Media contact: Brad Plummer, Founder & Distiller, Coastal Spirits Distilling
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SAN CARLOS, CA — Coastal Spirits Distilling is proud to announce that one of their newest gin expressions, Gin Farallon Holy Wood & Cask, has been awarded a 2020 Gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
“This is an incredible honor for us,” says founder and distiller Brad Plummer. “We’ve won many awards over the years, including from SF World, but this one truly validates years of work perfecting this unique gin.”
Holy Wood & Cask is the first and only gin in the world to use Palo Santo, or “holy wood,” as an ingredient. Prized for centuries by ancient cultures for its intense, ethereal aroma, many still consider it sacred. Nowadays, Palo Santo is used widely as a familiar fragrance in incense and a variety of home and personal products. But until now however, no gin has incorporated this unique botanical into its flavor profile.
“Working with Palo Santo has been a challenge,” Plummer says. “It can easily become overpowering, unless the proportions are just right. I spent two years getting that balance dialed in. And I’m thrilled to discover just how perfectly the different cask and Palo Santo flavors work to balance each other.”
The proprietary production process begins with distillation of a hand-selected suite of botanicals, followed by a period of cask conditioning, and then finished with a maceration of sustainably-harvested Ecuadorean Palo Santo wood.
The result is an unforgettable flavor experience — A chorus of gin botanicals sing against sweet vanilla and caramel notes from the barrel, all balancing perfectly into a bold, lingering finish of oak and juniper with resinous hints of orange peel and cinnamon.
While Holy Wood & Cask is a gin taste experience unlike any other just on its own, Plummer says, it also works incredibly well in cocktails typically associated with whiskey. “At a two-day craft spirits carnival in 2019 we sold completely out of the Holy Wood test batch, just on the strength of our Old Fashioned cocktail alone.”
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition awards were originally announced in mid-March, days before California officials announced local shutdown and stay-at-home orders.
“The timing could not have been worse,” Plummer says. “We got the award announcement, and then officially launched the new spirits, right as things were grinding to a halt in California. Regardless, we’re still super excited to share this incredible gin with the world, even if we’ve had to wait a few extra months.”
In parallel with Holy Wood & Cask, Coastal Spirits Distilling has also now launched Gin Farallon “Blackfruit” — another wholly new and unique entry into the world’s canon of gin expressions. Blackfruit’s taste experience centers on a nuanced botanical complement of juniper and California bay laurel, against a backdrop of Eastern European slivovitz-style black-plum brandy. It’s one of a kind.
“Our gin lineup now covers a full flavor-spectrum that celebrates the incredible range of what gins can be,” Plummer says. “Blackfruit plays at the fruit-forward, floral side of things. The original Gin Farallon holds the middle as a contemporary gin, with its juniper–cucumber–spice blend. Holy Wood & Cask occupies the bolder, more adventurous side of the spectrum. The cocktail options to explore with these award-winning gins are almost endless.”
Coastal Spirits Distilling is a boutique distillery focused on small-batch botanical spirits and liqueurs. Located in San Carlos, CA, Coastal Spirits began operation in 2014, launching the inaugural Gin Farallon a year later. Since then, Coastal Spirits has created numerous unique and successful spirits expressions both in-house and for a select handful of partner brands. Coastal Spirits Distilling has enjoyed nearly a decade of international acclaim that includes media and critical accolades, plus dozens of spirits industry awards.