Ransom Spirits Review: Bourbon & Old Tom Gin

by Phillip Galyean

Ransom Spirits hails from Sheridan, Oregon, where they run a 40-acre organic farm, vineyard, and distillery located in the Willamette Valley, resting amid the Coastal Mountain Range’s foothills. Since 2008, they have been cultivating barley and vines. Their farm gained organic certification in 2011, and their distillery achieved the same in 2021, serving as proof of their commitment to sustainability and responsibility.

In the production of their spirits, Ransom Spirits employs a traditional distillation technique, utilizing a hand-hammered, direct-fired French alembic pot still. They meticulously choose their raw materials and make all selective cuts through taste and smell, opting not to use robots. By brewing and fermenting their base wort on-site every week in small quantities and utilizing locally sourced and organic grains where feasible, they guarantee that their spirits possess greater aromatic intensity and body, resulting in an exceptional end product.

Ransom Bourbon

Nose: You are greeted with an aroma of sawdust, specifically cedar, and a whiff of leather. The sweet notes of vanilla and caramel are not to be missed, adding some depth and complexity.

Taste: As you sip, the silky and mellow warmth coats your palate with a pleasant smoothness. Sweet vanilla and caramel are apparent, accompanied by a subtle hint of peppery spice. Almost imperceptibly, a delicate nuance of creamy peanut butter and fluffy marshmallow floats in the background, adding a touch of playfulness to the flavor profile.

Finish: The flavors gracefully fade into a lingering sensation of vanilla and brown sugar. With just a faint, approachable sting, leaving your palate with a warm and contented feeling.

Ransom Old Tom Gin

Nose: The nose displays an impressive array of aromatic notes. Cardamom, with its spicy and slightly floral character, takes center stage, flanked by a citrusy brightness and the unmistakable aroma of juniper berries.

Taste: Upon tasting, the initial burst of cardamom makes an immediate impact, asserting itself with boldness and confidence. A quick succession of citrus notes follows, contributing a vibrant and refreshing edge to the palate. The overall effect is one of tantalizing tingles and a pleasing balance of flavors, with a subtle hint of malted barley providing a sophisticated touch. The sheer intensity of the flavor profile leaves one with the distinct impression that this gin would make an excellent foundation for a cocktail, able to easily hold its own among other assertive ingredients.

Finish: As the gin reaches its finale, the cardamom slowly recedes, giving way to a medley of citrusy sourness, including lemon, orange, and coriander. This final flourish leaves you with a delightful, lingering aftertaste.

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