Editors Note: Today’s post is from Janet Benedict, one of the semi-finalists who are applying to become a regular contributor to Bourbon & Banter. We hope you’ll read all of their posts and let us know what you think of each applicant by commenting below the post, sharing online or dropping us a note via email.
IN ST GEORGE WE TRUST
Let me just get this out in the open: I like gin. Like, really like gin. I come from a long line of Tanqueray drinkers. I love gin so much I named my Dungeons & Dragons character “Juniper.” I’ve endured so many jokes about drinking pine trees that I can roast myself better than you can, and frankly, someone has to go for the unloved, underappreciated member of the spirits family.
Primarily I drink gin-and-tonics, especially during the muggy hot Indiana summers, but on occasion I run into a gin that stands fine alone, without the aid of a mixer. I was pleasantly surprised to find that in St George Terroir Gin.
Their website boasts that this drink will take you to green beauty of the forest, and with the lush woodsy notes and juniper blooms, it’s not a stretch of the imagination.
NOSE: A good swirl produces a mild woodsy scent, with moderate juniper bouquet. A big whiff burns the nose hairs a little.
TASTE: Well, it’s a gin. The juniper shines, but it steps back to let the other notes come through. Mellow fennel and other green notes left a mild astringent feeling in the mouth, but it’s not overwhelmingly pine-y. Has an incredible after-feel in the mouth.
FINISH: A slow start for the burn, but definitely picked up after the swallow, and followed through to the end. St. George was even polite enough to leave a lingering burn afterwards.
NEAT/SPLASH/ROCKS: Initially I tried this neat, which left a really pleasant mouth feel, although a little more astringent than I’m used to in my gins. I usually go for gin and tonics, but this is one I would absolutely continue drinking neat.
SHARE WITH: If you happen to have a friend who likes or appreciates gin, I don’t see why you wouldn’t share (don’t be selfish, dude). Also share with outdoorsy friends, or those who like to be around trees.
WORTH THE PRICE: I tried this in a St George Gin Gift Pack, which came with three 200mL of their Botanivore Gin, Terroir Gin, and Dry Rye Gin. At $30 for all three, it’s not a bad deal, and gives the opportunity to try a variety (before committing to a 750mL at $35).
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: If you’re like me, and you like gin, it’s worth treating yourself to good stuff. While this isn’t my favorite brand or anything, I don’t regret this purchase, and I don’t regret putting this in my mouth (that’s what Malort is for). At the full retail price ($35 for 750mL), it’s a purchase that you wouldn’t be afraid to make again.
An ode to the wild beauty of the Golden State.
Forest-driven and earthy, Terroir is a profoundly aromatic gin with a real sense of place. We wanted to make a spirit that conveyed what we love about the monumental groves of trees, moist and misty glens, and sun-baked chaparral of our favorite local parklands.
With Terroir Gin, we try to take you there with Douglas fir, California bay laurel, coastal sage, and other evocative botanicals. Sip it and be transported.
Wildcrafted local Douglas fir and California bay laurel form Terroir’s aromatic signature—and 10 more botanicals help complete the picture.
We use a well-seasoned wok to roast the coriander seeds used in Terroir Gin. (The wok we use was Lance’s 13th birthday present. It was on his wish list. Yes, he was an unusual child.) Coriander isn’t endemic to the Bay Area, but roasted coriander has an intoxicating earthy bouquet reminiscent of the region’s chaparral. On roasting days, the entire distillery is filled with the most fantastic aromas.
We distill the fir and sage individually on a 250-liter still to minimize the impact of seasonal variation. The fresh bay laurel leaves and juniper berries are vapor-infused in a botanicals basket. The other botanicals go right in the pot of our 1,500-liter still.
Terroir is a forest in your glass—with ultra woodsy notes of Douglas fir, California bay laurel, sage, and a hint of citrus.
Stunning on the rocks or in a martini. Absolutely lovely in a Collins garnished with fresh fennel and bay leaf (or whatever fresh herbs you happen to have on hand).
For some, the Douglas fir in this gin immediately triggers an association with Christmas—but for us it’s a gin for all seasons. At the height of summer, try Terroir with fresh huckleberries, blueberries, or raspberries for an earthy, brambly delight.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
One of the most distinctive gins made in America. — GQ
One of the best gins you’ll ever taste. — Forbes
Spectacularly evocative. — Food & Wine
An intense, woodsy aroma and a clean, crisp flavor… simply beautiful in a martini.
— Washington Post
What John Muir would have carried in his flask. — Tasting Table
An expression of a forest that is so right on, it could make the bear on the label homesick. — 7×7
Delivers hints of pine and sage, giving a simple Gin and Tonic a new world of flavor. — Paste