About Silvertip American Dry Gin
Over two decades ago, Joe and Jules Legate began cultivating an herb garden on their 15-acre farm in Kalispell, Montana. Situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Kalispell's alpine climate, Jules thought, would produce amazing herbs that she could use to make a type of herbal tea. "But Joe has been brewing beer for as long as I can remember,"she says, "and had the idea to use my garden for something very different."
Vilya Distillery's Silvertip American Dry Gin is made with juniper, anise, coriander, caraway, orris and angelica, much of which is sourced from the Legates' own farm. "Sometimes we go hiking and are able to pick some wild herbs like angelica,"Jules says, "which we can also use when making the gin." After harvesting the botanicals, Jules prepares and dries them by hand. The herbs are then placed into the vapor basket of a 200-liter, hand-hammered copper alembic still the Legates imported from Portugal and are distilled with grain spirits.
After distillation, Jules brings the gin to 88 proof using pure Rocky Mountain snowmelt. "As much as possible, we're a green company,"she adds. "Whatever water we have left over after distilling we use to water plants and we put the spent herbs into a compost pile."
Silvertip Gin has a floral aroma with notes of anise and angelica, and a creamy, medium-dry body. Named after the grizzly bears often spotted in Montana's forests (the bears are referred to as "old silvertips"), the gin earned the Gold Medal at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
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About Vilya Spirits
Absinthe, which is a spirit traditionally derived from grand wormwood, anise and fennel, has a long and colorful history. While its origins remain unclear, the use of medicinal wormwood dates back to ancient Egypt. In the 18th and 19th centuries, absinthe was distributed by the French Army to its troops as a cure for several digestive diseases, including dysentery and tropical fever. When the troops returned home, they brought their taste for absinthe with them.
Spurred by the temperance movement and winemakers, absinthe became associated with hallucinogenic effects. One critic claimed that absinthe would "make you crazy and criminal," and that it would "provoke epilepsy and tuberculosis." In 1905, Swiss farmer Jean Lanfray murdered his family after consuming considerable quantities of wine, brandy and two glasses of absinthe. While Lanfray had a history of alcoholism, Swiss teetotalers seized the moment and passed a referendum making absinthe illegal.
Absinthe was likewise prohibited in the United States from 1912 until 2007. During that time, Joe and Jules Legate began cultivating an herb garden on their farm in Kalispell, Montana. When they realized that many of the herbs they were growing were used in the production of absinthe, they began pouring over rare manuscripts and recipes, tasting all the absinthe they could get their hands on, before opening Vilya Distillery. After hundreds of experiments, they finally settled on the recipe for Superior Absinthe Verte.
According to Winston Churchill, "The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen's lives and minds than all the doctors in the Empire," referring to the British officers using it to treat malaria in India.
Initially made for medicinal purposes, gin gets most of its flavor from the juniper berries added after the distillation process. It sure has come a long way from the Middle Ages, with the introduction of new botanicals, fruits, and spices, bringing it closer to people of all flavor varieties.
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