Friday, April 4, 2014

Drinking Death's Door

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Tonight, "flush with cash" from getting a new cell phone package that will save $30 a month, we decided maybe we ought to stray from our usual weekly bottle of Beefeater (well, we got a bottle of that too anyway...) and start exploring some other fine distiller's of Gin.

Thinking "locally", at least in the same geographical realm, as it were, we picked up several new bottles from the shelf and inspected them. Seems the local liquor store has started expanding its line of Gins. (maybe there is a God?)

When it comes to Gin, 45% alcohol by volume is a preferred - no need for that wimpy 40% and below crap. Other than that, we'd prefer it not taste too heavy, which was the case with the New Amsterdam Gin we tested just over a year ago.

Turns out we don't know much about Gin, other than it's supposed to have some element of Juniper Berry to the flavor, and is made with a wide range of botanical herbs and spices.
An obvious neutral grain spirit, also known as ethanol/ethyl alcohol/grain alcohol (generally made with corn). A neutral spirit is optimal in order to bring out the delicate flavors of each distinct brand, and it's certainly what we're used to with Beefeater, Tanqueray, Bombay Saphire, Hendrick's, and New Amsterdam. We wondered what flavor a more specific grain might bring to the palette. Certainly if the bottle is specific on the type of grain used then it should mean something to the flavor of said spirit.

Death's Door, chosen for price point, but mostly for the name of the bottle, is made with hard red winter wheat (organic)...from an island in Wisconsin - Washington Island, to be exact (the island even has a webcam).
 It's got a pretty good story behind it too, all about tenacious revival of farmland with a heavy pointed nod towards sustainable agriculture and production, years after the death of the local potato industry in the 70's - reading through the lines of the story one gets the feeling that the death was due to the beginning of the rolling gears of corporate overhaul in the independent farming industry during that time. 

Okay, so how does it taste, you ask?

The guy at the liquor store said it has citrus undertones. Personally, *I* didn't detect that at all. It tasted more like sweet anise, very subtle. Kind of like a mild black jellybean. And it's not because we ate a handful of jellybeans hours before. But it could be off. Every person has a different palette, perhaps it would taste more citrus-like to you. And maybe what we're picking up on is a mix of citrus and anise.

All in all is definitely worth the $32 (for 750 mL), and far better than the gin by New Amsterdam.

Death's Door also makes Vodka and White Whiskey, so if you're into that you can check them out on their website: and find their products using a really snazzy locator map.
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