California’s St. George markets four different gins as part of its permanent lineup, including Dry Rye and Terroir, reviewed here, which is inspired by the flora of Marin County — where Drinkhacker previously made its home before moving to Austin, Texas. The botanical list includes 12 products, including local Douglas fir, California bay laurel, fennel, sage, and of course juniper — plus (non-native) coriander, among other ingredients. The base for the distillate is unclear.
I brought a bottle of Terroir with me on the trip. Does it evoke the rolling (golden brown) hills of California? Let’s find out.
The nose is definitely refreshing and clean, the bay leaf notes popping right away, making a pleasant counterpart to the milder juniper aromas. Gentle citrus, lemon and lime, appear with a bit of time in glass, with a slightly smoky note — California, indeed! — wafting throughout. The palate is super clean. More fresh bay leaf and juniper, a touch of pepper, with that coriander and a cardamom note building toward the finish. Notes of evergreen become all-encompassing and less distinct — but plenty lively — with a mild smear of fruit working to balance things out in the end.
Versatile as can be, this is a well-rounded (and wholly affordable) gin that works well in anything you could envision for it.