Valentine Detroit Distilling Co. 'Liberator' Old Tom Gin (90.4 proof)
Item Number: 9591
Grape(s): Juniper / Coriander / Cardamom / Cinnamon / Bitter orange / Grains of Paradise / Licorice Root
Type: Spirits - Gin
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Closure: T Top
Alc by Vol(%): 45.2
Liberator Old Tom Gin is named after the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber to honor both America’s and especially Detroit’s proud manufacturing history during World War II. Old Tom Gin dates back to the 18th century and served as a bridge between the malty style of that era’s Genevers and the late 19th century taste for the biting and dry style of London Dry.
Distillation Process: Valentine Distilling sources a 96% premium neutral ethanol for the base to insure a perfectly clean distillate as the canvass on which the botanical flavors are highlighted. This neutral grain ethanol is filtered through an activated carbon made from coconut shells and then is used for steeping the botanicals. Valentine Distilling uses three botanical suppliers for Liberator Old Tom Gin, primarily because the world’s best junipers come from three distinct regions of Europe, and have for centuries. The cardamom seeds get rinsed thoroughly to remove all dust and then steeped in water to leach out any bitterness. The same process is repeated for the dry cinnamon and licorice to maximize their pure expression.
The base spirit is diluted to approximately 50% ABV and all nine botanicals are steeped in an 800 liter stainless steel tank. This process lasts 60 hours and the botanicals are agitated every hour to keep the heavier elements suspended in solution rather than remaining at the bottom of the tank. The steeping ends when nose and mouth determine that maximum flavors have been achieved without any bitter compounds.
Fresh botanicals are placed in the helmet of the pot still to bring out more nuanced flavors through vapor extraction. The steeped distillate is added to the pot where the distillation speed is very fast to maximize the aromatics and then slowed for extracting individual characteristics. The present batch is then blended with stored and previous batches in order to create consistency for every bottling. Valentine Distilling has the space and ability to back store gin in order to adjust for seasonal variations in the steeping process.
The Liberator Old Tom Gin is aged in 31-gallon American oak barrels that have a #3 char. Barrels are a combination of first and second fill and then aged for 4 to 18 months. Blending and bottling is done four times a year. The variation from batches is always within the window of excellence while embracing the seasonal variation.
Tasting Notes: Old Tom Gin has an aroma of juniper and pine with hints of oak, woody spices and citrus peel. The initial bursts of juniper berries are mellow and tame, and are followed by touches of vanilla, citrus, cardamom and cinnamon.
Voted Best Cask Gin in the World by the World Gin Awards
Gold Medal from the International Craft Spirit Awards