Conniption American Dry Gin
Distillery: Durham (NC) Distillery
Price: $35 (750 ml)
All pictures by Jim Trotman
Sometimes, when American Gin makers work really hard to forge a taste all their own, they end up stumbling by putting all the effort into the effort, when a more straightforward approach perhaps would have been the route to take.
With Conniption, the Durham Distillery folks are eager to stress the two-step process where some of the botanicals are heated in the still and other, more delicate flavors are infused via a low-pressure vacuum. That’s a lot of work.
What we end up with here is a gin that blasts its floral essence into your olfactory zone, bringing along what seems to be the essence of cucumbers macerated in honey. I found this to be both sharp and sweet, floral and herbal, spicy and fruity and, dare I say, heavy.
This will find an audience, at least here in North Carolina, which as of printing is the only state in which it is available. I’m quite certain any Duke or Durham Bulls fan who fancies gin will grab a bottle for posterity at least, and some may come to love it because, well, its from Durham. And who doesn’t like something that reminds them of “Crash,” “Nuke” and “Annie?” Right?
For that matter, it may well have been composed on the notion of “build it, and they will come and buy it.” Okay, enough with the inside baseball movie stuff.
Saying this gin is complex is a nice way of saying there is just too much circus happening at once here. The lady with the whip is dealing with the lions, while the three elephants are balancing on beach balls while the trapeze artists are flying above it all. You just want to tell it to slow DOWN! One taste at a time!
Maybe that is the point of Conniption. It gives you a fit.
If you are a fan of all things Durham, this is one for your man cave. If not, eh…
Over at Russ’s house….
Wow! But not in a good “wow!” kind of way.
Flowers, flowers everywhere and then a ton of citrus.
Which is a continuing problem we continue to harp on here at Gin Gents.
We love the revolution in gin, we love the explosion of new distilleries and we love the fact that ‘Merica is producing the stuff–so long tied to Mother England.
But this stuff was like lying down in a field of freshly bloomed spring flowers. And then drinking it. With a twist of citrus. Which made it worse.
Not gin, and not good.
But aptly named. If you are a discerning gin lover, you may throw a “conniption fit”, especially at $35 a pop!
The bottle is squarish and cool with copper and black lettering and says “traditional small batch”, but “merged” with modern lab techniques – whatever that means.
I didn’t read the label first (never do when reviewing), I just popped the cork and the smell was flowery, touch of citrus.
First taste from a shot glass warm gave no burn, but an odd non-gin taste (peat moss was my first thought, then tea, some herb, or maybe an herbal tea was my second).
Poured a shot over ice in a chilled glass with a squeeze of lime (my normal). Tasted like cardboard with an earthy, woodsy, flowery taste. My mind was drawn to the movie Bull Durham, and maybe the taste of the bath water with Susan Sarandon’s perfume and Kevin Costner’s sweat mixed together. If that’s your thing, buy it.
No matter how I tried I couldn’t finish my first full glass over ice. I added more ice, tonic, let it sit and nothing worked for me. I poured half of that first (and only) drink down the sink. Maybe you’d like it. I really didn’t. Sorry, Durham!