Guardian Reserve Gin Wins National Recognition

Posted On April 12th, 2018

Locally produced Guardian Reserve Gin was recently recognized on the national stage. Gulch Distillers received acclaim for their barrel-aged gin by winning a bronze medal in the American Distilling Institute’s (ADI) Judging of Craft Spirits competition in Portland, OR. ADI is the oldest and largest organization of small-batch, independently owned distilleries in the US with a mission to promote and defend the art and enterprise of craft distilling. This year marks the 12th annual Judging of Craft Spirits, making the event one of the longest running, largest, and most respected spirits competitions in the US.

Guardian Reserve Gin pays tribute to Helena’s iconic landmark, the “Guardian of the Gulch” Fire Tower. Helena’s distillery crafts this gin in small batches of only a few hundred bottles from a base of Montana grains. This “New Style” gin relies on a simple, five-botanical structure, including juniper, coriander, and angelica root. It undergoes a finishing process in French oak casks, which imparts a light straw color to the spirit.

“The cask finish really brings a lot of finesse to the spirit, which I think is ultimately what caught the judges’ attention,” said co-owner Tyrrell Hibbard. “The light barrel age adds a depth and maturity that really make this a wonderful sipper. We are honored to receive recognition for our gin.”

The judges noticed the balance. Tasting notes from the competition remarked on Guardian Reserve’s complexity, soft sweetness, and gentle floral notes. ADI’s judging panel is made up of distillers, journalists, bar owners, bartenders, retailer, wholesalers, distributors, and importers—a panel that draws from different disciplines to allow a fuller perspective of each spirit under consideration.

Gulch Distillers invites Helena to help them celebrate the recognition on Friday, April 20th from 4-8pm. Guardian Reserve Gin will be on sale for $33 for a 750ml bottle and the evening will feature special gin cocktails.

Gulch Distillers is a grain-to-glass microdistillery located at 790 Front Street. Their handcrafted spirits include Triple Divide Vodka, Guardian Gin, Guardian Reserve Gin, Flintlock Spiced Rum, and Burrone Fernet. The distillery tasting room is open Monday-Friday from 4pm-8pm and Saturday from 2pm-8pm. Learn more at