By: Andrew Whiteley
K&L Staff Member
I'm a gin guy. My wife and I probably consume more G&Ts and Martinis than any other cocktail at home. Of course when my box of New Riff samples I requested at the start of this year arrived I dug into the whiskies first, cause that's really what was going to make or break this Kentucky distillery for me, but I was thrilled to get to the gins, if not a little skeptical going in. Knowing nothing about the gin, I evaluated it first just on taste and was giddy. After diving in and learning a thing of two about the production, I was ecstatic. Built on classic gin botanicals the Kentucky Wild Gin at first blush is something of a London dry style, but harbors a few major twists. The most noticeable is the texture - there is a bit of new make rye spirit added to the neutral grain. Not only does this enhance the flavors as the herbal nature of the rye plays extremely well with the botanicals, but it adds an enormous amount of rich texture to the base. The 2nd major twist comes from the American Spice Bush. Endemic to the Ohio River Valley, the fruit of this bush has a distinct flavor that falls somewhere between all spice and mace with a hint of pepper and tea notes. It's really a perfect gin botanical. Add to that some wild local juniper to enhance the backbone and a touch of Golden Rod - Kentucky's state flower - and you've got yourself a true Kentucky Gin that drinks like a dream and makes a killer dry Martini.