No. 209 gin was launched in California in 2005 and so naturally leans towards the American gin palate by being less juniper heavy and more prominent on the citrus notes.
William Scheffler bought one of the most impressive wineries in Napa Valley at the time and build a stone and brick distillery on the site – he then registered this to find it was the 209th distillery licence to be granted in the US.
In 1999 the distillery was bought by Leslie Rudd for the vineyards, however she realised that the distillery had “Registered Distillery No. 209” painted above the doors.
The new owner insisted on restoring the distillery but the law in Napa Valley only permitted the production of grape based spirits and so she decided to build a new one on the end of a pier in San Francisco. No. 209 is the only distillery in the world that is completely built over sea water – the reason for this is actually that the San Francisco Bay water has natural cooling properties and keeps the temperature in the distillery perfect for all year round distillation.
The 25ft tall copper-pot still was designed to create the highest quality spirit and can hold 1000 gallons. It was designed around the Glenmorangie stills for the long swan’s neck. – The gin is a four times column distilled spirit made from mid-western corn, giving a sweet finish.
This gin is made using only 65% of the original distilate after getting rid of the heads and tails, it is then blended with snow melt water from the Sierra-Nevada Mountains and bottled at 46% ABV.
The bottle design apparently came from the discovery of an empty bottle of bootlegged Canadian Genever discovered during the sale of the original distillery in 1999.
No. 209 also produce gins that have been aged in wine barrels on their estate such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Reserves.
The botanicals used in this gin are secret but we do know some: Juniper, Cassia Bark, Cardamom Pods, Bergamot Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Coriander Seeds & Angelica Root.