I had the opportunity to visit 206 Distillery in downtown Seattle recently, who make Counter Gin and Batch 206 Vodka, and got a tour from Rusty Figgins, their master distiller. Rusty let us start with a small (1/2 oz) colder-than-freezing taste of their vodka, which was good but not particularly different for other mid-range vodkas I’ve tried. After my palette was cleared, I had an ice-cold sip of their gin.
Rusty then showed us the distilling chambers and some of the new projects they’re working on, which were aging in barrels at the time (hint: whiskey and brandy) and let us see the clean red wheat that their vodka is distilled from.
All in all, it was a fun day, and Rusty is a lot of fun to hang out with. I bought a bottle of Counter Gin for $25, and it’s been well worth it. The gin is great, a good strong taste, very botanical. Rusty showed me the various botanics that go into the gin as part of the tour. To give it a review, it’s got plenty of juniper flavor and some burn, and I’d call it a gin-lover’s gin, which is to say it’s not as smooth and friendly as Hendrick’s is to the common man.