Cold River Traditional Gin
Last week I wrote about an organic gin from Vermont. This week I’m taking on a gluten-free gin that is also Kosher certified. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me if a gin is organic or gluten-free or Kosher, but I know that it does for others. If you are one of those people, read last week’s and this week’s posts. Unfortunately, I don’t know any gins that are both organic and gluten-free just yet, but stay tuned, maybe I will find one.
Maine Distillers’ primary spirit is vodka and like their vodka they make their gin out of Maine potatoes, which is what makes it gluten-free. They add seven botanicals including juniper, coriander, orris root, angelica and cardamom. There is also lemon and orange peel. They distill it strong at 47% ABV.
Some people claim that Cold River is a London Dry style, but for me the herbals come through above the juniper. As I mentioned last week, I did a side-by-side tasting of Green Mountain and Cold River. Drinking it next to Green Mountain revealed more complexity with cardamom and a light floral flavor coming through first. It’s stronger than most gins, both in alcohol and taste and so can stand up to more tonic than my normally one to three ratio. Even though it packs a punch, it sips well neat.
Cold River Traditional Gin comes in a traditional looking bottle. It has old fashioned green glass and a mostly black and white label. The ingredients, written in an archaic font, circle the label in latin. I had to do some work both to read and translate “citrus sinensis”.
I tasted Green Mountain and Cold River side by side and Cold River came out on top, but not by a lot. They both earned a recommended, and the quality of the two is roughly equal. I personally prefer the complex style of Cold River, to the clean but juniper forward Green Mountain. If being gluten-free or Kosher are necessary for you, then this is a gin you want to add to your collection. Even if it isn’t, it might still be worthy addition, especially if you are in New England and would like a local gin. Recommended
Gin # 007
G&T Ratio 1:3
Distillers notes: “Find the perfect balance of botanical flavor with the handcrafted gin that promises genuinely good taste. Like our world-famous vodkas, our gluten-free gin is made with whole Maine potatoes and the pure water of Maine’s Cold River. Using a recipe that dates back to the early days of British gin, we use our own secret blend of seven traditional botanicals that are steeped for the perfect amount of time to infuse the essential flavors. The end result is a true handcrafted American spirit that delights the true gin lover with a perfectly dry, exquisitely balanced and invigorating taste experience.”