According to Hughes, "That’s the thing that also distinguishes Barr Hill’s gin. Unlike its competitors, some with recipes several centuries old, Hardie’s gin can taste slightly different depending on the season. In spring you might get heavier notes of apple or maple syrup, while in the summer you’re bound to get the hint of something greener and pinier because of the bees’ diet of alfalfa and milkweed."
The kitchen was a little warm, as we had commenced preparing the evening meal, and as I shook the shaker, frost suddenly condensed all over the outside of the silver metal chalice. There I nothing quite so sexy as a shaker and it's special sound.
I poured the elixir into the glass and marveled at it for a minute. This was straight gin. Dry!
I smelled it. It was a sweet, heady mixture with juniper and hints of apple and something sweet, like oatmeal with honey? Yes, there was juniper, but Hardie doesn't blast you with it. It's much more subtle than that, which allows the spirit to show through. More heavily perfumed gins, especially those reeking of juniper, always seem to me that the distiller is covering up less than stellar booze with perfume. It is the perfume of desperation rather than Barr Hill's aroma of seduction.
Now came time for the first sip. One is greeted up front with the classic taste of gin. Juniper abounds, but again, not grotesquely. Now there is a lingering flavor. Not sweet, but not bitter. To be sure, it's dry, the soft apple and honey notes come through. It's kind of easy. Different. Luxurious.
It would be a waste, and useless, to use Barr Hill for say gin and tonics. Like throwing pearls before swine. It's too pretty for that, in my opinon. I think you need one of those bigger gins for G&Ts. No, Barr Kill is more complex. It needs to be savored.
In a martin glass. Shaken, not stirred.
So, thank you to Warren Bobrow!!!
And congrats to Todd Hardie! Excellent!
Read the Boston Magazine piece: