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OREGON GETS INTO THE GIN BUSINESS

By Michael Hepworth

The development of small distilleries in Oregon is an interesting trend and we will start with one of the newest called ORGANIC NATION. They started out with organic vodka in 2008, and have recently launched O-N Organic Gin, a surprisingly good organic gin that is made special by having 12 Oregon botanicals giving it a fresh citrus savory taste.

It is one of only 4 organic gins in the world, and just shows that with a bit of planning, hard work and some spare capital, it is possible for the small time operator to make their mark in the competitive world of spirits.

The gin just like the Vodka is Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) certified, and is the results of a lot of research and effort by the company founders Diane Paulson and David Eliason. The OTCO organization is a third party group used by all vendors which authenticates and certifies the product is organic.  Whilst Diane brings business experience to the venture, David is more involved with the production side, having worked inn the water industry in Oregon for ten years. With 12 botanicals being used, the overwhelming taste is that of basil and citrus.  Maybe that is one reason the gin in particular is fresh tasting, but some of the credit must also go to master distiller Thomas McKenzie, brought in from Alabama . He reputedly learned his skills from old bootleggers and moonshiners in that part of the world. Distribution is limited to Oregon and California at this time, but it well worth the effort to check them out at this time.

CRICKET CLUB GIN is from another Oregon distillery, Indio Spirits, slightly more established than Organic Nation, and a gin named after one of my favorite sports. Gin and Cricket go together ever since 1730, when the first recorded game of cricket took place in England . This version has been around about three years and is a fruity London style gin with a hint of lemongrass. Master distiller John Ufford likes it that way, and blends it well with the coriander, juniper and citrus to create an 86 proof gin that is ultimately clean and crisp.  Probably best on the rocks, this is an unassuming gin that anyone can enjoy, but especially those expatriates dreaming of lazy summer days watching the sport loosely described as “the sport of prime ministers.” The water up inn Oregon is the secret that makes both these gins well worth searching the internet to find a source to buy them both even if you don’t live in Oregon .

Fact Sheet

Organic Nation

Website: www.cascadepeakspirits.com

Price:               $30 (Vodka: 80 proof, Gin: 86 proof)

 

Cricket Club Gin

Website:         www.indiospirits.com

Price                $22.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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