I first became aware of 2 Gingers on a visit to downtown Minneapolis to visit a friend of mine that lives there. Not spending a lot of time downtown, I asked him to recommend a place to get a bite for lunch. We ended up choosing the Local because of the opportunity for prime people watching. He claimed it was the hangout of a particular type of d-bag that is always fun to see in the wild.
As we took our seat, our waitress informed us that we were in for a treat. They had just gotten their very own Irish whiskey and that they had their very own cocktail featuring it. The whiskey was 2 Gingers and the cocktail was the Big Ginger (basically whiskey and ginger ale with a lemon and line wedge). You see the Local was one of many Irish pubs formerly owned by Kieran Folliard in the Twin Cities. He sold off his share in them and went on to produce 2 Gingers instead. It’s seems he’s done ok by himself since Beam has purchased the brand and expanded it nationally across the US.
So I had a drink, it was ok, and forgot about it for a little while. I’m not really an Irish whiskey fan and I had a lot of bourbon to learn about.
I was reminded of the brand again by a coworker of mine just about the time the Beam purchase was occurring. He had worked on a promotional video for the brand before coming on to work with me and was showing it off. It was about that time that I figured I might need to get a bottle of this to keep on hand. I had friends who liked it, it was cheap and it never hurts to have a little local pride in the cupboard. And there it’s stayed, a mostly full bottle that wasn’t much touched unless someone came over.
Until today when I decided that a timely review might be in order. It’s that time of year when every American either pretends that they are Irish or that they are too cool to pretend they are Irish. I won’t tell you which camp I fall into, but I will share a review of the only Irish whiskey in the house: 2 Gingers.
Nose: Fruity, but not in an actual fruit way. This is more like Apple Jolly Rancher candy. Followed by silage and a hint of rose petals.
Mouth: Delicate. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Very grain forward with little complexity.
Finish: Gentle, with a lingering bitterness.
Thoughts: This doesn’t perform well neat. But then, from what I understand, it was never intended to. It makes a decent enough cocktail in it’s signature Big Ginger. And that seems to have been it’s intended purpose. So if you are looking for a sipper, this one is just a meh. If you are looking for a nice mixer, this is available for a decent enough price (just over $20 for a liter here in Minnesota).
And now PSA time: St. Patrick’s day is a big drinking holiday in the US. Be smart. If you drink, do so carefully, the temptation to overdo it can be big. In any case, have a driver lined up to bring you home. I want you still around to read when I get back to writing about bourbon later this week.