We last checked in on Asheville’s Eda Rhyne Distilling Company back in 2020 when their young portfolio featured only a trio of impressive herbal liqueurs. Three years and one global pandemic later, these mountain medicine makers have added to their lineup with a handful of new offerings including an RTD and a long-awaited rye whiskey which we’ll cover at a later date. Today, we’re taking a look at a gin, perhaps the most straightforward spirit in their stable, and yet another amaro. Thoughts follow.
Eda Rhyne Pinnix Gin – Named for founder and distiller Rett Murphy’s grandmother, a notorious “guerrilla gardener,” this gin is reportedly made from classic botanicals anchored by foraged eastern hemlock and angelica. The aroma kicks off with a big rush of mountain forest notes: dusty juniper, pine resin, spearmint, and wet leaves. It’s a big bouquet, initially classic in its juniper profile, but things become uniquely earthy and green as it opens. The palate is light with a mild spice and easy warmth. Dry top notes of grated baking spice, tea leaves, and exotic wood dominate with a subtle, sweet juniper element arriving surprisingly late in the game. The finish arrives with a spun sugar sweetness and fading notes of peppermint, licorice, and pine needles. I don’t know if it’s the hemlock or what, but there seems to be quite a bit of mountain terroir packed in this bottle. It’s a unique and well-executed gin with lots of cocktail possibilities. I’m just not sure a classic martini is one of them. 92 proof. A- / $37
Eda Rhyne Amaro Oscura – The distillery’s latest amaro offering is an unusual one, made from smoked rhubarb root and autumnal Appalachian plants. The aroma is tailor-made for the fall season with deep, warm notes of campfire smoke and menthol. It’s unsurprisingly quite earthy with an almost juniper-driven sweetness and plenty of fresh cut wood. The palate is a bit restrained and monotone, however, with a weighty, almost milky, body. Early notes of chicory, tobacco, and candied ginger become more chocolaty across the palate with a brief flourish of rhubarb that’s more vegetal than bitter. The finish is a bit watery with fading notes of coffee grounds and muddled mint. A surprisingly mild amaro from the team at Eda Rhyne, but it still makes a pretty good Lo-Life cocktail. 60 proof. B+ / $40