Gray Whale Gin celebrates the 12,000-mile annual migration of its namesake marine mammal by creating a Gin made of botanicals forged along its migratory path. From Baja California limes to sea kelp in Mendocino, this handcrafted spirit uses locally sourced organic or wild foraged ingredients. Other botanicals used include juniper, kombu, almonds, limes, fir tree and mint, giving the Gin a more focused flavor, when it comes to a “new western” Gin.
The brand uses a six-times distilled, gluten-free corn base spirit. From there, they pour sun-dried botanicals directly into the pot still. Then hand-zested citrus and fir-tree needles are placed into a vapor extraction bag, which is tied inside a copper pot still helmet, directly above the base spirit. During distillation, the alcohol vapors rise up to the extraction basket and delicately heat the fresh citrus & fir. These rich vapors continue across the line-arm and are cooled and condensed.
This results in a well-balanced Gin that sits somewhere between contemporary and classical. On the nose, fresh juniper mixes with notes of pine and berry, with splashes of citrus and some ocean air. One the palate, there’s a touch of sweetness that mixes with grapefruit and lime along with pepper. At 43 percent ABV, Gray Whale Gin does carry a touch of extra heat, but remains very approachable.
When it comes to cocktails, Gray Whale Gin can basically be used anywhere from Gin & Tonics and Martinis to citrusy Fizzs and to Bloody Mary plays.
Distilled at Golden State Distillery in Sebastopol, California, Gray Whale Gin also helps out a good cause. A portion of the company’s profits support Oceana, the largest organization in the world solely devoted to marine conservation. They even go so far as to use organic paint and a 100% biodegradable cork.