Fermentorium Distilling co

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

Image courtesy of Fermentorium Distilling Co.
ABV
43%
Aging
Red Wine Cask (French Oak)
Recipe
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.


Review: Stump Coastal Forest Gin (Fermentorium Distilling Co.) by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Fermentorium Distilling Co.
ABV
42%
Aging
None
Recipe
100% BC barley and botanicals
Distiller Fermentorium Distilling Co. (Victoria, BC)

Stump gin is described as a “coastal forest gin”, and it is made using hand-foraged herbs and unique botanicals grown in British Columbia. These botanicals are incorporated into the gin using both maceration and vapour distillation - these include juniper, bay laurel, cascade hops, coriander, grand fir, and lavender.

The gin is made from in-house malted Vancouver Island barley before being distilled through an old 1920-era British still and then through a new German still.


Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2020

  • Bottling Code: N/A

Awesome flavours, especially on the woody side – all sorts of pine, spruce, and juniper. “Forest Gin” is appropriate. But, behind that – we have a brilliant integration of spice and citrus. The lines between lemon peel and the lemony notes of pine become blurred, and the lines between the spicy notes of juniper and black pepper are also blurred. There is a light minerality to it, much like notes you get on the coast. Great integration.

I love the stuff – it is very much a mix of a coastal forest – forest floor, evergreen forest, light sea breeze, and spice.

Assessment: Exceptional (!!!). This is pretty well my absolute favourite style of finesse, depth, and character for a gin.


Review: Discovery Street Dry Citrus Gin (Fermentorium Distilling Co.) by Jason Hambrey

Image Courtesy of Fermentorium Distilling Co.

Image Courtesy of Fermentorium Distilling Co.

ABV
43%
Aging
None
Recipe
100% BC barley and botanicals
Distiller Fermentorium Distilling Co. (Victoria, BC)

Phillips beer is one of the only breweries to malt their own barley, in their Malt Works facility. This enables the brewery (and distillery) to use local barley and malt it in a way that enables them to lower their environmental emissions and give them flexibility in what they produce.

Once the grain is malted, it is transformed into spirit. Then, some botanicals are macerated in the spirit and some are put in a vapour basket through which the gin is distilled. This gin uses juniper berries, grains of paradise, cassia bark, black pepper, coriander, grapefruit, and lemon peel.


Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2020

  • Bottling Code: N/A

Very bright and citrusy. Ginger bread, lemon, grapefruit, cinnamon, mace, coriander, cilantro, and a nice backing of juniper. And – the lightest touch of grain – which I, of course, like. There is a nice perceived sweetness (it isn’t actually very sweet) on the palate. A fascinating mix of botanicals, with a nice undercurrant of spice but remaining bright, interesting, and complex. Medium bodied, without being heavy - which is nice for a gin.

I find the mix of flavours fascinating, and it evolves over time. Fascinating stuff.

And, if your go-to is a gin and tonic, this is awesome there too.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.