Fourteen can be an awkward age for some. But for Rogue Spirits, it was time to grow up and get a new wardrobe. That’s why they’re putting their two-year-old Dead Guy Whiskey, three-year-old Oregon Rye Whiskey, five-year-old Single Malt Whiskey and two gins – Spruce Gin and Pinot Spruce Gin – in bottles that make them look their age.
Back in 2004, then-Mayor Bud Clark cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the first Rogue distillery in Portland’s Pearl District. Oregon’s first rum distillery since Prohibition had arrived but they were just getting started. Over the next three years, they hand crafted four spirits: three styles of rum and their Spruce Gin, introduced in January of 2007. The more recently released Pinot Spruce Gin has been aged for approximately six months in used barrels from the Chehalem Winery in Newberg, Oregon.
Both gins contain Spruce, Juniper Berries, Ginger, Fresh Cucumber, Orris Root, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Tangerine, Grains of Paradise, Angelica Root, Coriander & Free Range Coastal Water.
Spruce Gin (90 proof)
Nose: Quite a bouquet of fruit, cucumber, spruce and juniper. There’s even a surprising note of banana.
Taste: A heft of cucumber on the initial entry, quickly followed by dry and crisp juniper. The citrus takes a bit longer to arrive, but leaves a refreshing lemon-orange flavor.
Finish: Smooth, clean and remarkably fresh tasting. The combination of veg and fruit makes for a lively exit.
Overall: A lovely gin in the new world style. Ideal for complex gin based cocktails that need body.
GSN Rating: A
Pinot Spruce Gin (90 proof)
Visual: Light pinkish apricot.
Nose: Mostly juniper, but also a fruity touch of red wine. Very slight oak.
Taste: Most of the subtleties found in Rogue’s flagship gin have been greatly softened by the time spent in an ex-wine cask. Instead, a warm and fruity sweetness pushes forward and teases the palate.
Finish: Fairly long, with a lot of the fruit staying on for a lengthy visit.
Overall: This is almost a cocktail in itself. Try stirring a few ounces with some ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with an orange twist. An unusual gin that works on its own, but also will play well with non-vermouth based concoctions.
GSN Rating: A-
For more information go to: Rogue