Overall The Lakeward Spirits Evergreen Gin reminds me of a Vieux Systeme Genever with the lovely grain base expression of the distillate.
Notes: A fairly new distillery in Buffalo New York at the Barrel Factory near Silo City. Using a bewilderingly complex ( even to me) copper column still they produce a variety of spirits, vodka, Genever style gins, and a rum so far.
I should also point out that they use local grains and mill and malt them in-house and make all their own distillates – no GNS or shortcuts here. They are even working on isolating and propagating their own strains of local yeast. One of the more interesting facets of their environmentalism/green cred is a 5000-gallon cistern/tank underneath the distillery that recycles cooling water to heat the building and use for many other applications as needed – which is a possible first for a distillery in New York state.
Made with 16 different herbs and spices – we can pick out the Juniper, anise, grains of paradise, cinnamon and some of the other usual suspects, but there are a few that we cannot quite articulate just yet.
Appearance: Silvery, clear as a bell leaving a medium heavy nicely oily coat on the glass with thick legs and droplets forming as the meniscus retreats.
First Impression: Grain, lots of grain comes across first wrapping the Juniper, possible anise, licorice, grains of paradise, touches of cinnamon around a barley, rye, wheat, malt base. For those unfamiliar with Genever type gin, think a well done Irish Whiskey with an infusion of gin botanicals, giving you a gin with a milder and much fuller body to it
Taste: More of a new style Genever than a London Dry because the grain base still weighs in with a lot of flavor. Evergreen Gin is not one of those distilled to death ( of flavor at least) gins. Which is refreshing to me.
Drinks: I’m going to go ahead and steal an idea from the Gin is In page and suggest a “Death in the Gulfstream” Cocktail From Charles Baker and the 1946 Gentleman’s Companion. One of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite pick me up, similar in style to his Pappa Doble in terms of dry and sour enough to take the paint off a car, so some may wish to sweeten it a tad. But it does show off the gin nicely.
Bottle: Tall cylindrical bright clear glass with a distinctively sloping shoulder, unlike the rounded shoulders of many bottles of this general configuration. The neck of the bottle is a good length affording a comfortable grip, and the bottom has a solid decanter type thickness so it is nicely balanced and stable. The labels are directly silkscreened on the glass bottles. Synthetic black corks with clear plastic shrinkwrap complete the overall attractive and easy to spot package.
Other: A great gin to create new cocktails with as the flavors and style of gin are rare and you will be breaking new ground in mixology. Also, I should point out that if you are in the Buffalo area they have a bar, wedding reception/event hall and a cigar porch up on the third floor of the distillery. A lovely place to visit or have an event!
Final Thoughts: Overall a very well made Genever type gin. Beats the New Bols Genever and many others hands down.