than is typical of 40 proof. This in my opinion, causes the minerality of the spring water to be lost in the background, and gives an overall impression of a rustic distillation.  This is not necessarily a detriment, just a 90 degree turn away from ultra-distilled, boutique vodkas.   GSN Rating: B

Spring44 Honey Vodka (80 proof) – Very pale golden straw color, again with even more white particulates floating in the bottle.  The nose is intriguing and has much less of an alcohol forward impression.  There is a sweet, almost berry-like scent with hints of powdered sugar and caramel.  The flavor is intense with bursts of ripe raspberry, cane sugar, cashew butter, caramel apple, and just a hint of honey.  Surprisingly complex and free of the cloyingly sweetness I normally find in honey-flavored spirits, this vodka is something else entirely.  I like it a lot, and it stands on it’s own as a sipper.  At the same time, the unusual berry-like quality makes it perfect for use in desserts and whipped cream.  Unique and extremely well done.  GSN Rating: A-

Spring44 Gin (80 proof) – Crystal clear.  Dark juniper nose with touches of rainwater, fresh herbs, lavender and cinnamon.  Not dry like a London style gin at all, this is wet and at the same time chalky and leaving a slight bitter quality in the mouth.  The juniper plays in the distant background and citrus is all but non-existant, leaving the floral and spice aspects to play a leading role in a gin that works well on it’s own over rocks.  I had thought it might play well with tonic, but there is almost a quinine-like quality to the gin that made it unbalanced in a G&T.  But, get this; it works amazingly well as a substitute for citron vodka in a Cosmopolitan.  You probably think I’m crazy, but try it and be prepared for a Cosmo with a bolder more voluptuous body. GSN Rating: A-

Spring44 spirits are available in Colorado, New York as well as through Total Beverage on the West coast and Astor Wine & Spirits on the East coast.