Category Archives: Uncategorized

Journeyman Gins – Month of Gin

Bill Welter at Journeyman

When you meet Bill Welter you know you are about to have an experience. Seemingly quite, this bearded booze guru will  make you rethink how you drink.

You have likely already falling in love with their Whiskeys, Corset’s Whips and Whiskey and their Last Feather Rye are a few of our favorites name after the abandoned corset factory that was the building that now houses Journeyman Distillery.

I has the opportunity to visit their new digs in Three Oaks, Michigan and gush over their shiny new stills and columns and get my hands deep into a vat of Bilberries, of the gins namesake.

Journeyman gin image

 

Journeyman Gin 

Light crisp citrus on the front with light pepper notes and a custardy mouth feel on the finish. Perfect for a classic Aviation cocktail.

Journeyman Barrel Aged Gin 

Strongly on the oak side of the barrel aged gin spectrum, this gin is bold on the wood and glimpses of the botanicals shining through. Whiskey lovers try this bold whiskey-esk gin on a rock or mixed up in a Martinez or Old Fashioned spin.

Bill Welter 2015

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Corsair Gins – Month of Gin

Meet a distillery in the heart of America’s booze trade, Kentucky and Tennessee, know best for their innovative and adventurous spirits. With a motto “Booze for Badasses” Corsair Distillery was formed by a few childhood friends Andrew Webber, Darek Bell and his wife Amy Lee Bell who focus on focus on new recipes for spirits using alternative grains, unconventional smoked grains and unusual botanicals. Corsiar Image

 

Corsair Distillery joined us in St. Louis in May for the 2nd Annual Gin Week and Gin Festival  and rocked out many of their soon to be launched products including the standout Major Tom Old Tom Gin. From the owners to the distillers to every person that works within this rock star distillery, you know they put their unconventional loving hearts into their products to make  spirits that will excite your senses.

Currently the Corsair portfolio consists of 5 Gins:

Corsair  Artisan Gin

Lightly vegetal, hints of citrus and a bit of juniper

Barrel Aged Gin

A boastful gin aged in used spiced rum barrels

Major Tom Gin

Full of flavor yet soft sipping worthy, Barrel Aged Old Tom Gin

Genever

Being a massive fan of the malt profile of genevers, this malted barley based genever has a warm, ginger, citrus and a hint of baking spice

Steam Punk

An experimental gin made with smoked grain, hops and traditional botanicals, tastes of smoked cherry wood, menthol and herbaceous.

Corsair Gin image

Each and every one is worth a savor.


Hayman’s Gin – Month of Gin

Rocket Century Hayman's

My journey through England passed through the world that is Hayman’s Gin. 5th generation distillers of a range of traditional gins, this gin family dates back 150 years . Each bottle of Hayman’s gin has a tale to tell. Its design was inspired by original, old gin bottles that had been safely tucked away in Christopher Hayman’s collection for years.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Marjorie, a 400 Liter Carter Head Still named after the family’s Matriarch  Marjorie Burrough, the link to the great heritage of gin making.

Hayman's Botanicals

Each gin in the Hayman’s Family of gins uses 10 distinct botanical’s, specially manipulated to produce each gin from their Old Tom to their Naval Strength, which supplied the navy’s thirst for gin on the River Thames side of country.

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One of the more interesting gins in their portfolio is their Sloe gin, a classic tipple in England made from the abundance of Sloe berries in the country’s backyard’s. Their London Dry gin is soaked approximately 4 months in Slow berries allowing the skins to harden and the berries to burst open, naturally exuding cherry and almond notes.

Family Reserve Hayman's

One surprise in the portfolio was Hayman’s Family Reserve, a bottle not yet distributed to the United States but one that very well should be. This gorgeous mellow gin is rested three weeks Scotch whiskey barrels,  creating  breath-ability and boosting the botanical notes of the gin. An absolute must try and we hope to get this gin in the States soon.

Come meet the most widely representative family of Hayman’s Gin.


No. 209 Gin & Chardonnay Barrel Gin – Month of Gin Double Take

Last spring I had the opportunity to visit the west coast and the outstanding distillers in the San Francisco Bay area but I had no idea how much I would learn.

209 Rocket Centry

Mid Century Modern Vintage Barware and Furnishings Provided by Rocket Century 

I had always had a natural affinity towards No. 209 gin. Crisp citrus without over whelming the spirit, light bright cardamom, juniper , orange and baking spices. I even had a guest at the Gin Room that traveled from across Europe searching for No 209 gin as they were told by a trusted bartender that it was the only gin that could satisfy their gin interest. Interesting to see how far people will travel for something standout.

We arrived at Distillery No. 209, built over water and positioned directly at sea level on renovated pier 50, the natural cooling properties of San Francisco Bay water beneath the pier keeps the distillery at a perfectly crisp temperature all year long.  Distillery 209 has a rich history dating back to the late 1800’s when wine maker William Scheffler began to dabble in the world of spirit distilling in under the distillery licence number 209. Food and wine entrepreneur Leslie Rudd purchased the property in 1999, and began the revival of what is now No. 209 Gin.

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This is where the Gin Girl was impressed. Operating as a one man show, Distillery No. 209 is run by the lovely engineer turned distiller Arne Hillesland and his gorgeous pot still “Rosie” a 1000 gallon beauty of a copper still. Arne himself is a wealth of information and a first mover in world of contemporary gin, elevating the concept of what gin can be gin when only a couple hand fulls of gins were out there. Not only taking the risk of distilling gin and only gin years ago when gin was a mere dot on the spirit map, but also took the risk to spread this wonderful contemporary gin around the world by exporting to London and Europe.

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Arne spoke at a gin seminar Juniper Ascending put together by Ginnoisseur Keli Rivers at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans earlier this month with other innovators; Beefeater’s Desmond Payne, Aviation Gin’s Christian Krogstad and Alexander Gabriel of Mason Ferrand’s Citadelle Gin. Was a honor to be in the presence of such trailblazers.

Arny 209 at Tales

No. 209 gin is a corn based spirit which likely adds to its creamier mouth feel, but the most exciting part of No. 209 gin is the quality of the botanical’s used. I can say I had tried quite a few gins and sifted though a health dose of juniper, but the bright juicy berry-esk of the Italian juniper used in No. 209 gin caught me off guard. I wanted to take a bowl with me and treat them as a snack. Arne’s “Bot Cave” held other robust botanical gems including black cardamom, cassia bark and Bergamont orange. We couldn’t get enough of our visit.

After all my adventures through the Bot Cave and distillation, my real excitement was revealed when I noticed their barrel aged gins gathered in a corner. Three varieties taking advantage of their winery roots including aging in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Barrels.

Barrel 209

The chardonnay aged gin was an immediate standout, from the medium body, lingering pine notes and a perfect balance of warm spice, citrus and savory. Enough body for mixing and light nuances for sipping straight.  The mellow French oak of the chardonnay barrels allows the botanical’s to shine sharper, light pine and savory lavender, a bit of crisp warm spice from the cardamom, bright pepper and citrus lingers through the finish. A solid barrel aged gin and gin girl favorite of the three No 209 aged gins.

 

 

 


Tom’s Town McElroy’s Corruption Gin – Month of Gin

First case of Kansas City’s own Tom’s Town McElroy’s Corruption Gin has just hit The Gin Room and seems a perfect day for a gin party first case toms town

Drawing inspiration from the country’s most polarizing and corrupt political boss, Tom Pendergast, Tom’s Town brings to life the glamorous magnetism of the Gatsby era. Their gin is named after Henry McElroy, a powerful city manager under Boss Tom Pendergast who fought to keep the gambling, jazz and speakeasies of the Prohibition-Era Kansas up and running.

Being in the Gin Girl’s back yard, I got the chance to watch this distillery, and Corruption gin come to life one piece at a time. The gin making process was a deliberate one, identifying the nose, body and flavor profile of each botanical considered, combined with the aspects of maceration and vapor distilling. The nose on this gin is a sweet peppered citrus, fragrant yet not floral. The body has a weighted texture, one that commands you stop and taste it again. Sip this gin and you will find a savory palate, light pepper notes floating along with light citrus zest and a earthy spiced sweetness on the finish.

Toms Town Still June 8 2016

Smack in the center of KC’s Crossroads this distillery bar is a relief from the ordinary. Yes, bearded men slinging drinks behind the bar is always a plus in my book, but their attention to your particular tastes as interests is a quality we covet more and more as the abundance of watering holes often becomes overwhelming. All of their spirits are available behind the bar including Eli’s Strong Arm Vodka, Royal Pendergast’s Royal Gold Bourbon and of course McElroy’s Corruption Gin.

 

And in the infamous words of Boss Tom Pendergast, “The People are Thirsty”


The Walter Collective Gin – Month of Gin

Sometime you meet a gin and it is serendipity. Over and over.

Walter Collective Tales

I had the pleasure of meeting a bottle of the Walter Collective gin after teaching a gin seminar at the American Distillers conference earlier this year. It was passed to me in this beautiful gift set box and looked pretty fancy. Lately packaging has been bolder and bolder in the world of gin and spirits, often without as much care and dedication taken to the contents of the bottle.

A month went by and I finally had a Wednesday afternoon to take a sip and was instinctively happy. Walter Collective gin was definitely in the contemporary gin category but created a distinctive character for itself. Light crisp citrus, cool menthol notes and cardamom that gave body and layering but without overpowering the gin. I was excited to share this gin and that is exactly what I did… straight out of the bottle.

Monkey Lamp

 

And then we met again, this time at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans; sitting in Arnaud’ French 75 Bar surrounded by gin, monkey lamps and some of my favorite industry socialites.  Matt Melaik, founder and grandson of Walter Bade, the inspiration of the Walter collective was to my left and somehow recognized the Gin Girl through the wonderful chaos that is the French Quarter. And again that wonderfully layered gin was passed through our hand and into our martini glasses. A toast to good friends, great gin and outstanding and chance meetings.

Walter Collective gin use

Mid Century Modern Vintage Barware and Furnishings Provided by Rocket Century 

This Gin is not yet distributed in our area, but I would suggest seeking out a bottle for your personal collection.

Martini and Gin & Tonic worthy.


Russell Henry Gin – Month of Gin

Sometimes when you have a bar bar full of booze, you may over look or under appreciate what gems you have. One of these gems is Russell Henry gin.

Russell Henry gin portfolio is a brainchild of Ansley Coale and Crispin Cain, on a still rarely used for gin.

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Ansley Coale & Germain-Robin Cognac Still

This gorgeous 1600 liter still was found abandoned near Cognac in the mid 1900’s and was refurbished and sent across the world to its fated new home in California. Unlike traditional stills,this Germain- Robin former cognac still is run on direct heat exactly as it had been in France, which lends its self to a rich delicacy of flavor in the final product. The cognac still is used to re-distill the infusion of botanical in Russell Henry London Dry gin. The double distillation cognac still entails eight cuts in the process instead of a traditional two cut  heads and tails process in other popular gin stills like the Holstein. This process generally produces a softer, cleaner, more elegant and complex spirit than any single distillation still. Russell Henry

Russel Henry gin was first released in 2012 with a carefully thought out botanical profile including juniper, coriander, orris root and lemon peel. Open this bottle and you will find a gin of outstanding character with light notes of citrus and pine and a weighted creamy texture that is perfect for sipping up in a martini with a lemon twist and a botanical forward La Quintinye Vermouth.