World’s Most Awarded Gin & One of the World’s Best Spirits.
By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight
Distilled in England and blended in Iceland, the Martin Miller’s Gin is a small batch, pot stilled gin, made much like a malt whiskey. Receiving a 93 rating from the Wine Enthusiast, perhaps the genius in this gin is its subtlety. Made with juniper, coriander, angelica, orange peel and lemon peel, the distilled gin is then sent to Iceland to be blended with what is said to be the “purest, softest water on earth.” This soft water helps to have a soft mouth feel where the drinker can focus more on the flavor of the gin. Quite simply, this might be the best gin we’ve ever tasted. Drinking it neat, Martin Miller’s Gin is one of the best spirits in the world. While most gins are harsh and overly piney, the Martin Miller’s Gin is subtle, smooth and only slightly piney. Keep in mind, smooth doesn’t always mean something is better, but in this case it certainly does.
The Martin Miller’s Gin Tasting Note:
The scent is a sharp citrus with subtle pine notes. Smooth with good warmth, a good citrus flavor and more citrus than pine, Martin Miller’s is slightly sweet and slightly thicker than most gins. With a soft and sweet mouth feel, this is an excellent gin and will make anyone a gin fan. Martin Miller’s Small Batch Pot Stilled Gin is not only one of the best gins in the world; it’s simply one of the best spirits in the world period.
The Whistling Andy handcrafted gin is made in a micro distillery in Montana. This gin is a unique take on the micro distillery style and definitely offers something different for gin lovers. This is a sweet, full bodied gin with a thick mouth feel. With scents of vanilla, pine and sweet citrus, very smooth and drinkable with a slight bite, this is a thick sweet syrupy gin. This is a solid but unique gin style. For gin lovers looking for something different than the average piney kick, Whistling Andy could be for you. We sampled the gin with an in and out style martini and two olives. That’s how we do. The Whistling Andy micro distillery is working on a variety of Gin styles, with a peppercorn pear flavored gin being released this summer. Read below for more about Whistling Andy.
The Whistling AndyDistillery
What is Whistling Andy?
Whistling Andy is a Veteran and locally owned micro-distillery utilizing American made equipment and Montana grown grains, fruits, and botanicals. We love freedom, hard work, family, and the simple pleasure of making and enjoying fine hand-crafted spirits. It distills down to gratitude.
Where is your still and equipment from?
We ordered our still from Vendome Cooper and Brass works in Louisville Kentucky. It was hand made over the summer for us. The Vendome Cooper and Brass Works is a family owned business that has been making stills continuously since the 1900’s, during the Prohibition they switched to fabricating other products, after the prohibition the company continued to grow through World War II as the demand for alcohol and thus stills increased in America. The Mash Tank was formely used by the Eskimo Pie factory in the 1940’s. Our fermentor came from St Pat’s out of Texas.
The Tasting Room
The tasting room is open from 12-8 everyday. Montana state law requires the tasting room to close at 8:00 p.m. The tasting room has a retail section as well as local coffee and lattes as well as a variety of hand crafted non alcoholic beverages. The tasting room sells bottles as well as having a variety of different spirits for sale and sampling that have not been released. The bar and wood work in the building are all reclaimed wood from Montana. Between the still and the bar, it is a work of art.
What kind of distillery are you?
The distillery is what is known in the industry as “grain to glass”. All of our grains are from the Flathead Valley. We use the grain to make our Vodka, Gin, Whiskey, Bourbon and Moonshine. Our molasses and cane sugar for the rum comes out of the South. Some micro distillers use neutral grain spirits, meaning they buy the spirits and then add flavors and redistill. We are buying and milling our grains in the Flathead Valley and the excess grain will go back to the farmers as slurry for livestock.
What is the focus of Whistling Andy?
Our focus is building a business utilizing local products we can bring to the world via our hand crafted spirits. This summer we will be buying cherries. We are hoping this is a good opportunity for the growers on the East Lake Shore of Flathead Lake to be able to sell all their products.
What’s makes a micro-distillery different?
Difference between micro distilleries and large batch distillers is that the micro’s produce in small batches, thus controlling the heads and tails, which lead to a cleaner end product. A pot still collects and condenses the alcohol vapors off the hot mash.
What kind of spirits will you have?
Vodka, Rum, Gin, Whiskey and Moonshine with Specialty Spirits flavors such as Pink Peppercorn-Pear Gin, Manhattan Moonshine, and Hibiscus-Coconut Rum to follow shortly.
Who is Whistling Andy?
Whistling Andy was Roger Anderson’s (Brian’s Dad and Linda’s Husband) nickname in the Air Force.
What is Moonshine?
Whistling Andy does prohibition era style moonshine. Back in the day is was a term used to describe illegally made liquor. Currently it is a term used to describe un-aged whisky. We’ll be releasing a cherry moonshine in the late summer.
If you’re a fan of the gin martini with cucumber than the Gin & Sin with Hendrick’s Gin, cucumber & oregano will be you’re new drink of choice. Barbuzzo’s take on the Gin & Sin adds fresh oregano to the gin and cucumber with Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth. We’re not talking about oregano out of a jar. This fresh but dried oregano is shaken right off the stem and smashed into the cucumber. With a dash of Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, the Hendrick’s Gin is shaken over ice with the oregano suffused cucumber and poured in an ice filled glass with mashed pieces of cucumber. The Barbuzzo gin and sin is exceptional, complex, delectable and refreshing. We will most likely be ordering fresh oregano with every cucumber gin martini we drink.
One might not think that adding a cucumber to a martini is the most enticing; however, when it comes to Hendrick’s Gin, the cucumber gin martini is a masterpiece. Hendrick’s is a small batch gin from Scotland infused with cucumber and rose petals. When drinking the cucumber gin martini, the flavor if the infused cucumber comes through with an excellent balance. The cucumber is a little more than subtle but not overbearing in anyway. For any gin drinker, it’s a must!
2.5 parts gin
.5 parts dry vermouth
1 cucumber slice
Stir in a mixing glass and strain in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cucumber.
Whiskey Goldmine Recommends:
2.5 parts gin
2 thin cucumber slices
Pour a touch of vermouth into a martini glass, swirl around the glass and pour it out. Pour the Hendrick’s gin into an ice filled shaker and shake hard for 10 seconds. Pour the gin into the martini glass and drop the cucumber slices right in the gin.