Review: Old George Barrel Aged Gin (Fermentorium Distilling Co.) / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Fermentorium Distilling Co.
Red Wine Cask (French Oak)
100% BC barley and botanicals
Distiller Fermentorium Distilling Co. (Victoria, BC)

Usually, when you see a barrel-aged gin, it is matured in ex-bourbon oak, and, on occasion, new oak. Here we have something totally different - a gin aged in a French oak cask that had a former life of a red wine cask. The distillery loved the flavours and colours coming from the wine cask, and, as a result, we have this - Old George Barrel aged gin.

The gin is named after the 1920s copper pot still that originated in the UK but was brought to the Okanagan in the 1950s to be put to work in the Okanagan valley in BC. The still hadn’t been used in thirty years when the distillery acquired it, and, understandably, it was in need of significant repairs. In 2014, spirit started flowing from the still yet again and it was dubbed “Old George”.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2020

  • Bottling Code: N/A

As a barrel-aged gin, you get different notes than your white gins – this is oaky, sweet, and very spicy with the tannins really playing in as well. However, this one is a bit different – it has a definite wine note rather than the typical oak/bourbon notes.

Behind the oak, there are lots of candied fruit notes (fresh candied, but also wine gums), light floral notes, black pepper, dried lemon peel and (of course) juniper notes. The wine definitely has a bit of an oxidized note to it, which I quite like – similar to a sherry cask.

Assessment: Recommended.