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Deaths Door Gin (700ml)
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- ABV 47%
Washington Island was once known for potato farming. Its “spuds” made their way around the world and were celebrated for their quality and flavour. Then in the early 1970s, vertical integration left Washington Island farmers without contracts. Without customers, they switched to other jobs that were either more tourism-based, or else they moved off the island to find work.
In 2005, a small group of like-minded people began reinvigorating the island's agriculture. Armed with enough seeds & know-how to plant five acres, brothers Tom and Ken Koyen began growing wheat. What started as grain to use as flour at the Washington Island Hotel grew into a select specialty for use in Capital Brewery’s Island Wheat Ale and all of Death’s Door distillery spirits.
This is a classic London Dry style, but with a surprisingly simple botanical mix of organic juniper, coriander and fennel. Like Death's Door vodka, it employs a base of organic Washington Island wheat and organic malted barley from Chilton, Wisconsin.
In case you're wondering, the distillery's peculiar name refers to the body of water between Door County Peninsula and Washington Island. Potowatami and Winnebego tribesmen originally coined the waterway.
Tasting note: [August 2011 bottling tasted] Clear. A lively, pure and compelling amalgam of fresh juniper, fresh sawn pine and citrus zest. Later sniffs find potpourri and pepper combined in a delightful gin bouquet. Light, silky entry builds with juniper, pine sap and anise; medium dry, cream textured and seamlessly integrated with vibrant, controlled peppers. Finish is mildly tart, chalky. Late grainy / cereal notes add complexity. Excellent length. One senses the making of a new-age Gin classic. 47% Alc./Vol. Other reviews...Clear. Aromas of cream of wheat, brown sugar, licorice, and delicate peppery spices follow through on a supple, satiny entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with citrus and peach custard and herbal juniper notes. Finishes with a vibrant anise seed, citrus marmalade on a sweet wheat cracker, and white pepper fade. A smooth, lively gin and will shine in cocktails.
International Review of Spirits Award: Gold Medal
92 points (Exceptional) - tastings.com