Self described as a New York Dry Gin, this company sets out to break a lot of other categories.
Notes: While most gin (especially here in the United States) is usually (In order of types) London Dry, New World, Old Tom or Genever, this company stakes out a new type. Self described as a New York Dry Gin, this company sets out to break a lot of other categories.
Pot distilled vodka is made from orange blossom honey from Florida and Berkshires aquifer water (real water – not some stripped out reverse osmosis or otherwise tasteless, boring, fear of taste and processed to death water). Using honey is an expensive and difficult proposition for distilling first you have to dilute the honey down so it will ferment into a wine or mead,then distill.
They use this already excellent honey vodka as a base and then use a blend of the usual suspects of juniper and coriander, and a 7 of other botanicals-along with 7 other (Hence the name Comb 9) including the relative exotics rose, lavender and galangal root.
Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with crenellated edge line (meniscus) then quickly dissolves to droplets. Wonderful bright appearance.
First Impression: Almost pendulous orange honey presence, flowers and a herbal , rooty background with a juniper presence but in the background rather than foreground. Not sweet but complex and integrated bouquet that is intriguing and promising.
Taste: The lovely honey floral body that carries over from their base spirit and forms a harmonious backbone from which the herbal macerations blend seamlessly. Warming end, but no burn.
Drinks: We tried the gin in martinis, gin and tonics and a few more. It is wonderful as a martini with a twist of lemon with a interesting intensely herbal flavor with the vermouth. With other drinks the gin almost transforms in that the more floral elements come to the fore, in others the galangal combines with other elements to give it a more herbal spin. Also bear in mind you have a more traditional proof ((almost Navy Strength ) gin so you get better mixing qualities due to the higher proof- you can also use less gin if you are shooting for a specific strength in the drink. One of the few gins produced above 80 proof anymore and a stand out to boot ! Quite versatile and a delight to work with in mixology.
Bottle: Brilliantly clear glass, tall cylindrical bottle with a sharp shoulder and no frosting on the glass (a refreshing change). Simple but interesting graphics (honeycomb design) are silk screened directly onto the bottle. Lettering is reminiscent of plate engraving of the type one sees on currency or bonds, nice touch. Decent synthetic cork is a good tight fit without being a challenge to open.
Final Thoughts: Well made with good, distinctive flavors and mouthfeel along with being deadly smooth. The only gin we know of made from honey or one that even uses honey in their gin – never mind using it as a base. Making a gin made from one of the most expensive base materials around (maple syrup in Vermont Gold being a close second) is a expensive, tricky and rather labor intensive undertaking for which they are to be commended! Considering all the expense of using honey as they are they deliver deliver an excellent gin for the money.
Good simple web site easy navigation, simple and straightforward with good information and recipes. Also a link to a facebook page.