Listening to Valentine Distilling founder, Rifino Valentino, talk about his passion for creating world class, made in the USA spirits, one can’t help but feel chill down your spine as his dedication to the craft shines through. Valentino believes in making in spirits handcrafted with top quality ingredients that are manufactured in the USA. He believes strongly in American Manufacturing industry and is committed to producing his high class spirits just outside of Detroit in Ferndale, Michigan.
With his first bottle of Vodka hitting taste buds in 2008, they have since added another vodka, two gins and a whiskey line. Our good pals at Valentine Distillery recently blessed the Busted Wallet bar with a couple samples of Liberator Gin. They also snuck in a bottle of Liberator Old Tom Gin which is their Liberator Gin aged in an American Oak barrel for two years. We will tell you more about the Old Tom gin at another time but for a quick preview we will tell you this: WOW!
Valentine Liberator Gin is named after the B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber produced in Detroit during World War II. The Liberator Gin starts off as a vodka but then adding in hand selected botanicals from around the world, Valentino brings the flavors to life through a longer maceration process while lighter notes are produced with a special botanical infusion process. The goal is to create a crisp and clean gin that is not overpowered by the Juniper. Did Liberator Gin achieve it’s goal? Read on for the full breakdown!
- Proof: 84 (32% ABV)
- Appearance: Clear
- Nose: Cinnamon, Dried Citrus, Candied Juniper
- Flavors: Peppercorn, Citrus, Cinnamon Bark
- Price: $32.99 USD (750ml.)
Scoring an impressive 9.1 out of 10, our tasting panel was incredibly impressed by the Liberator Gin. Upon sinking your nose into the glass for the first whiff you will get a pleasant aroma of cinnamon, dried citrus and some juniper. Your initial taste of the gin will give you a soft and smooth, medium-to-full body taste of citrus, some herbal roots, peppercorn, and notes cinnamon on the finish. The juniper is very soft, yet noticeable and does not crash the taste buds upon tasting. It allows the gin to be very crisp and smooth throughout.
The handcrafted distilling process definitely shines through on the Liberator Gin. Valentino is adamantly against what he calls the “WalMart-Ization” of liquor and was determined to make high quality spirits. Through our tasting session there is no doubt that Valentine Distillery succeeded in this mission. If you don’t take our word for it, then listen to the American Distilling Institue which named the Liberator Gin “Best in Class” and “Best in Show” at their 7th annual Judging of American Spirits.
MIX IT UP…..”Old Tom Collins”
Ingredients: 1.5 oz. Liberator Gin, fresh lemon/lime juice, dash of fresh orange juice, .25 tsp. sugar.
Directions: Shake vigorously, pour in tall Collins glass, top with soda and garnish cherry orange spear.
Buy Now: $32.99 or, to learn more, go to: ValentineDistilling.com
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