The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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Page 97 of 136

november 2014  /  the tasting panel  /  97 "W hile we have one foot in tradition, we do not make your grandfather's gin," claims Arne Hillesland, official "Ginerator" at Distillery No. 209. Originally planning on making a London dry-style gin, the recipe for his flagship gin transformed into a more modern take on the classic recipe. While staying true to its roots— using the same botanicals and processes that have been gin's backbone for centuries—Hillesland makes a spirit more palatable for the 21st century, a smooth and refreshing libation with citrus taking center stage. Reaching the younger generations has meant overcoming the stigma that gin equals a strong dose of juniper without much else in the glass. "Many consumers that we introduce to No. 209's portfolio had no idea just how great gin can taste," explains Wendi Webster Green, No. 209's Marketing Director. "We want to prove that gin is an extremely versatile spirit outside of classic cocktails—it can work in modern mixology and is the perfect offering for those who thoroughly enjoy the art of the cocktail." Founded by Leslie Rudd, the proprietor of Rudd Oakville Estate in Napa Valley, the dis- tillery also has strong ties to the wine industry, so barrel-aging their gin seemed like a natural progression. Resting in Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from their sister winery, No. 209's two very distinct Barrel Reserve expressions have mixolo- gists swooning, integrating beautifully into cocktails and adding a more complex and flavorful twist to classics like the Old Fashioned, Martini or French 75. To make things even more interesting around the distillery, No. 209 launched a kosher-for-Passover gin in 2010, followed closely by a kosher-for-Passover vodka. These sugarcane-based spirits adhere strictly to Jewish law and are hand-fash- ioned under the supervision of the Orthodox Union—to their knowledge, this is the only certified kosher-for-Passover gin in the world and one of the few vodkas. A Gin-ning Combination by Emily Coleman

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