In August of 2017, I visited Ghost Coast Distillery in Savannah, GA. It had recently opened, the first new distillery in Savannah since prohibition, but was not making a gin yet. I returned in 2021 to a distillery that makes two gins along with a wide variety of other spirits.
My visit was on August 8, at the end of a week-long vacation to South Carolina and Georgia. I had already bought a bottle of Bulrush Gin (gin no. 068) from Hilton Head and a bottle of Hat Trick Gin (gin no. 069) from Charleston. I knew I only had room for one more gin so getting both of Ghosts Coast’s was out of the question. I decided to conduct a head-to-head tasting between Jenny Gin and Burl Gin there in the tasting room. The winner would come home with me and the other would remain on the distillery shelf.
I sampled both gins neat and with tonic. Jenny Gin is a traditional London Dry style gin, juniper forward with notes of coriander. Burl Gin is a Western style gin, made with citrus and lavender. Although I enjoyed Jenny, it was too traditional to add to the collection. As a result, Burl Gin has been added to the collection as gin no. 70.
Burl Gin is named for Burl Ives. For anyone who isn’t older than me, Burl Ives is most famous for being the snowman who narrates the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Christmas Special. You know, the one with the elf that wants to be a dentist. I haven’t the slightest idea why they named the gin for him. Bottles are available in retail stores in the area and at the distillery where they sell for just $26.99.
Back at the Juniper Society, we conducted a tasting of all three gins from the trip. On the nose, Burl was sweet and citrusy. Neat it placed second, good but with a slight harshness despite its low 40 ABV. In the gin and tonic tasting, Burl Gin’s bold flavor was excellent. Its strength and complexity made it the winner here, a wonderful g&t.
I really like Burl Gin. It’s a great value and makes a delicious gin and tonic. Ghost Coast Distillery is a fun visit if you are in Savannah. They make so many different alcohols that any drinker can find something they like. Even though I’ve been twice, I’ll be sure to go again.