St. George Gins

Years ago a fabulous friend and former Whisky Lady came for a visit to Mumbai from the US… she brought along some treats!

These California beauties patiently waited for the right opportunity… cracked open to help bring in the new year, in hopes that 2022 would break the COVID cycle!

So what do we know? Well… this isn’t our 1st brush with St. George… We first explored this American craft distillery’s Single Malt – more specifically from their Lot 16. It was a positive experience and I was certainly looking forward to discovering more from these folks.

Enter these St. George Gins – Terroir, Botanical and Dry Rye

Rather than detailed tasting notes, I’ve shared overall impressions…

St. George Terroir Gin 45%

Love this one! It has a fabulously fresh and clean quality – like stepping into a forest during a spring rain. Could completely catch the fir, sage, sweet bay leaf… intoxicating in a delightful herbal way.

Personally, I preferred this one straight on the rocks… letting the chilled water heighten the bright cheerful experience.

What more do we know?

Forest-driven and earthy, Terroir is a profoundly aromatic gin with a real sense of place. We wanted to make a spirit that conveyed what we love about the monumental groves of trees, moist and misty glens, and sun-baked chaparral of our favorite local parklands.

With Terroir Gin, we try to take you there with Douglas fir, California bay laurel, coastal sage, and other evocative botanicals. 


St. George Botanivore Gin 45%

Super sweet and summery, this gin is amped up on botanicals – a cornucopia of scents.

If Terroir was a cool fresh spring rain, Botanivore was hot summer sunshine, bursting with a garden of herbs, flowers and spices….

For me, this one worked well with a slightly bitter tonic which acts as a nice counter-point to the sweet abundance of aromas. I also suspect it could make a mighty fine dry martini. 

What more do we know?

Botanivore, our “botanical eater,” is comprised of 19 different botanicals working in concert. Think of a meadow in bloom—herbaceous, fresh, and elegant.

What’s in it? Count with us… angelica root, bay laurel, bergamot peel, black peppercorn, caraway, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, citra hops, coriander, dill seed, fennel seed, ginger, juniper berries, lemon peel, lime peel, orris root, Seville orange peel, star anise!


St. George Dry Rye Gin 45%

OK… This one surprised me. I don’t quite know what I was expecting but imagined it would have just a hint of rye? I certainly hadn’t dreamt of a full-force rye battling with juniper, a curious cross-breed which is neither rye nor gin!

As I sipped and sniffed, I found the Rye side was quite grain forward. Yet it was paired with equally bold gin elements – clear juniper, black peppercorns, citrust twist… 

I confess that I struggled with the Rye Gin. When I first tried it, I had only tonic water and soda as mix options. Frankly either ocmbination didn’t quite work for me.

If anything this made me think of a Canadian rye & ginger ale. So many days later, I pulled Dry Rue out to try again.. this time with the right mix! 

The result? Much better! It was still curious but worked well with ice and ginger ale – something brighter than a standard Rye and deeper than a typical Gin.

The folks at St. George also recommend using it as a base for an Old Fashioned or Negroni. Hmm… perhaps the next try!

What more do we know?

A base of 100% pot-distilled rye makes this a gin for whiskey lovers—and for gin im-purists willing to take a walk on the rye side.

Think genever, then think again—and brace yourself for a gin with structure, spice, and an impossibly rich mouthfeel.

…for Dry Rye Gin we chose just six botanical ingredients: Juniper berries are the star here (50% more than in either of our other two gins), complemented by black peppercorn, caraway, coriander, grapefruit peel, lime peel—which were all selected to play up the peppery nature of juniper that we love so much.

Once again, many thanks to our lovely lady (you know who you are!). We miss you like mad!

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Additionally, there are two ‘off-shoots’ with:

American Night – St. George Lot No 16 43%

We continued our explorations of American drams with a hard to find single malt – St. George. None of us had tried it before so it was a pleasure to discover together!

Which is in many ways surprising as St. George is not new to artisan spirits – founded in 1982 – however isn’t as they are newer to our favourite spirit – whisky. While their website does not specify when exactly they started to produce single malts, there is mention Lot 12 (from 2012) and so forth. With the latest Single Malt Lot 17, in honour of their 35th year of operations… if you can find it.

What they do say about their approach is compelling:

We’re passionate about distillation in all its forms, but we don’t release a spirit unless we feel we have something new and valid to contribute to the conversation. We want to be able to pick our spirits out of a lineup on smell and taste alone because they’re exceptional.

For us, all that matters is the whiskey…. so on to our experience.

St. George Lot No SM016 43%

  • Nose – Oily, almost like smelling baklava, rose, distinctly different, quite herbaceous, cherry, lemon pine sol, sugar coated saunf (fennel seed)
  • Palate – It tastes exceedingly… er… rather pronounced… er… hemp like quality… a potpourri of after mint like you get in packages on Jet Airways flights, once past the herbal dimension, there is an creamy malty almost chocolaty element
  • Finish – Quite a decent finish, more of that fennel, a bit of bitter almond

I can’t help it… there is no other way to say it… this could be a gateway single malt for (ahem) medical marijuana smokers…

Setting that aside, it is unusual, fresh, and frankly really quite enjoyable and well worth trying.

We set it aside for some time and with the revisit found:

  • Nose – Sour varnish, nuts, surf, packaged flowers
  • Palate – Sweet flowers, still very herbal but with enough substance to enjoy
  • Finish – Less bitter and continued the herbal theme

And what do the folks over at St. George have to say about this dram on the label?

For the better part of two decades, we’ve been handcrafting single malt in 65-gallon pot stills here in California out of love for what whiskey can be. The result is an uncommonly smooth and ethereal single malt with notes of cocoa, roasted hazelnut, and hardwood smoke.

Would we agree? Yes.

Our whisky host admitted this was the most expensive bottle of the evening array… hard to find and likely to set you back $150. We concluded that while for such a price point, you can have a superior single malt from Scotland, yet we had no regrets having an opportunity to try the St. George… and for those curious to see what the American’s can do whisky wise, it is worthy of tracking down.

What else did we sample in our mostly Bourbon night?

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BMC’s Bourbon – Jefferson’s, St George, Blanton’s, Stagg

Our Bombay Malt & Cigar (BMC) gents are definitely going beyond the borders of Scottish Single Malts… the latest in this flirting with other drams was an evening devoted to bourbon… with an American single malt whiskey thrown in for good measure!

So what did we sample?

You can also find more North American whiskies in the “US & Canada” page!

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