StateWays - July/August 2015

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays ■ ■ July/August 2015 32 tured spirit with a few creative twists. Its proprietary mix includes, among others, lavender, sage, lemon peels and cucumber. Some botanicals steep longer in the alcohol than others to impart a more pronounced fl avor and aroma. All told, the gin undergoes fi ve distillations in a copper pot still. Bulldog London Dry Gin is an ultra-premium spirit produced in small copper pot stills from English grain and a proprietary blend of 12 aromatics. In addition to juniper berries, the invigorating botanical mix includes poppies, lotus leaves, licorice, lavender and Longan, or Dragon Eye, a fruit indigenous to Southeast Asia long re- nown for its aphrodisiac properties. The gin is delicately fi ltered three times for essential purity before being bot- tled at 80 proof. "We're seeing new consumers actually moving away from the traditional brands with their standard botani- cals and heavy juniper focus and moving towards more individualistic gins," comments Rosie Lee, Bulldog's national American brand manager. "While a traditional London Dry is distilled at 94 proof, Bulldog has dialed back the alcohol content to 80 proof, creating a much more mixable and approachable spirit. Beyond this, we've shifted the focus in the botanical mix from juni- per and coriander to more interesting fl avors like lotus leaves, dragon eye and white poppy." Recent Releases London No. 1 Gin is made by the 180-year old fi rm of González Byass, the renowned Spanish winery, makers of Sherries and brandies in Jerez. Few brands can claim such a lofty pedigree. Another point of distinction is the gin's intriguing blue hue. During development, the brand team discovered that adding gardenia fl ower extract to the botanical mix imbued the fi nished gin with a tur- BARREL-AGED GINS One of the discernible trends in the gin category is the aging of the light liquor in oak barrels. It's an attractive notion that is starting to draw the attention of numer- ous distillers across the globe. Barrel aging profoundly affects both the taste and fragrance of the gin, as well as enhance its appearance. Just imagine the possibilities. There are several aged beauties already on the market. Dictador Colombian Treasure Aged Gin is appropriately named. Made on a foundation of cane neutral spirits, the gin is infused, in part, with the Colom- bian fruit, limon mandarino. After the fi fth and fi nal distillation, the young gin is transferred to oak casks used previously to age Dictador Rum. The gin spends 35 weeks in oak, long enough to lend it an amber hue and a warm, spicy palate. Two American micro-distilled, barrel-aged marques are also testing the waters. Reserve Tom Cat from Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick, Vermont is made with neutral grain spirits, whole uni- per berries and an added touch of raw honey. It is then transferred to new, charred American white oak barrels for 4-6 months. The oak aging imbues the gin with a deep, reddish/amber hue and a bouquet of juniper, honey and spicy toasted oak. Another sterling example of craft distilling at its fi nest is Waterloo Antique Barrel Reserve Gin from Treaty Oak Distilling Company in Austin, Texas. It is aged in new, American white oak barrels for 2 years. During its stay in wood, the gin develops a dark amber hue and the added oak-induced fl avors of roasted coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, clove and nutmeg. It's such an intriguing spirit you'll wonder why more gins aren't barrel-aged. — RP GIN

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