We’ve already explored several offerings from East Coast craft producer Baltimore Spirits, from their Epoch Rye to several unique American amari. Also included in their extensive and varied portfolio is a line of gins under the Shot Tower label, named for the famous downtown Baltimore landmark used to make musket balls which was, until 1846, the tallest structure in America (neat!). Anyway, we got our hands on a pair of these Shot Tower gins, the standard offering and its barrel-aged variant. Thoughts follow.
Baltimore Spirits Shot Tower Gin – This gin is distilled from corn with a botanical mix that includes juniper, coriander, curacao orange peels, jasmine, cassia, angelica root, and green tea. On the nose, the juniper takes a backseat to more prominent floral notes, but those are well-balanced against a drier, peppercorn quality and plenty of freshly peeled citrus. The palate is dry and crisp with earthy juniper and fresh-ground baking spice that turns gently sweeter into the mid-palate as notes of citrus oil and licorice build. The finish is a pleasing return to drier form with a kiss of tea leaves and a lingering peppery heat. Well suited for a martini or any, more elaborate cocktail. 100 proof. A- / $33
Baltimore Spirits Barreled Shot Tower Gin – For the barrel-aged variant of Shot Tower, Baltimore Spirits takes its standard Shot Tower gin and ages it for nine months in used Epoch Rye barrels. The nose shows plenty of the barrel-aging, upping the dryness considerably with dusty oak, wood polish, and exotic, but not overly bold, incense notes. The competition between juniper and wood – almost cedar closet as it opens up – is a bit overbearing, but the softer floral and citrus notes add some welcome balance. On the palate, there’s an immediate sweetness, honeyed and gentle but a marked contrast from the standard offering. The juniper is woven nicely into bigger cinnamon, coriander, and candied orange notes that build into a syrupy finish of black licorice and nougat. 100 proof. A- / $33