Just a few years ago craft distillers decided to get creative, as they typically do, and began experimenting with gin and wooden barrels. They discovered that when a traditionally distilled gin is aged in barrels it can take on delicious, rich notes such as cinnamon, vanilla and caramel, the same way aged brown liquors typically would. So, they figured why not bottle it and sell it to the world. It’s clear to see that folks have taken a liking to the twist distillers have put on the botanical spirit, and new bottles of aged gin a popping up all around us.
If you have yet to try barrel-aged gin, we highly recommend giving it a chance, especially if you are partial to the aged flavors of whiskey and bourbon. However, if are a little hesitant and unsure of how to enjoy this unique booze, we have put together a few tips to guide you through your first tasting/bottle!
• Remember that most barrel-aged gins have notes similar to those found in brown liquors and will work well as a replacement in traditional whiskey and bourbon cocktails. If you happen to be mixing up an old fashioned, but are looking for a lighter flavor replace the bourbon with barrel-aged gin.
• If you are weary of steering away from your favorite gin based cocktails, have no fear, substituting barrel-aged gin will give a classic Negroni or an Aviation an even more complex flavor.
• Like we mentioned earlier many of these barrel-aged gins take on the flavor of baking spices, therefore they also fit nicely into recipes that call for spiced rum . If you’re trying to avoid the over powering sweetness of many traditional spiced rums, add barrel aged gin instead to your next dark and stormy.
• Last but not least, if you’re a true super fan of the traditional gin and tonic, we recommend mixing barrel-aged gin with soda water to avoid overpowering your first barrel-aged gin cocktail.