Yesterday we went to Proof, a showcase for local distillers. Something right up our alley 🙂 It was fantastic – if you are in the Seattle area and didn’t get a chance to attend, we strongly recommend that you try to do so next year. There were 40+ local distillers with an amazing selection of craft booze, lots of delicious bites from local restaurants, plus plentiful water stations (important!). We picked up several bottles (10 to be precise 🙂 ) of booze, which inspired us to post another Washington gin showcase. Look for another one in two weeks so we can finish up Washington gins (for now!) and then it’s on to Oregon gins, of which there are also a lot of tasty ones. We’ll be bar hopping in San Francisco next Sunday, so we may or may not post anything. Oh poor us 😉
For this showcase, we chose 3 gins that were available at Proof. We decided to go with the Soft Gin from Heritage Distilling, the Alpinist from Seattle Distilling and finally the Bulfinch 83 from Wishkah River Distilling. Read on to see what we think.
- Nose: Elderberry, grape notes, plus a little bit of black pepper and some soft floral notes (like rose).
- Palate: Very soft mouth feel (go figure :)). Berry, a little bit of juniper, spicy black pepper notes towards the finish. Unusual chocolatey notes mid-palate through the finish. Not a typical gin profile, but really delicious and unique.
Alpinist Gin (40% abv):
- Nose: Maltiness at first, then a yeasty/citrus/creamy scent like lemon danish, then a little bit of cardamom and cinnamon. Some faint savoriness.
- Palate: Strong lemon notes. A lot of orange and lemon peel to start, underpinned by juniper and savory pepper notes. Mid-palate, cinnamon pops up and the juniper continues. More cinnamon and a little bit of cardamom towards the end. More of a citrus-y gin.
Bulfinch 83 Gin (41.5% abv):
- Nose: Grain spirit, undercurrent of earthiness, little bit of lemon, little bit of juniper.
- Palate: Gentle mouth feel. Citrus to start, little bit of lemon peel and citrus flower, very reserved juniper. Faint sweetness on the mid-palate. Lemon on the mid-palate and finish, plus a little bit of cardamom.
Soft Gin – 20th Century Cocktail (modified)
- 2 oz gin (up from 1 1/2 oz)
- 3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz Mud Puddle chocolate vodka
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- Nose: Little bit of juniper (more than expected), elderberry, lemon, some chocolate
- Palate: Little bit of berry and chocolate to start, then lemon, very well integrated. Some wine from the Lillet and then juniper towards the end. These would go down very easily 🙂
The Alpinist – Gin Rickey
- Nose: Creamy yeasty smell, lemon danish scent still stands out but with sharper citrus and nice perfume-y notes from the lime. Still some of the malt notes too.
- Palate: That’s nice! Also well integrated, with the simple syrup nicely balanced with the citrus and the gin. Starts with a really bright sweetness like a lemon hard candy, which is balanced with a little bit of earthiness like orris root and a little bit of astringency from the citrus peel and perfume from the lime. Almost like a collins instead of a rickey.
Bulfinch 83 – Elixer Negroni
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 1 oz Calisaya (amazing stuff that we also picked up at Proof!)
- 1 oz Lillet Rouge
Stir with ice, strain into a glass, garnish with an orange twist.
- Nose: Orange, Lillet rouge, and a little bit of lemon-herbal citrus (not the orange), almost like coriander.
- Palate: Sweet with a fairly bitter long finish. Starts bittersweet with a nice mouth feel, think Ricola, followed by a really bright punch of lemon peel and a little bit of anise. Orange peel at the end of the mid-palate. Really strong green vegetal taste on the finish, like jalapeños without the heat.
Once again we have 3 very different gins that all do amazing things when you play to their strengths. Hurray for the vibrant distilling scene we are lucky enough to have here in WA! Also, thank you Steven Stone and the Washington Distillers Guild for putting on such an great event, which allowed us to find even more fantastic producers.
If you haven’t checked them out yet, check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our gin showcases. We have a lot of great gins and craft distillers here in Washington and we’d love for you to support them. Go buy their booze. Now! 🙂
Update: And now Part 5!