Gin hasn’t been spared from the growing terroir trend, which is fine by me since I have an easier time grasping a “sense of place” in a spirit that can essentially be flavored with local botanicals. A few coastal distilleries have even gone so far as to incorporate unique aquatic elements – things like kelp and seaweed – in the ginbill (Fundy and Gray Whale, among others). Sheringham Distillery on Vancouver Island is another such ocean-inspired producer. Their flagship Seaside Gin is made from traditional botanicals like juniper, citrus, and lavender but also more unique elements like rose, a nod to the wild roses that grow on the island, and most unusually, local winged kelp that is sustainably harvested here. Let’s take a trip to the North Pacific coast and see what this gin has to offer.
The aroma certainly transports you to a chilly northern beach, complete with salty sea spray and a distinct aquarium funk. It’s initially green and a bit slimy, but in the best possible way, with a salty, maritime high tone that somehow complements a host of more classic, softer notes like juniper, coriander, and lemon peel. As it opens, the ocean blows off a bit, replaced by delicate florals. The palate evokes less of a seaweed element, which is probably for the best. But there is still something distinctly green, almost dill or another herb. It’s quite dry with a delicate sweetness and well-balanced notes of juniper berry, fresh lavender, and baking spice. Seaside Gin’s only real shortcoming is the finish, which is a little flat and muddled for something initially so complex and engaging. Still, the subtle brine notes that distinguish this gin should work especially well in a dirty martini.
86 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1784.