Three Gins from Saint George Spirits

I should post this tomorrow, since it would be ten years to the day since I got myself these three little gins. But I won’t.

So, ALMOST a decade ago I was vacationing in the USA and we decided to visit St. George Spirits in Alameda. Across from San Francisco with a rather kick-ass view of that. It was a bit of a surprise to find myself steering the car into a navy base, and it got me to double-check, and triple-check the address before continuing on.

We did the tour there and I blogged about that a little less than a decade ago, here.

But, after all was said and done I did buy the three-pack of gins containing the Botanivore, Terroir and Dry Rye gins. 20cl each. For no real reason I just put that in one of the booze cupboards in my wee home office.

But, again without any proper reason, I decided it was time to start drinking them. I got myself some nice tonic (Fentiman’s) and dove in a little while ago. And yesterday, I did a second round without tonic to taste and assess the gins themselves.

Botanivore Gin

With tonic:
I did add a slice of lemon, and strangely, that’s what I got mostly. Lime and the tonic. There’s a lot of citrus scents from the gin, and a minor note of juniper.

The palate is quite dry with the botanicals sort-of cancelling each other out. It’s fairly generic, all in all.

Without tonic:
Much as expected (and apparently I thought similar thoughts ten years ago) it focuses on rather generic gin notes. Some citrus, juniper, lime and lemon.

The palate is surprisingly dry, which I didn’t get before, but there’s also a sharpness and a strange creaminess. Quite some pepper and a bitter lemon note.

Dry Rye Gin

With tonic:
This is bone dry with heaps of rye grain. Almost like a whisky spirit. Some mint like spiciness, orange and juniper. Very spirity.

The whisky spirit continues on the palate, bone dry with lots of rye spices like orange, mint and a pithy bitterness too.

Without tonic:
Lots of rye spices in orange, mint and nutmeg. Orange seeds and some ginger.

Slightly fatty, which isn’t too uncommon for a rye spirit. So, once more, it’s very much like a rye whisky spirit. Orange, grain, citrus pith and bitterness.

Terroir Gin

With tonic:
The focus on the botanicals is very strong. Pine and spices, leafy herbs. Rather foresty, and it leaves no room for the slice of lime.

The palate continues with the forest notes. Almost like the air in a redwood forest after some rain.

Without tonic:
The pine notes are incredible, and incredibly gorgeous. There’s lime and juniper too, with bay leaf and other herbs.

Like the Dry Rye gin, there’s a fattiness to it. More peppery than on the nose, black and white pepper, bay leaf and lots of pine.

Strangely, on the finish the lime note turns a little bit to the ‘detergent’ side, which takes it down a notch. A shame.

If I had to rank them, and I do because that’s what I do here, I’d put the Botanivore last. It’s a solid gin, with quite a high level of quality, but it just doesn’t stand out as much as the others. It’s a bit too generic.

The Terroir and Dry Rye are both stunning gins, with a very different audience, I think.

My sister mentioned that the Dry Rye one smelled of manure, and even though it surprised me, I think she’s right. That is NOT a bad thing if you’re into whisky. In a weird way, it even reminds me of Brora, with it’s massive notes of sheep farm.

I think I put both of these on the same level of quality, although the Terroir Gin is more typical of a gin, and I guess that makes it more accessible by people who like gin, instead of folks who prefer whisky.

Gorgeous stuff, these last two. A shame all bottles are empty now.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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