A vanilla forward citrus and juniper gin. Very interesting and has the makings for a whole new take on gin cocktails.
Notes: Last Shot Distillery is one of the newest distilleries in New York State ( producing, selling, and aging products not just setting up as many are). Run by Chris Uyehara and a very small team, Chris is a master chef and pastry chef and brings his art and attention to detail to all his products. Last Shot uses water from the local Finger Lake Skaneateles Lake, with minimal filtering ( just to remove any chlorine) to maintain a local character to the water and spirit, rather than use RO water which to me is completely boring and neutral filler for a spirit. While the distillery itself is barely two years old at present, they still have a very ambitious whiskey program with stocks or Rye, Bourbon, and even Triticale Whiskey.
This is one of his newest releases of a white spirit, a gin produced by vapor distillation ( basket hung in the column of the still ), in the New World Gin style, with a minimized juniper presence and accent on citrus.
Their current line up of white spirits includes a nicely flavorful vodka, a 100% corn unaged white whiskey, a dry white maple distillate, a sweet maple distillate, A Bourbon Chocolate Creme, an unaged white whiskey called Lightning Whiskey using a bourbon mash bill and named after a famous class/type sailboat that was made on the property.
The white whiskey was put in fresh new charred American oak barrels and now that stocks of this whiskey have been aged and bottled it is now a bourbon and is reviewed in the following links: the first release from 5 gallons at about 3 months, then three times as big at 15 gallons and aged for three as long at 12 months, a 2 year -old bourbon whiskey aged in a new charred oak 30-gallon barrels and the newest version ( so far) is a Last Shot Bourbon from a 30-gallon barrel at 3 years old. Although Chris is very careful to barrel when it is at its peak and not sticking to a particular age just for bragging rights or public perception. Made in small – about 100 gallon stills, they concentrate on small batch and quality.
Back to the gin now. Last Shot Gin uses a small but distinctive group of botanicals. With cardamom, orange and lemon peel, vanilla, and of course juniper to make this new world gin.
Appearance: Clear and silvery, on swirling it forms a nice even oily coat of botanicals, when the line starts to recede it leaves a series of small tears or droplets on the inside of your glass.
First Impression: Vanilla and lemon with an earthy grounding of coriander, the orange and juniper emerge behind all of these with the clean spirits smell blending it all into a sort of vanilla citrus creamsicle.
Taste: An interesting twist on the usual juniper centric expectations one has about gin.
Drinks: I think this gin needs a lot of experimentation to bring out its best. That said I think it is an exciting new gin to work with.
Bottle: Quite similar to the other Whiskey packages/products they produce and only differing in minor details ( such as the type of spirit of course) Well done and distinctive label – unlike most. Clear glass apothecary type bottle with nicely weighty decanter type bottom and a good grade of glass and a black topped ridged stopper – which is particularly convenient as it affords a good grip for easy opening. Composite cork guarantees a good seal and no loss or leakage. Sealed with a black neckwear/capsule that has a thankfully contrasting pull ribbon and is easy to remove. The label is a Chartreuse green in color. Other spirits have different colors for each type. making them easy to distinguish from each other at a glance.
Overall a very attractive and easy to spot package on a store shelf, back bar, or home bar. Well done!
Other: Think Hendricks Gin but swap out the cucumber and rose for vanilla.
Final Thoughts: An interesting and challenging new gin that is unique in its vanilla forward composition. I think in the hands of someone with some imagination there is a lot of possibility for new, tasty and unique cocktails
Nicely done website that is simple to navigate and easy to use. A bit spare to be frank, ( OK maybe I go in for geeky details) but easy to get around and fast loading.