Junípero Gin is a smooth, clean and dry gin with an assertive juniper flavour and a spicy finish. Made by Anchor Distilling in Potrero Hill in San Francisco, Junípero was launched in 1998 and was truly one of the first in the new wave of gins to reach the market during the category’s recent resurgence.
The gin contains over a dozen botanicals that result in a traditional juniper heavy flavour, with a pronounced spiciness. While the final botanical list remains secret, citrus elements (perhaps even grapefruit given the distillery’s geographical location) as well as coriander and liquorish play their part in complementing a classic gin flavour.
Although the nose is subtle, there is little more to say about the spirit that is exactly what its name suggests – juniper predominant gin with no aspirations to be anything other than a typical London Dry. Allegedly the Name Junípero - Spanish for juniper, is also a reference to Junípero Serra, an important figure in San Francisco’s and California’s history. As with many stronger, traditional tasting gins (bottled at 49.3% ABV), Junípero makes for a great Martini.
Its creators The Anchor Brewery (founded in 1896) was purchased in 1965 by the current owner, Frederick Louis Maytag III. The brewery moved to its current location in 1979 and is one of the last remaining breweries to produce California Common beer, also known as Steam Beer, now a trademark owned by the company. Arguably they could be heralded as one of the leading figures in the craft beer movement in the USA and while separate to the brewery, The Anchor Distilling Company (established in 1993) has taken their considered and no nonsense approach into the production of their gin.
Since 2004, Anchor Distilling has won a total of 17 medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including Double Golds for character and packaging design for Junípero Gin. With a recent change of hands (the Anchor distilling Company was sold to SKYY Spirits in 2010) one can only hope that they continue the good work and continue to grow the brand, especially in other markets other than the US.