Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Vermouth Barrel Finished Gin, St. Augustine Distillery, Fla.

St. Augustine, Fla.—It looks like bourbon but it smells like gin with a secret. It’s vermouth barrel-finished gin made by St. Augustine Distillery. It’s made with Florida grown sugar cane juice, Florida citrus peel and 25 other botanicals. It is like a martini in a bottle. It has a fabulous, I-think-I-just-walked-into-the-most-expensive –spice-shop-in-the-world-in-a-glass, kind of gin taste.

Red Vermouth Barrel Finished New World Gin by
St. Augustine Distillery, St. Augustine, Fla.
Copyright 2016 by Helen A Lockey
St. Augustine Distillery released this rare, experimental craft spirit, earlier this year, at their St. Augustine, Florida location. Using their award winning small batch New World Gin as a base they produced just 1200 white and 1200 red vermouth barrel finished spirit bottles.

Kara Pound, PR spokesperson for St. Augustine distillery said, “Typically, gin is not barrel aged at all. It can be aged in bourbon barrels and yes, we wanted to make a natural martini (white vermouth) and negroni (red vermouth).”

Before I bought my the red vermouth barrel finished gin I asked one of the distillers if I could buy it anywhere else and he said, “Oh no, it is an experimental gin and can only be purchased in our distillery.” So I bought two bottles of the red vermouth barrel finished gin, at $45 each, even though I am not a gin drinker. 

Getting home I poured a small measure of gin into a glass, neat, without ice. Then I began swirling the liquid both to aerate and release any excess alcohol from the amber deliciousness lurking in the bottom of my glass.

I also blew into the glass every few minutes to push the remaining alcohol particles free.

Sticking my nose deep into the glass I inhaled. It was like I was standing at the threshold of a spice shop in Thailand or old Bombay.

Gingerly, I took a long, smooth sip and swirled the liquid across my tongue inhaling as it slid across my mouth and down my throat. Subtle aromas of sweet dried apricots and vanilla mixed with bold hints of juniper, anise, ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar and caramelized citrus. Wow.

This is a gin to be sipped for flavor and not gulped for buzz. If you want a buzz choose a cheaper, mass produced brand. If you want to be transported away from the hassles of everyday life, even for a moment, then buy this gin and sip yourself into another state of mind.

So if you get a chance to get up to the St. Augustine Distillery before the end of the year or before they run out of this marvelous gin, then snag yourself a bottle or two and don’t complain about the price because you’ll be sipping a one of a kind gin made with Florida grown sugar cane juice and other Florida grown ingredients.

They are located at: 112 Riberia Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084
Phone: (904) 825-4962

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