Half Moon Orchard Gin

Maker: Tuthilltown, Gardiner, New York, USAHalf Moon

ABV: 46%

Notes: Made from wheat and apples. No. 1316, Batch 3

Appearance: Clear.

Michigan State Minimum: $40/1 liter

Nose: Juniper, cedar, lime zest, bourbon “white dog”.

On the palate: Full bodied. Unaged whiskey, cedar, maybe a little citrus. Unbalanced and crude.

Finish: A bitter note, then nothing but alcohol.

Mixed: The strong raw spirit flavors overwhelm and ruin tonic, dry martinis and white ladies. It’s adequate to good in drinks using red vermouth like perfect martinis (made using equal parts dry and red vermouth), Negronis and Princetons.

Parting words: This is an unusual gin. It seems to be something of an experiment based upon the question of what a gin would be like if its flavor was driven by what the spirit was made from instead of the botanicals infused into it. St. George’s Dry Rye gin seems to be a similar experiment, one which I think also fails miserably. St. George luckily has two other excellent botantical-driven gins for it to fall back on. Tuthilltown does not have that luxury, unfortunately. They also have a vodka made from apples which I have not tried. Given my “no vodka reviews” rule and my distaste for Half Moon, don’t expect a notes on that any time soon.

One of the many puzzling aspects of Tuthilltown’s operation is why they have a gin and a vodka made from apples but no apple brandy. Maybe they don’t have access to cider made with the proper varieties of apples for brandy or there’s some other good reason. It could be that they have already made some and are waiting for it to age but given Tuthilltown’s love for small barrels and underaged whiskey that seems unlikely.

Half Moon comes only in liter bottles, at least in Michigan, which would be nice if the product were better. If it were $10-$20 cheaper I might be more inclined to be more generous, but at $40 I expect something much better than this half baked gin. Half Moon is not recommended.

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