Who the heck is Russell Henry? I’m not sure, but I’m guessing Craft Distillers is referring to this guy, a chemist and expert in digestion from the late 1800s. Not sure he had anything to do with gin, but in a funny coincidence, there is a Henry Russell who wrote about the cotton gin in this book.
Think about all of that while you sip on these gins, namesakes of, er, somebody (but not distiller Crispin Cain). One is a London Dry. Two are flavored gins — unusual, but since gin is really just flavored vodka, not a crazy idea. Both of the flavors are, per Craft Distillers, “works in progress” that they will continue to tinker with.
Thoughts follow on the state of these gins as of January 2013.
Russell Henry London Dry Gin – More piney than juniper, like a walk through an evergreen forest. You don’t get the overwhelming prickliness of juniper-heavy gins, instead finding sweetness, citrus, and cardamom notes. Hints of pepper on the nose. Great overall structure and balance, but very light on the body. It will stand up to simple tonic but is likely too delicate for more complex cocktails. 93.4 proof. A-
Russell Henry Malaysian Lime Gin – Made with leaves and fruit from limau purut limes from, yes, Malaysia. Not much lime on the nose here, and it’s very slight on the body, too. Slightly earthy and with just a touch of lemon/lime character, but otherwise difficult to distinguish from the London Dry. 94 proof. A-
Russell Henry Hawaiian Ginger Gin – The ginger is organic, from Kauai. Far stronger and more unique, with a distinct ginger character on the nose that melds nicely with the citrus elements. The notes from the London Dry still apply, plus a spicy kick in the end. I like the way it all works together. This is the gin to use in that exotic cocktail you’re making — or even something to spice up a simple G&T. 94.6 proof. A-
1200 bottles of each are initially being produced. Arriving this month nationally.