Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Letheree Autmunal and Vernal
Letherbee Autmunal Fall/Winter 2020 Gin...$29.99
The oak barrel holds an almost mythological place in the crafting of spirits. Barrels have been used for thousands of years to store countless types of goods including wine, beer, spirits, tea, pickles, hot sauce, maple syrup, mustard, salted fish...and the list goes on. Spirits makers who employ barrel-aging often point to the casks themselves as a key component to their products’ quality and character.
We began our humble program of barrel-aging Letherbee Gin in May of 2015. Since then, we have been slowly and steadily laying down an array of barrels, and waiting for when the time felt and tasted right. With glee, we feel that time is now.
Letherbee Autumnal Gin 2020 is a straight up barrel aged gin. We’ve picked our favorite barrels and made our favorite blend. No sugar, caramel, or any other sweeteners or colors added. It’s bone dry and sits in a balance of being uplifting yet grounded, ethereal yet solid, aromatic and earthy.
To go deeper: We use standard size 53 gal. American oak barrels (nothing smaller). This size staves off the oak’s tannins from overpowering the spirit. All casks used in this batch are brand new, first fill, meaning they’ve never had any other liquid in them other than our gin. Veering away from the preferences of whiskey producers, we lean toward barrels that are lightly toasted on the inside - a distinction from the more aggressive charred insides of barrels typically used for aging Bourbon. This bestows a gentler, more delicate and more nuanced oak impression that preserves space for the gin’s botanicals to carry on singing their aromatic harmonies.
Letherbee Vernal Grapefruit Flavored Gin Spring/Summer 2021...$32.99
Or, grapefruit, as we commonly call it, is a relatively young citrus - believed to be a hybrid of sweet orange and pomelo, and first propagated in the Caribbean in the 1700’s.
Delightfully aromatic, tart, and fruity, it is used like many other citruses - as the punctuation and flair in desserts, in salads, as juice, and in marmalades. We enjoy it in classic cocktails such as Paloma and Salty Dog and in cultured modern drinks like Sasha Petraske’s Shifting Sands. Always loving grapefruit’s tunefulness with Letherbee Original Label Gin, we found this the perfect time to further explore the relationship and to create a dry yet fruity gin, poised for this summer’s airy and bright cocktails. Focusing on fresh aromatics, we exclusively use the zest (otherwise called flavado!) from fresh fruits. More specifically, around 170 pounds of fresh zest mingled with juniper, coriander, cardamom and other herbs in each distillation yielding 150 gallons of final gin. In total, we are macerating around 700 pounds of fresh grapefruit peel and distilling approximately 600 gallons of Vernal 2021 into roughly 3000 bottles (250 cases).
As a study in grapefruit, Letherbee Vernal 2021 will work beautifully in classic (and variations of) cocktails that are fruit driven, floral, and refreshing (such as an Aviation, Corpse Reviver No. 2, French 75, & Gimlet,) as well as with bitter drinks that take well to citrus (such as Negroni and Martinez ris).