J. Carver Distillery launches ultra premium spirits and the first barrel gin distilled in Minnesota: J. Carver Barrel Gin.

Founding partner Gina Holman and Lead Distiller Matt Miller are shown with the distillery’s new Lake House Ultra-Premium Vodka, Grimm Farm Ultra-Premium Gin, and the first barrel gin distilled in Minnesota: J. Carver Barrel Gin. (Patriot photo by Todd Moen)

Founding partner Gina Holman and Lead Distiller Matt Miller are shown with the distillery’s new Lake House Ultra-Premium Vodka, Grimm Farm Ultra-Premium Gin, and the first barrel gin distilled in Minnesota: J. Carver Barrel Gin. (Patriot photo by Todd Moen)

By Sun Patriot
February 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

J. Carver Distillery announces the introduction of a trio of grain-to-glass, handcrafted, small batch spirits: Lake House Ultra-Premium Vodka, Grimm Farm Ultra-Premium Gin, and the first barrel gin distilled in Minnesota: J. Carver Barrel Gin.

“We’re thrilled to put barrel gin on the map for the first time in Minnesota,” said Matt Miller, lead distiller. “It’s a game changer; this new category is a must try for any whiskey lover and for those who are curious about whiskey but unsure where to start.”

Barrel gin is different than conventional aged spirits due to the limited time spent maturing in the barrel. The process starts with batches of gin “resting” in Minnesota-made virgin bourbon barrels for just weeks to months, depending upon the maturity of flavors, with constant monitoring for progress and adjusting of botanicals. When each barrel is at its prime, the barrel gin is pulled out and blended with already completed barreled gin, resulting in a lightly tannic gin with an amber glow and the aromatics of a whiskey.

The complex spirit redefines gin with soft, sweet oak character and rich notes of baking spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, balanced with floral and citrus notes. This whiskey lover’s gin is perfect for reinventing classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Bees Knees, Negroni, and Sazerac. It’s also mellow and nuanced enough for sipping straight. J. Carver Barrel Gin will be a permanent product in the J. Carver Distillery portfolio.

“The J. Carver team has been fascinated with the history and spirit of discovery of pioneers like Wendelin Grimm and Jonathan Carver,” said Gina Holman, Founding Partner. “We are dedicated to exploring and creating distinctive spirits inspired by a tradition of craft and curiosity. It’s delightful to see the excitement and support around the revival of the craft cocktail culture, with the devotion of mixologists using Minnesota craft spirits in their cocktail programs, and consumers embracing the shop local movement.”

J. Carver Distillery spirits now available include:

Lake House Ultra-Premium Vodka

Gravity-flow fed through charcoal for smoothness and balance, Lake House Ultra-Premium is the new top shelf go-to vodka. Using Minnesota limestone filtered water and a blend of locally sourced rye, corn and winter wheat, Lake House is distilled in a custom double-column still to produce a vodka with a smooth complexity suited for martinis and a bevy of cocktails for the ultimate vodka connoisseur. (92 proof)

The Lake House was the favorite village hotel for many travelers and pleasure-seekers during Waconia’s heyday at the turn of the 19th century. In addition to boarding for tourists in its 22 rooms and a saloon in the West Room, the Lake House livery provided a hack to meet each train, free use of some fine rowboats, and transportation to the popular resorts of Lake Waconia’s Coney Island via its 300-passenger steamer Niagara. Built in the early 1860’s on the corner of Main and Vine Streets, the Lake House’s hospitable, civic-minded proprietors created a special vacation spot where music and revelry prevailed through the mid-1920’s.

Grimm Farm Ultra-Premium Gin

For drinkers who prefer the classic juniper and citrus flavors of a London Dry-style gin, Grimm Farm Ultra-Premium Gin will become the new gold standard. Made with locally sourced rye and corn, it is pot distilled with our special blend of 14 botanicals including cardamom, orris and licorice roots, rose hip, and grains of paradise.

Proudly filtered with southwestern Minnesota limestone-filtered water, Grimm Farm has a balanced dryness derived from botanicals unique to Minnesota including wild rice and everlasting clover developed in Carver County. (92 proof)

In 1859, immigrant German farmers Wendelin and Julianna Grimm purchased a plot of land in Northern Carver County. Among the possessions they brought from their native country was a small, wooden box containing the seeds of “ewiger klee” — German for everlasting clover — which they planted on the farm.

For the next 15 years Wendelin Grimm religiously collected and planted seeds from the plants that survived the harsh Minnesota winters. This selection practice — called seed saving — resulted in the first winter-hardy alfalfa in North America. Grimm’s alfalfa not only helped make Carver County a premier dairy belt, but it has become the basis of the alfalfa used on more the 25 million acres in the United States. Grimm Farm is now a historic site in Three Rivers Park District in Victoria, just a few miles east of the distillery.

J. Carver Barrel Gin

The Polar Vortex has met its match with the first J. Carver Barrel Gin distilled in Minnesota! A whiskey lover’s gin, this unique, rarely produced spirit is perfect for drinking straight or in craft cocktails year-round.

Distilled from local grains, wild rice, and a medley of hand-selected botanicals including locally-grown everlasting clover, star anise, cinnamon, sweet orange peel and cardamom, the gin then rests in white oak barrels made in Minnesota until a balance is achieved between the flavors from the botanicals and influences from the charred oak barrels.  (96 proof)

Appearance: Medium Amber

Aroma: Soft, sweet oak character with rich notes of baking spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice balanced with floral and citrus notes from hand selected botanicals.

Taste: An alluring palate with strong vanilla and caramel flavors, hints of orange, lemon and cardamom, balanced with intense baking spices and licorice.

Finish: Long, warm and smooth lingering finish with hints of black pepper and soft tannins.

The three new products follow the October 2014 launch of J. Carver Premium Vodka and J. Carver Premium Gin, which are currently available in over 230 on- and off-premise shops across the state.

Join the J. Carver Team to sample the new products at Legacy Wine and Spirits in Waconia from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5.

J. Carver Distillery is focused on producing unique, hand-crafted spirits one batch at a time. In collaboration with Minnesota’s agricultural community, their spirits are formulated using locally-sourced ingredients, such as winter wheat, resulting in the highest quality craft spirits.

J. Carver Distillery is part of a thriving community with quintessential, small town charm and lake views as the backdrop for locally owned wineries, breweries and the first distillery in Carver County. The distillery doors will open in early Spring 2015 for public tours and tastings.

About J. Carver Distillery

Founded in 2013 in a repurposed 17,000 square-foot auto dealership in Waconia, J. Carver Distillery crafts unique and quality spirits to accompany the simple joys in life.

With oversight by Lead Distiller Matt Miller, J. Carver will expand its selection into bourbon and rye whiskey, along with other small batch specialty spirits. Founding partners include Matt Miller (Lester Prairie), Bill Miller (Waconia), Gina Holman (Victoria), Beth Aschinger (Spring Park), and Dan Niesen (Waconia). More information is available online at www.jcarverdistillery.com.

J. Carver spirits are available for wholesale purchase exclusively through Minneapolis-based distributor Vinocopia, Inc. Consumers can search the store finder link at www.jcarverdistillery.com to find the products at local liquor stores and fine spirits shops.