Distiller’s Notes – That Old Devil’s Bathtub Gin
Below are my personal notes on a focused tasting of That Old Devil’s Bathtub Gin in a single sitting. Spirit tastings are performed neat at room temperature in a glencairn glass to provide the best flavor experience. For further info on the spirit, please see That Old Devil’s Bathtub Gin.
Aged: second fill rye whiskey barrels at 115 proof (formally held Red Saw Rye). 6-12 month aging period, unstated.
Color: straw-like bordering on amber
Nose: Light oak with forward floral bitterness. Vaguely reminiscent of standard gin aromas. Intermingling of brown sugar and earthy sweet orris root characters is pleasing.
Palate: Arrival is prominently juniper but quickly subsides to an unfamiliar barrel character not found in most gins. The baking spice nature of standard Devil’s Bathtub is gone and what remains is a floral forward decadence that is strongly reminiscent of brown sugar. Whiskey like barrel notes are subtle and capture the spice layers into a solid, intriguing backbone.
Finish: Extremely long for a gin. Moderate as aged spirits go. Brown sugar, again, is the most notable character.
That Old Devil’s Bathtub Gin is the result of an experiment that aged our standard, clear Devil’s Bathtub Gin in left-over whiskey barrels. The goal was to provide a complementary aging experience that allowed the botanical profile to shine in a different light. Often barrel aging neutral based gins can cause the strong barrel notes (tannin, resin, vanilla, oak) to overrun the delicate botanicals flavors. I like to call this more a “barrel finish” than a true aging process.
Remember tasting is subjective. Half the fun is exploring what comes to mind when nosing, sipping and experiencing good spirits.