March's Spirit of the Month--A Thrilling Gin from Quebec
MARCH SPIRIT OF THE MONTH
St. Laurent Tropical Odyssey Gin, Rimouski, Quebec
$21.99 per bottle
One thing that has surprised me since my return to The Wine Country is the amount of gin we sell. I remember us having a good following for the spirit in years past, but seeing how quickly I have had to reorder brands like AMASS, Citadel and Martin Miller, it has been made clear to me that our customers like themselves some gin!
But the one that genuinely surprised me was when I brought in gins from the St. Laurent Distillery in Quebec at the beginning of February and sold through a case of one of their SKUs within a week! I already was very excited about carrying this gin because of its great vibrancy and uniqueness, but was beyond pleased that it took only a week to sell-out.
So it was with my excitement and with the excitement of our customers that I decided to make St. Laurent Tropical Odyssey my Spirit of the Month for March.
Founded by Jean-Francois Cloutier and Joel Pelletier, Distillerie St. Laurent’s original goal was to make a gin infused with seaweed native to their region. After succeeding in this, they decided to get into the mad scientist world of making a gin in a vacuum still in a cold distillation fashion. Taking the air out of their still allows them to distill their citrus-forward gin at 86 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the typical 172.4 degrees Fahrenheit. By distilling at a temperature similar to the temperature these citruses (Kumquat, Yuzu, Persian lime, Buddha hand and lemon) are harvested at, they become much more expressive in the gin. And you can immediately tell it by the distinctive flavor.
What a well-balanced gin this is. The addition of the seaweed, along with the cold distillation in a vacuum still, really helps make all the citrus flavors much more vibrant than they’d be otherwise. Bright pops of lime and orange rind up front along with floral notes of juniper. A slight tartness on the finish (which reminds me of kumquat skins) really adds to the liveliness of the libation.