Oak aging is typically used to concentrate the flavors in a distillate, but when it’s applied to No. 209’s flagship unaged gin, the oak acts like a prism that highlights different flavor aspects. There are two oaked versions available, both using barrels from Rudd Oakville Estate: In the cabernet sauvignon–barrel version, the oak seems to focus all of the gin’s botanicals on spice and fruit, bringing candied cherry, orange and baking spice notes to the fore. In contrast, the No. 209 Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Reserve Gin is all about herbs and juniper, with scents of lemon, menthol and green cardamom sweeping through. It’s a fascinating pair, best appreciated tweaked minimally or in a classic cocktail.
Distillery No. 209, San Francisco, CA; No. 209 Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Reserve Gin and No. 209 Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Reserve Gin
This story appears in the print issue of August 2014.
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