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Deaths Door Gin (700ml)
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- ABV 47%
Washington Island was once known for its potato farming. Washington Island “spuds” made their way around the world for their quality and flavor. However, in the early 1970’s, vertical integration in the potato industry left Washington Island without contracts to grow its crops. Without customers, island farmers stopped planting and instead switched to other jobs that were either more tourism-based, or moved off the island to find a livelihood elsewhere.
Fast forward to 2005, a small group of like-minded people began exploring reinvigorating farming on Washington Island. Armed with enough seed to plant 5 acres and enough know-how to get it done — brothers Tom and Ken Koyen began growing wheat on the island. What started as wheat to use as flour at the Washington Island Hotel has grown into a select specialty grain for use in Capital Brewery’s Island Wheat Ale and all of Death’s Door Spirits products.
Death’s Door Gin is a classic London Dry style, but with a surprisingly simple botanical mix of organic juniper berries, coriander and fennel. Like their 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 choice of name has nothing to do with the quality of output. It takes its name from the body of water between Door County peninsula and Washington Island from which they get organic hard red winter wheat to make their vodka, gin and white whisky. Potowatami and Winnebego tribesmen originally named the waterway.
Tasting note: [August 2011 bottling tasted] Clear. Offers a lively, pure and compelling amalgam of fresh juniper, fresh sawn pine, citrus zest and later potpourri and pepper combine in a delightful gin bouquet. A light, silky entry leads into a juniper, pine sap and anise driven profile that's medium dry, cream textured and seamlessly integrated with vibrant, controlled peppers all beautifully balanced to finish mildly tart, chalky and with some delicious late cereal notes adding complexity to the lengthy fade. 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. 47% Alc./Vol.
International Review of Spirits Award: Gold Medal
RATING: 92 points (Exceptional) - www.tastings.com