I generally enjoy Gin in the summer on hot sunny days, but what the heck it’s almost Spring so I guess we can, as they say, spring ahead and pretend its summer and dive into the Gin.

When it is all said and done Gin can be created in two basic ways within which there are a few variations.  One way is to take the grains and distill them into spirits with the botanicals present during distillation.  The other way is to distill the grain into a spirit and then introduce the botanicals afterward as an infusion; this is how Crater Lake Gin is produced.

Crater Lake Gin is hand-crafted from grain in Bend, Oregon, with local, hand-picked wild Western Juniper berries with no doubt other secret and select Northwest botanicals.  They use mountain spring water that has coursed through lava in Central Oregon’s landscape.  It is finally filtered through indigenous crushed lava rock.

Gin is one of those wild and virtually unregulated spirits that only require Juniper as a main ingredient and then the sky’s the limit. I have tasted some underwhelming Gins and on the other hand have been blown away by over the top Gin; let’s see where this one falls.

The nose is actually quite laid back with hardly a whisper of alcohol even though this Gin is a whopping 95 proof.  I immediately get a whiff of the juniper followed by pine and citrus.  On the palate it is medium bodied and again surprisingly smooth.  The tastes are again juniper, pine and citrus followed by vanilla.  These are all much muted making this one of the more subtle Gins I have tasted.  The finish is spicy with pepper overtones and undertones of juniper and lemon and lasts a medium length of time.

This Crater Lake Gin falls very nicely right in the middle of the pack taste wise.  It isn’t as over the top as some and not as crazy a concoction as others.  It is surprisingly smooth for being 95 proof and seems to maintain a decent although minimal presence even when diluted in tonic and on the rocks.  If this really was the middle of the summer, I might want something a bit more flavorful that would quench my thirst while stimulating my taste buds a bit more.  At $25.00 per 750 ml bottle it is a very decent and dare I say delicate Gin.



By George Brozowski





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