Barrel Gin, distilled by Spirit Works Distillery and bottled at 45% ABV.
Price Range: $50-$60
Spirit Works Distillery is owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team, Timo and Ashby Marshall. Ashby is their head distiller and Timo works as tour guide, operations manage, brand ambassador and a number of other roles.
Spirit Works Distillery is located in downtown Sebastopol, in a newly developed business district called The Barlow. In addition to Spirit Works The Barlow brings together a number of local art, food and beverage producers including a winery, a brewpub and coffee roaster. I highly recommend taking their tour and visiting some of the other cool shops.
Timo told me that at first they hadn't planned to make an aged gin but I am glad they did. Barrel Gin starts off as their regular gin which is distilled with juniper, orris root, angelica, cardamom, coriander, hibiscus and hand-zested orange and lemon peel. Some of the botanicals are macerated in the still and some are place in a gin basket. After the gin has been distilled, some of it ages in new American White Oak barrels for several months.
Nose: Barrel Gin smelled of dried orange peal, baking spices, and a faint, underlying sweetness like maraschino cherries.
Palate: Barrel Gin tasted of bright citrus, with a smooth sweet flavor of fresh table grapes.
Finish: After swallowing the flavors lingered for a little while and my mouth had a pleasant warm sensation without any burn.
Conclusion: For those who like aged gins, Barrel Gin is a great addition to any liquor cabinet. I particularly like how the nose has begun to develop some of the rich spicy notes that come from barrel aging while maintaining some of the fresh flavors of their regular gin. Very well executed and Barrel Gin makes me even more excited for their upcoming whiskeys.