Maker: Valentine, Ferndale, Michigan, USA
Note: Only available at the tasting room/bar
Nose: lemon peel, Clementine, angelica, cinnamon, ginger, tobacco.
On the palate: Full bodied and spicy. Black pepper, cardamom, cassia, alcohol. A splash of water brings out more sweetness and a lot more cinnamon.
Finish: Cinnamon disk and alcohol burn. Fades very slowly.
Mixed: Does surprisingly well in cocktails that are traditionally better suited to unaged gin. Makes a spicy dry martini and a respectable gin and tonic. It is really fantastic in a perfect martini (half dry and half sweet vermouth) and adds a great spicy aspect to a negroni.
Parting words: Like its unaged sibling, this gin is a wild ride. When I tasted it neat (how Rifino Valentine says he drinks it) it changed in the glass substantially from first sip to last. At first it was all citrus. Then it shifted to more traditional Old Tom Gin flavors, then it became a cinnamon bomb.
As noted above it is available only at the distillery in Ferndale, for a bit more than the standard version. It’s over the top, but it’s delicious. Barrel-aged Liberator is highly recommended.