Standard Issue Gin

Maker: Few Spirits, Evanston, Illinois, USA

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Batch: 4/14

ABV: 57%

Price: $40 (Binny’s)

Appearance: Clear with thick legs.

Nose: Powerful. Cut pine, fennel, alcohol, wet earth, dried wildflowers.

Palate: Full- bodied and velvety. Sweetness then burn.

Finish: Sappy and sweet but quickly drying into citrus blossom and orange peel with a hit of anise at the end.

Mixed: Good in a dry martini with an aggressive, grassy vermouth. Does even better in a perfect martini. Sublime in a Negroni. OK with tonic and with bitter lemon, but overwhelms the mixer. Ditto with orange juice. I would recommend using 1/3 to 1/4 less than your usual proportions when mixing due to the high ABV and powerful flavors of this gin.

Parting words: Last time I was at Binny’s, I was hoping to find some of Few’s much ballyhooed rye. They were all out of that (a promising sign!) so I went home with a bottle of this, which is their navy strength gin.

Once I opened it, I was not disappointed. This is powerful stuff, even when taken down to proof. Big sappy juniper and fennel/anise dominate with everything else taking a backseat. If you enjoy those flavors (I do) you will love this gin. If you prefer your gin a little dryer or milder, then you may not love it. It does fine with tonic and similar mixers but this is a cocktail gin at heart.

$40 is a good price for a gin of this quality and strength. Few Standard Issue Gin is recommended.

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