Before visiting Charleston, I read a review of Hat Trick Gin. It was one of the worst reviews I have ever read, and as such, had decided I wouldn’t bring any back with me. And I certainly didn’t set aside any time to visit the distillery. But on August 5, 2021, I walked into The Darling Oyster Bar and recognized the bottle. It’s hard to miss with a magician performing a card trick out of his hat. Despite the review, I still wanted to have tried it so I ordered a Hat Trick and tonic.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, but the waitress pointed out that they a second local gin, Nippitaty Organic Gin. Of course I had to give that a try too. Two gin and tonics down, the Hat Trick was a clear favorite. In fact, it was so good, I ordered a Casino Cocktail to see how it would do. Again, I enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that when I visited The Tavern two days later I bought a bottle to add to the collection and Hat Trick Extraordinarily Fine Botanical Gin became gin no. 069 of the collection.
Before I continue, a word about The Tavern. If you have never heard of it, it is the oldest continuous liquor store in the country dating back to 1686. The wall features three giant red dots, which are claimed to be an ancient symbol for liquor stores, but that may not be quite true. Located just off the harbor and appropriately next door to the Provost’s Dungeon, it’s not big, but there is something exciting about buying your spirits where colonists did nearly one hundred years before the United States even existed.
Hat Trick is made by High Wire Distilling. They also make a barrel rested gin which I have not tried. Hat Trick is distilled with crushed juniper berries as well as lemon and orange peel, licorice root, angelica, coriander, and cardamom. It is distilled at 88 proof but it drinks much lighter. In a taste test conducted at The Juniper Society between Hat Trick, Bulrush (gin no. 068), and Burl Gin (gin no. 070), Hat Trick was the unanimous favorite when enjoyed neat. The verdict was that it is an extraordinary sipping gin and we highly recommend it served this way. With tonic, we were split. Still excellent and preferred by some tasters, it was not as bold as the Burl Gin which came out on top.
This is an exceptional gin. So what’s with that other review? I don’t know. Maybe we have different tastes? Maybe they had a bad batch? Maybe you shouldn’t trust those of us who write about gin on the internet. Just kidding! Trust me. Hat Trick is great.