Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary.

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary. EZdrinking is a drinks blog by Eric Zandona that focuses on distilled spirits, wine, craft beer and specialty coffee. Here you can find reviews of drinks, drink books, articles about current & historical trends, as well as how to make liqueurs, bitters, and other spirit based drinks at home.

Filtering by Tag: Spirit Works Distillery

Review: Spirit Works Barrel Gin

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. 

Tasting Notes

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.

Touring and Tasting Spirit Works Distillery

Not long ago I drove up to Sebastopol to check out Spirit Works Distillery. The drive up from San Francisco was nice, especially along highway 116 which took me right into the heart of town. Spirit Works is in a newly developed business district called The Barlow that brings together local art, food and beverage producers. Spirit Works is in the same building as a coffee roaster and there are a couple of small breweries and wineries in the neighboring buildings. This made it really convenient to check out some great businesses I toured the distillery.

Spirit Works was founded by the husband and wife team, Timo and Ashby Marshall. Ashby is the head distiller and Timo takes care of many of the other logistics involved in running a distillery. The day I visited Ashby was striping a wheat wash, that would be distilled a second time and eventually become a wheat whiskey. Meanwhile, Timo was proofing their latest batch of gin and checking on their fermentation efficiency. If you don't know what any of that means, it's ok, take one of their tours because they do a really good job of explaining how they transform raw grain into spirits.

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