You’ve certainly had gin before, but have you ever had a luxury gin? Neither have I, but it looks like that changes today. High Goal Luxury Gin is produced by Grain & Barrel Spirits (of Chicken Cock Whiskey fame) in beautiful and old-monied Charleston, South Carolina, where one might imagine a certain tier of drinkers to prefer their premium spirits be so explicitly labeled. Co-founder Nic Roldan is an American polo player, so you’ll find no shortage of pretty pony footage on their website, another not-so-subtle nod to the well-heeled. It was while playing polo in the United Kingdom that Nic supposedly fell in love with gin and set his sights on producing High Goal.
High Goal’s flavor profile is meant to reflect Charleston and the greater southeastern United States through the use of botanicals like Meyer lemon and Kentucky mint. The gin base, distilled from corn, is also infused via maceration with more typical gin ingredients like juniper, coriander, and cardamom. I’m not sure I’m appropriately dressed for the occasion, but let’s dig into this one, shall we?
I’ve been to Charleston. Several times. And I wouldn’t quite say this smells of the South. That said, the aroma is quite appealing. The juniper definitely takes a back seat, in customary New American style, to bold, fresh notes of sliced lemon, wintergreen, and coriander. With time in the glass, the citrus really starts to dominate, keeping things bright and mildly sweet. The palate, however, sees that sweetness kicked up quite a bit with thick notes of powdered sugar and peppermint bark. Again, the lemon dominates with the other botanicals struggling for recognition. The finish is clean and tart with a fading menthol note. While well-built and exceedingly approachable, this one strikes me as more of a bottled Lemon Drop than gin. But maybe that’s what fancy people like to drink in Charleston.
B+ / $50 / highgoalgin.com