Ready to sip some barrel-aged gin but aren’t sure where to start? We’ve taken some of the guesswork out by sampling for you. Read our recommendations below.
To read the full feature “Barrel-aged Gin: Your Botanical Gateway,” featured in the Fall 2021 issue, purchase the back issue here.
Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin: Produced with juniper and raw honey, Tom Cat is aged in new, charred oak barrels for six months. “On the deep wood spectrum, Caledonia Spirits uses a single botanical of juniper and raw honey to flavor this outstanding spirit,” Bahrami said. “The barrel marries with the honey gin to make any bourbon lover swoon.”
Conniption Barrel Aged Gin Series No. 1: The first in what’s set to be an annual release from Durham Distillery, Conniption’s Barrel Aged Gin No. 1 is made from unique botanicals, including dried figs, and matured for 10 months in bourbon barrels sourced from High West Distillery.
Citadelle Gin Réserve: The gin that jump-started the modern barrel-aged gin movement, Citadelle Réserve is matured in a range of casks offering distinctive flavors before being married together in a massive wooden egg. “That’s where all the different puzzle pieces blend and marry into an incredible gin,” Gabriel said.
St. George Spirits Dry Rye Reposado: Distilled from a rye base, St. George’s use of “reposado” is their labeling workaround rather than a nod to tequila, and the spirit matured for 18 months in French and American oak wine casks. “This gin distilled from rye exudes malty notes loved by most whiskey enthusiasts, and is riddled with notes of pine sage citrus and a mouthful of flavor,” Bahrami says.
Wigle Barrel Rested Gin: Made from a whiskey-like mash of regionally sourced rye, wheat, and malted barley and matured in used whiskey barrels for at least two years, Wigle’s Barrel Rested Gin makes for a smooth transition for whiskey-first drinkers. “I love to drink our barrel-aged gin on the rocks,” Foglia said.
Manifest Barreled Gin: Manifest Distilling in Jacksonville, Florida, combines gin aged in brand-new charred oak barrels with gin aged in previously used whiskey barrels to create its Barreled Gin. Because the used cooperage varies, no two batches are the same. “I sampled Bottle 131 from Batch 13, which had a hue similar to a Chardonnay,” Carlton said. “The gin dominates, with a refreshing character you don’t get with whiskey, but the barreling adds some depth. As bracing as aftershave, this gin holds prominent notes of citrus and cucumber. Juniper and citrus dominate, but it’s sweeter than typical gin and has a definite oak note, both borrowed from the whiskey barrel. It is a longer finish than you’d expect from gin alone; botanicals still dominate.”