The No. 209 story begins in New York in 1870, when William Scheffler purchased the patent for California rights to a new design of a pot still. He journeyed west and eventually became a distiller at Krug in St. Helena, Napa Valley. In 1880, Scheffler bought Edge Hill Estate in St. Helena, at the time one of the most impressive wineries in the Napa Valley. A distiller at heart, in 1882 Scheffler added a stone and brick distillery to the winemaking facilities at Edge Hill. He registered the distillery with the Federal Government and was given distillery license number 209 which he proudly painted above the front door of his new distillery building. In 1999 Leslie Rudd became the new steward of the Edge Hill property. One day while he was surveying the property, he noticed the faintly visible words “Registered Distillery No. 209” painted above the iron doors of what was being used as a hay barn. Unearthing the rest of the story was the point of inspiration for No. 209 Gin and the historical restoration of Edge Hill. The restoration of the original Distillery No. 209 received preservationist awards from both Napa County and the State of California. However, the size and location of the original distillery building were not conducive to our plans for the revival of Distillery No. 209. Therefore, we built a new distillery on Pier 50 in San Francisco – coincidentally, the birthplace of the gin martini. True to our initial goals, we have taken the best of traditional Old World distilling techniques and married them with a passion for excellence, innovative thinking, and a willingness to take risks to create No. 209 Gin, a drink for the connoisseur in all of us - after all, even a flawed person can aspire to greatness.
No. 209 opens with a beautifully aromatic nose of predominately citrus and floral notes with a hint of spiciness. First across the palette are the citrus high notes, with lemon predominate followed by a hint of orange. As the spirit warms in the mouth, delicate floral notes are liberated from the bergamot and coriander. Mid palette, there is a pepper-like warmth from the emerging cardamom and juniper with a wonderful counterpoint from the mint-like components of the cardamom. As the gin passes the palette, the cassia and other warm spice notes become prominent. The cassia in particular will linger in the aftertaste, encouraging another sip.
A classic Tom Collins cocktail
Gold Medal; Contemporary Category - The Gin Masters, 2014. Silver Medal; Super Premium Category - The Gin Masters, 2014.