Review: Bully Boy Distillers Merchant Gin and Estate Gin (2020)
We’ve covered the gins of Boston’s Bully Boy Distillers on several occasions. Recently the distillery rebranded its two gins — relaunching them with much different labels and mildly different identities. The recipes have not been altered, but batch and bottle numbers have been eliminated.
Let’s dig in.
Bully Boy Distillers Merchant Gin (2020) – Launched as Bully Boy Distillers Gin in 2018, this gin has a “simple grain base is paired with a honeysuckle cane for a bright and exotic flavor profile. The blend also includes fragments of Italian juniper, California coriander, grapefruit, cardamom, chamomile, and blueberry.” Earthy with a hefty complement of chamomile, the more savory side of the gin is in effect here, with a touch of hogo driven by the cane sugar in the base syrup. Dried herbs and some pepper keep the pedal down on spice, while some (dried) floral elements pop as the finish builds. I get a lot more of the honeysuckle than I did in 2018, with ample tea notes clinging to the conclusion. 90 proof. B / $30 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Bully Boy Distillers Estate Gin (2020) – This one hasn’t changed its name. “With a base of grain and apple brandy, this gin has hints of indigenous juniper, lavender, regional apple varieties, lemon, and pink peppercorn.” Clearly more juniper forward, the gin leans on that lavender — though today I find the lemon notes really explosive on the nose. Citrus leads the way on the palate, too, though there’s a grassiness that — while it’s not exactly juniper-focused — is herbal and, at times, pungent with earthy and peppery notes. Hints of herbal mint, pepper (pink or otherwise), and a curious lightly-sweet rhubarb note are all in the mix. The finish shows a lingering syrup note that soothes some of the funkier elements up front. 94 proof. B+ / $30 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]