'We're the distillery of unseen things," says Meredith Grelli. And she isn't kidding. First came the "Monongahela rye" that Wigle, her family's new craft distillery in Pittsburgh, debuted earlier this year to reclaim Pennsylvania's colonial heritage as a rye center (with Dad's Hat in Bristol also joining the push).
Now comes Wigle's Ginever, a take on the proto-gin popularized by the 18th-century Dutch that, in contrast to the crisper English style made with neutral spirits, uses fuller-bodied grain whiskey as its base. Made from Wigle's white rye that is redistilled with juniper, cardamom, lavender, and cubeb berries (among others), the aromatics in this overproofed spirit are more intense than the well-aged sippers I lingered over in Amsterdam this year. But use it like a heartier winter gin to blend, with fizz, simple syrup, lemon and St. Germain, and I'm guessing we'll be seeing plenty of this "unseen" spirit soon.
Wigle's Ginever 94 Proof, $34.99 with free shipping (code 31653) online at finewineandgoodspirits.com.
- Craig LaBan