GSN Review: Sweetgrass Farm Gin & Bitters

A snow covered package from the frozen wilds of Maine recently arrived at the Good Spirits office, filled with an interesting selection of hand crafted products.  Read on to hear what I have to say about these tasty items.

Bitter Cranberry – These are spicy, tart bitters like fresh berries mixed with the flavors of Christmas.  They have a dry, and somewhat bitter quality (not surprising) that will work exceptionally well with gin, vodka and bourbon.  I would even go so far to say that if you try these in a Cosmopolitan, it will bring the drink up a notch in terms of brightness.  GSN Rating: B+

Bitter Blueberry – These bitters have a dried blueberry flavor profile.  Again there is a heavy Christmas spice quality here that tames the fruit flavor.  Definitely in the style of an aromatic bitters, but different enough to make you take notice.  I can see these working well with regular or most fruit infused vodkas. GSN Rating: B

Back River Gin – The nose is juniper forward with notes of pine, lemon citrus, and a light woodsy fragrance.  The first taste is reminiscent of fresh cut cedar.  As the flavor moves on it becomes quite sweet with a musky herbal overtone.  There is a dark quality that seems to overshadow the nuances of what you find in a typical English Dry style gin.  This is strongly juniper tho’, so if you are using it in a sour based cocktail, be aware that the flavor will “pop” through.    Great as a mixer, but for a gin martini it competes with the dry vermouth.  I like this gin quite a lot, but it almost tastes as if it has been infused a bit longer than necessary and as a result ends up somewhat unbalanced.  The distillate itself is a beautiful cut from the heart of the spirit.  I’d recommend trying this in a G&T or some of the sweeter fruit based cocktails like a Bronx or a Singapore Sling.  GSN Rating: B+

Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery also creates fruit wines and ports, as well as flavored gin, rum and fruit brandies.  You can order online from their website at