I did not make it to the distillery today. I did, however, make it to the liquor store, and picked up a bottle of the Mackenzie Rye, and a bottle of the Seneca Drums Gin.
I sampled both.
The rye starts out with a nearly overpowering aroma of honey. It smells like someone jammed a honeycomb in there. Smooth and clean rye flavor, sharp and crisp ... it's definitely a young whiskey, but not in-your-face harsh. Sippin' whiskey, or it'd make a damn fine top-shelf cocktail (Manhattan, Sazerac). $40/750mL, highly recommended.
The gin ... I'm not a gin snob. I don't have tons of experience with gin. I prefer my martinis made with Bombay Sapphire, and in true Hawkeye fashion, it's best to simply contemplate the vermouth bottle from afar while drinking. (I ordered a martini "extra dry" in a restaurant once. Apparently down south, that means "more vermouth". I sent it back.)
Anyways, this is VERY different from Sapphire. It's ... more complex. More subtle flavors, but the fact that it's distilled from grapes may have something to do with it. (What is the traditional source for gin? I don't know! ... Wikipedia says "neutral spirits". Okay then!)
In any case, I think it'd make a pretty good martini, especially one served with a twist instead of an olive, would be okay in a dirty martini, and honestly, is very good for well-chilled and sipping. And at $25/750mL, it's really pretty inexpensive.
2 weeks ago