Published on May 30th, 2015 | by Greg0
Spirited Away: Few, Cisco’s Gale Force
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the most competitive events in the alcoholic beverage world- there are a ton of awards in a variety of different categories and classes but the cream of the crop certainly rises to the top. We’ve tasted our fair share, and always enjoy comparing the judges marks to our own. We have two distilleries to look at today, one with a range of different styles and the other connected to a popular brewery.
Triple Eight Distilleries offers Gale Force Gin, part of their Storm series, from a company connected to Cisco Brewery and the Nantucket Vineyard. One of the only “triple-threat” operations around, they’ve created an interesting twist on the classic juniper-focused clear gin, using angelica and orris root along with grains of paradise for what they noted as a slightly peppery finish. There are still balanced citrus tones as well, but also woody and herbal hints- less cucumber and less bright botanicals than some. Winner of a Double Gold at this year’s festival, it’s 88 proof, and perfect with tonic as a pair. Gale Force Gin’s label calls to mind the maritime heritage, which you can enjoy in every bottle. Available for $34.99, it’s well worth seeking out and mixing into a crisp summer cocktail.
Few Spirits, based in Chicago, sent us some smaller samples of a variety of their line. Which is too bad, as their bottles are quite attractive and very old-school. Their American Gin and Standard Issue Gin weren’t so impressive- the first a little flat and the second a little astringent. But their Barrel Gin was wonderfully complex, a light caramel color and less refined than most gins, with a nose and finish that’s more raw and sweeter as well. 93 proof, it won the highest rating awarded to a gin in the past few years from the Beverage Tasting Institute- and it makes for a mean negroni. And if the darker spirits are what you are looking for, their Bourbon Whiskey is very solid but our money is on the heartier, bolder Rye, which won Whisky Advocate’s Craft Whisky of the Year among other accomplishments. Prices vary, from $36 for the American Gin up to $54.99 for the Rye.