While I have not been able to visit them personally I have met people from the company at many events in the Portland area and have sampled many of their other fine products. As I was on something of a Gin kick at the time their Native Gin was an obvious addition to my cabinet.
The chief claim to fame here is that the contents are “Organic” and that the herbs used to flavor the gin are all plants native to the pacific northwest in some fashion. As this is a Gin that means that it will include juniper, and if you’re not already familiar Oregon has its’ own variety of juniper that grows exclusively in this part of the world.
While Oregon Juniper and the more classic Albanian Juniper are similar in flavors the Oregon type has some esthers and aromas that do not lend themselves to alcohol very well. You can imagine my surprise then when the product in the bottle was both flavorful and without some of the off odors that Oregon juniper can provide.
In testing I attempted the classic gin and tonic as well as a few other cocktails and a small sample straight. The spirit is clean and crisp, has many of the notes one commonly associates with the new American style gins as opposed to the London Dry gins. Notes of hops and citrus are well placed and despite the local substitutions you are still left with a classic gin presentation.
I don’t know if the organic stamp will really mean anything to anyone. I personally think that in this market it’s a lot like saying gluten free. Yes it is but so is water when you get down to it.
Currently running $29.75 for 750ml I’m not sure if the additional elements add up to the price tag. There are other gins using Oregon juniper in differing applications and some at lower prices.
I liked the bottle I bought, but I think my next purchase from Vivacity will likely be their Turkish Coffee Liqueur as it seems to be the most unique take on the genre from anyone around.