Warwick Gin Review
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
An excellent modern New York gin.
Warwick Gin Review
Made in: Warwick, New York by Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery.
Method: CARL copper Pot still.
40% alcohol/80 proof
Botanicals 6 : Juniper, coriander, key lime, star anise, angelica root, lemon
Style: Modern gin
New York’s first craft distillery since prohibition, Warwick, which also makes Doc’s hard cider, and a number of wines, kicked off New York’s craft distillery movement in 2001. In 2012, they opened the largest craft distillery on the east coast - Black Dirt Distillery.
After starting with fruit based brandies, they branched out into other spirits including bourbon, rye, applejack, grappa, and…. gin. But the gin is not made at Black Dirt, but at Warwick itself. They make their gin in 50 gallon batches in an old german CARL still which is heated with steam.
So why do they call themselves rustic gin? Especially since the taste is very contemporary? I reached out to Warwick to find out. Luckily Master Distiller Jason Grizzanti was there to answer the question, “Our distillery is located on a farm and we wanted to design a gin that felt like it was from the country. A style that was simple yet complex, if that makes sense. I feel that many gin styles have a cosmopolitan vibe. Our juniper forward country made gin has a rustic feel to it.”
In that they succeeded - as the gin is very robust, straightforward, and in many ways simple, not to mention quite good!
On the rocks this is a lovely sipping gin. There is a pleasant amount of heat, but it’s well balanced by the botanicals and overall flavor of the gin.
On the olfactory side citrus and spice fight for dominance in terms of scent. Lime comes through strongly, but there are sharp notes of coriander and anise here too with a mint/menthol essence detectable at the back end. It’s decidedly nice on the nose.
When I first tried it, my first impression was a classic London dry profile until it began to blossom - then real flavors came through. Key lime is the big banger in this taste profile along with lemon and enough juniper to clearly define this as gin. Behind that you’ll find spice - coriander, angelica and faint whispers of licorice complete the finish and add a lot of structure to the gin. While not overly complex. It’s well done, and very balanced - allowing you to taste every single botanical in the mix.
Mouthfeel is very rich, cool and slightly oily - pleasantly coating the palate.
This flavor profile, excellent with just ice, also lended itself well to mixing.
If you like a martini with Martin Miller’s gin, you’ll definitely like this. It’s intense, with a big bright citrus flavor - more in terms of lime, than anything else. The balance of the flavors melded well here with a little bit of Dolin dry. The spices here definitely come through. A touch of bitters complimented it even more (I used a celery bitter but I think a chocolate, or cardamom would work too).
For a gin in a gin and tonic, it’s intense enough to handle almost anything you can throw at it - but as it’s already intensely citrus, I’d shy a bit away from the cheaper indian style tonics. I chose Fever Tree’s aromatic tonic - as it seemed a natural complement to the gin. The gin still shined through - especially that intense lime flavor.
This one handled more intense mixed drinks well. It’s clearly distinguished in cocktails like the Negroni (especially a perfect one), Southside, and even a gin-gin mule. The citrus nature just works well with those drinks.
This is a really good gin - very citrus forward with a huge kick of lime. Those who like citrus forward gins like Martin Miller’s or Bluecoat will greatly enjoy it - although it’s much more key lime than lemon or grapefruit. It’s a spectacular mixing gin, and a good sipping gin to boot.
It won’t be for everyone including gin traditionalists who want a big juniper flavor, but for those who don’t love juniper this gin will be an outstanding gateway into modern gin.
Rating (Sipping): 87 - absolutely a pleasant balanced gin where you can taste pretty much every botanical (although to be fair the anise is very subtle) - it’s a nice sipper.
Rating (Mixing) 89 - This isn’t a traditional gin - but a very intensely flavored one which mixes well in any cocktail that likes intense citrus flavors.
Overall rating: 88 - definitely a winner. I’ll keep a bottle in my bar, and I suspect anyone who likes citrus will want to do so as well. Definitely one I’ll share with folks who like citron but don’t think they like gin - it will change some minds.
What you need to know about reviews: All my reviews are my honest opinions based upon my own personal tasting. I am NOT a paid reviewer, and no compensation was given, or expected. I may from time to time choose to do a second review and amend my opinion of a product, should I feel like it and find my review criteria has evolved, or that I’ve found it different at a later date. That said, as I’m unlikely to repurchase anything I thought was less than very good to excellent, it would be by chance or at the request of a distiller who thought I rated them very unfairly - BUT even then, whatever you get will always be my honest opinion.