Death’s Door Distillery, in Middleton, Wisconsin, is one of the most venerable of American craft distilling operations, having been founded way back in 2005. On the eve of the company revamping its labels and brand ID — the gin (new bottle pictured) is now in a “lighter bottle with better grab points and greater balance” — we figured it was time to give the spirit a full review.
Death’s Door is a surprisingly simple gin, which starts with a base of Washington Island wheat and malted barley from Chilton, Wisconsin. The white spirit is then infused with just three botanicals: juniper berries, coriander, and fennel seeds.
That’s a simple composition, but Death’s Door has more to offer beyond those basic beginnings. For sure, you can taste its trio of botanical components quite clearly — modest juniper, a dusky citrus coriander, and a licorice whip of fennel on the back end. After that simple beginning, a surprising conclusion awaits. Pie crust notes linger on the finish, along with notes of graham crackers, mint, and tobacco, adding complexity to a spirit where one wouldn’t expect to find it.
B+ / $25 / deathsdoorspirits.com