We had never heard of the Pemberton Distillery before head distiller Tyler Schramm dropped a bottle of Schramm Vodka at our office. Schramm, a very soft spoken distiller from Vancouver, British Columbia, may not be extremely well known, but he’s doing some of the most fascinating things with potato-based spirits that we’ve tried. Classified as a “Canadian Dry Gin,” the Schramm Gin impressed us from the very first taste. It was one of those great moments where we stopped and gave 100% of our fullest attention to what’s in the glass. A spirit that can command that kind of attention is rare, and having that happen with a gin is even rarer.
Schramm Gin (88 proof) has a true symphony of aromas in the nose including juniper, orange peel, coriander, and hops. All the astringent notes really stand out in the nose and come together excellently. The nose is completely absent of any vapors or harshness. The entry is full with a clear, starchy feel to the opening. As with the nose, the more astringent notes open things up with juniper, orange peel, and coriander. As it moves to the mid palate, the rosemary notes act as a transition to more of the warm notes, and as things open up we get more cinnamon, angelica, and hops. The undercurrent of the sweet elements from the potato base sneek in at the mid-palate, almost as if it’s there to accompany the cinnamon. There’s a slight juniper kick towards the very end that leads to a long finish, with lingering rosemary and hops.
Schramm Gin is never harsh or overbearing – an accomplishment at 88 proof. Given how pronounced the potato elements are in Schramm Vodka, it’s fascinating to see Tyler Schramm use the subtler aspects of the potato base. The botanicals in this gin are so expertly crafted that they really require time and attention to appreciate them. If there was such a category as ‘sipping gin’, this gin would clearly dominate that class. We also love the addition to the mix of hops; there are so many fantastic floral and herbal notes that can be pulled from great hops, and they work perfectly here. Schramm Gin may be extremely hard to come by, but if you can get your hands on a bottle, you won’t be disappointed. Highest RecommendationSchramm Gin Review by Geoff Kleinman