Spirits: Rogue gin

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In 2003, Rogue, the Oregon brewers behind fine craft beers, decided to distill liquors.

Do Rogue's spirits live up to their beers? After a perusal of their offerings, one jumped out at me - Pink Spruce Gin.

This gin is aged for six months in pinot noir barrels, which is appealing because Oregon produces some of the best pinot noir out there.

To fully take in the Pink Spruce, of course, I had to try Rogue's regular Spruce gin first.

The Spruce is a competent gin. It's not quite Hendrick's-level, but it's pretty damn tasty. Lemon and orange peel make for a pleasant citrus tang, while tangerine adds a hint of sweetness. Both complement the strong juniper bite, and the Rusty Bucket's Spruce Gimlet captured all those flavors nicely.

On to the Pink Spruce. It isn't pink, more of a champagne color. And with only a slight juniper aftertaste, it doesn't really taste like gin. Maybe they should consider changing the name, actually.

The aging process adds a smoothness generally reserved for high-end liquor. It's almost like a vodka-whiskey hybrid with a muted sweetness - like nothing I've tried before.

The Pink Spruce, lacking astringency, is perfect on the rocks. I'd imagine it mixes well with soda water and a lemon twist, but any addition would only be a subtraction.

Rogue Spruce Gin: 3 stars

Rogue Pink Spruce Gin: 3.5 stars

Drink it:

Rusty Bucket

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