Four Corner American Gin is a new, terroir-driven spirit from master distiller Christian Krogstad, who is best known as one of the minds behind Aviation Gin and Westward Whiskey. He developed this latest venture in collaboration with fellow Westward Whiskey distiller Anna Mantheakis and the founders of Ireland’s Glendalough Distillery.
True to its name, Four Corners is made from botanicals sourced from across the good ol’ USA, including wild juniper from the Pacific Northwest, Maine cranberries, cherry bark from the Southeast, and yerba santa sourced from the Mojave desert. In a nice thematic touch, it was released on July 4th.
The nose is spicy, seedy, and dry, with notes of bitter lemon, coriander, and green cardamom. It’s silky on the palate with remarkably little “juniper burn”—I don’t typically drink gin neat, but I could see that being the case with Four Corners.
Taste-wise it’s cool up front and lightly herbaceous with lemon balm and chamomile, and brings menthol and lemon rind to bear at the center. Toward the back it introduces angelica root and a touch of bitterness, though the bitter factor stops far short of being overwhelming.
Altogether, it’s a quite mild gin that still manages to impart strong and distinctive flavors. I realize that I’ve hardly even mentioned juniper—it’s there all right, and is in fact a consistent presence throughout the experience, yet it’s dialed down, so that it’s experienced like pleasant but undistracting background music.
When used in a Dry Martini (I measured five parts gin to one part vermouth), it makes a cool and satisfying drink. The juniper, if mild, is still a presence, accompanied by the gin’s other sharp, clear botanicals, which in this iteration take on a somewhat sweeter character.
If I could sum up Four Corners in four words, I’d describe it as clean, dry, sharp, and sweet: a remarkably versatile gin that’s unlikely to offend gin-skeptics while presenting a unique character that gin devotees will doubtless want to explore further.