Two big nights, two slow days


By me, in today's SF Chronicle:

Fritz Maytag and the team at Anchor Distilling are so far ahead of the curve they must get bored waiting for us to catch up. They've just released Genevieve, a genever-style gin they began developing in 1996, which has been sitting in a tank ever since. Genever is an old type of gin (before the modern London dry style came into being) that was used in some of the earliest published cocktail recipes currently in vogue.

New gins (including Anchor's Junipero) are column-distilled into a neutral spirit then infused with botanicals including juniper berries and redistilled. Genevieve, on the other hand, is first distilled from malted grains in a pot still, similar to whiskey, before being flavored and redistilled in another custom-built pot still. The result is a gin with the added flavor and texture of an unaged whiskey.

The first release was only 700 bottles sold mostly to cocktailian bars and a few liquor stores in order to avoid confusion with Anchor's other gin. They're currently producing more of the product for when the rest of us figure it out.

Reading this now I'm uncomfortable with the phrase, "pot still, similar to whiskey." I actually wrote "whisky," meaning scotch, and it was copy-edited to "whiskey," but this could also be incorrect as blended scotch whisky has column distilled whisky mixed in. Bourbon whiskey is mostly column distilled. On the other hand, the phrase "malted grains" does make it similar to (some) whisk(e)y, and it's certainly what people think of when you say "malted grains".

So I'm just going to declare that phrase as ambiguously incorrect. I'm also going to declare that writing about whisk(e)y is a big pain in the ass.

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