WHERE THERE’S OAK

BAR­REL-AGED GINS RE­VEAL THE SPIRIT’S DARKER SIDE.

Forbes - - THE EYE -

Or­der­ing a dirty mar­tini is one thing—see­ing brown gin is quite an­other. For the past decade, dis­tillers have been ex­per­i­ment­ing with ag­ing the fa­mously clear spirit in ex-bour­bon or rye casks for sev­eral months to mel­low out the ju­niper (or its pre­de­ces­sor, gen­ever, which was tra­di­tion­ally bar­rel-aged). The oak adds whiskey­like fla­vors such as vanilla or caramel to the gin, and when wine or sherry bar­rels are used, there are fruitier notes. The re­sult is a spirit that can be en­joyed neat or on ice. Bet­ter yet, bar­rel-aged gins are com­plex enough to use in place of whiskey for a Man­hat­tan or an old-fash­ioned. As for that mar­tini, try serv­ing up its darker cock­tail cousin, the Martinez.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: RAB­BIT HOLE LONDON DRY GIN KEN­TUCKY RYE BAR­REL FIN­ISH ($34); CITADELLE RÉSERVE ($45); BEEFEATER BURROUGH’S RE­SERVE EDI­TION 2 ($70); BOLS BAR­REL AGED GEN­EVER ($49).

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