In the world of spirits, there are some curious cross-overs…. whisky with beer finish or beery whisky come to mind, however to the best of my knowledge, these two whiskied gin and gin botanical infused whisky hybrids – Endeavor and Forager – from Canada were our first brush in such combinations.
So…. did they work?
Endeavour Gin “Old Tom” Barrel Aged 45%
From The Liberty Distillery on Vancouver’s Granville Island, I was surprised to learn there is a German connection – via their copper pot stills.
Typically one doesn’t do tasting notes in quite the same way with gin… however here goes:
- Nose – Mmmm… oh now that is a lovely enticing gin aroma – subtle juniper and a really nice interplay with the oak, refreshing…. teasing with fresh mint, citrus peel and coriander
- Palate – Yum! The berries and botanicals really come forward together with a peppery spice, oak and a curiously compelling perfume, piquant yet sweet and savoury all at once – a surprisingly delicious combination
This is one dangerously drinkable gin that has quite a happy ‘nod’ to whisky with the cask influence. Some ‘hybrids’ simply don’t stand up, whereas this one works!
I couldn’t resist the temptation and simply had to try it with some chunks of ice and a splash of soda – delightful!
What more do we know?
Endeavour Old Tom Gin begins with our 100% organic BC triple-distilled wheat spirit. (10) traditional botanicals are slowly infused during re-distillation in our single copper pot still. The gin is then further macerated with a blend of (5) additional local and traditional botanicals before resting in 220-litre French Oak barrels for several months, to slowly gain character, complexity and colour.
What do they have to say about the gin itself?
Endeavour Old Tom is a taste of history based on records dating back to the 1850’s. It is a full-flavoured, full-bodied, mahogany-coloured gin with a rich, intense nose. On the palate there is a pronounced spicy fruitcake character with notes of juniper, mint, orange blossom and mulberry, all intertwined with the oak to produce a mouth filling assortment of enticing flavours. The finish is long, powerful, spicy and compelling. Liberty’s Old Tom will delight adventurous gin enthusiasts; Old Tom is the gin for Whiskey Lovers.
The Forager 40%
In another hybrid cross-over, we have a botanical whisky…. how did it compare with the whisky barrel-aged gin?
- Nose – A peculiar almost perfume-like sweetness, I also get subtle notes of spruce and a hint of tea together with Juniper, sage and something else I couldn’t quite place… a curious varnish, vanilla
- Palate – More pine, a bit salty.. whisky but not entirely whisky…
- Finish – Nothing much, a prickly spice
Overall… not nearly so successful as the gin, I’m afraid.
What do the folks at Forty Creek have to say?
The Forager is the world’s first botanical Canadian whisky. Foraged from the Canadian wilderness, searching far and wide to respectfully and responsibly hand pick the finest natural botanicals to steep into world-class whisky. A lighter style whisky with intricate, interwoven flavours and Ultra-silky texture.
And their tasting notes?
- Aromas – Bright citrus and light toffee, pine needles and straw
- Flavour – Lively white pepper, flares of sandalwood and pine evolve on the palate
- Finish – Great minerality, herbs and baking spices dominate the finish with diminishing acidity
Both interesting hybrid’s from Canada, with one clearly
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