Young and Hungry

New Columbia Distillers to Release Limited Edition Barrel-Aged Gin-Aquavit Hybrid


On Nov. 2, New Columbia Distillers will release its most unusual seasonal spirit yet: a gin-aquavit hybrid aged in apple brandy barrels.

The Ginavit, as it's being called, combines the flavors of the traditional wintertime Scandinavian aperitif—dill, caraway, star anise—with some of Green Hat Gin's botanicals, including juniper, orange peel, and lemon peel.

The liquor is then aged in apple brandy barrels from Laird & Company in New Jersey. Two barrels aged for four months and another barrel aged for two months. The contents will then be blended with some unaged Ginavit for the final product. Co-founder John Uselton says the barrel-aging rounds out the botanicals and gives it a little bit of crisp apple and vanilla flavors.

"We feel like we've made something unlike any other gin we've ever had," Uselton says. "There are some other barrel-aged gins out there, but they're not really stretching the whole botanical idea as far as we are on this one." He explains that when you barrel-age something, you want to use a spirit with some heft, which the aquavit provides.

Right Proper head brewer Nathan Zeender (also behind WildCraft Soda) gave New Columbia Distillers one of the barrels and plans to take it back when they're done to age one of his own beers.

New Columbia Distillers will only produce about 90 cases (1,080 bottles) of Ginavit, making it far more rare than its spring/summer gin, of which there were about 400 cases. The spirit will be released first at the distillery on Nov. 2 and then made available at select retailers and bars soon after. Although the exact price hasn't been worked out yet, it will be a little more than the staple Green Hat Gin—around $40.

If you want a bottle, best to act fast. Uselton says when he and co-founder Michael Lowe released the spring/summer bottle, they sold 25 cases at the distillery in one day.

Photo gif via New Columbia Distillers


Leave a Comment

Blogs Linking to this Article

  1. First Look at Right Proper Brewpub, Opening Soon - Young & Hungry

    [...] cellar full of used barrels from wineries and distilleries, including an apple brandy barrel he loaned to New Columbia Distillers to age gin in and has now reclaimed for his own purposes. Zeender also has the help of newly hired assistant [...]

  2. Brew in Town: Right Proper Ornette - Young & Hungry

    [...] A version aged in an apple brandy barrel Zeender lent to New Columbia Distillers to age its gin-aquavit hybrid will be on draft at Right Proper soon, the first of the brewer’s anticipated “baroque” line [...]

Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.