Photo by Luke Copping
Photo by Luke Copping

Tommyrotter Gin Wins National Prize

by / Oct. 5, 2016 12am EST

“The two largest competitions are the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition,” said Bobby Finan. He says all of this as a matter of fact, sitting on Thin Man’s patio, enjoying some early autumn sunshine, but don’t be fooled, he has some news to be extremely proud of. He continues to walk me through how the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition operates. 

“It’s a double-blind competition and spirits that score 98 to 100 points receive a double gold. There is also a best-in-show category for each of the spirits.”

He is telling me all this because Tommyrotter’s Cask Strength Bourbon-Barrel Gin won a double gold and best in show. The distillery is less than a year-and-half old.

Brown gin?

The easiest way to think of Tommyrotter’s Cask Strength Bourbon-Barrel Gin is as a hybrid marrying the botanical nature of gin with the charred oak flavor of bourbon. While the distillery recommends trying it in a negroni or Fitzgerald, I am partial to the Martinez. Of course, it is also quite good with an ice cube to take the heat off of the spirit. The un-aged spirit is placed in charred white American oak barrels and allowed to age for six months. After that is filtered once more to take care of any impurities. Finally, the 61% ABV spirit it is bottled and labeled by hand.

The first batch of 300 bottles was released in June, 2016. There was a line of Tommyrotter fans at the distillery awaiting the opportunity to grab a bottle. If you are interested in securing one of the final bottles of the 1st award-winning batch there are some still available at the distillery. Batch 2 will be released December 1st and this batch will be carried in stores. As the spirit is aged six months, it will be released every six months. Makes sense, right?

 The Martinez 

This cocktail is the missing link between the martini and the Manhattan. I love these things…a bit too much. Like martinis and Manhattans, it is a highly personal matter when it comes to ratios, but here is a nice place to start.

  • 2 oz Tommyrotter Cask Strength Bourbon-Barrel Gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • ¼ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • dash of bitters

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice. Stir until well chilled and serve in a coupe. Garnish with an orange twist and a bourbon-soaked cherry.

 Tommyrotter Distillery 
500 Seneca St #110, Buffalo, NY