Hardshore Distilling Co. of Portland, Maine, announced the U.S. launch of its award-winning, green herb-forward gin, including both its flagship Hardshore Original and the new Hardshore North Oak Barrel Rested edition.
“Our Hardshore Original Gin is the result of nearly four years of slow discovery and experimentation with the singular goal of creating something that hasn’t been done before,” said Jordan Milne, the company’s founder and head of its team of three distillers. “We stand alone in our decision to put fresh, green herbs at the center of our gin. We kept it simple, obsessed over every detail and created a gin that surprises and delights both gin-lovers and gin-curious alike,” he added.
Milne began his distilling career while living in New York City, making whiskey in a small copper still in the bathtub of his small apartment. It was his father-in-law that introduced him to gin, and he soon became a dedicated student of gin. When he and his family decided to move to Maine, Milne seized the opportunity to try distilling full time. It took him four years to put together a plan for the distillery and two years to build it. Gin is the distillery’s only product, something Milne is proud of.
Hardshore’s neutral base spirit is made from wheat grown and hand-selected from Milne’s family farm. After mashing in-house, the fermentation is cut just a bit short to create a slightly heavier, softer base. The distinctive, complex flavor is the result of a simple mix of just five botanicals, with leafy notes of fresh rosemary and mint upfront, supported by orris root (iris) grown and aged 7 years in Umbria, Moroccan-grown coriander and wild-grown Tuscan juniper hand harvested from a small juniper collective in the hills outside Livorno, Italy. The gin is distilled three times, the third time after a thorough soak of the unconventional, aromatic botanicals.
The company just released its newest product, Hardshore North Oak Barrel Rested Gin, which is a unique oaked expression of the original. Folding the ultra-bright and leafy-green botanicals into mellow layers of American oak, this amber gin spends between three and six months in new 30-gallon American oak casks and bucks the conventional method of sweetening oaked gin to soften the wood tannins imbued by the barrels. The base gin’s notes of fresh rosemary and green mint naturally complement and soften the oak tones so there is no need for additional sweetening. “The rich texture and herbal simplicity of our oaked gin makes for a delicious sipping experience on its own but also adds unexpected character to any cocktail,” said Milne.
Sustainability and the environment are a hierarchy of Hardshore’s values. “While making exceptional gin is our passion, we also strive to do our part to conserve the natural wonders of Maine that make Hardshore so unique,” said Milne. The water comes straight from Sebago Lake and is so clean that there’s no need for reverse osmosis to purify the water, which means Hardshore uses up to 30% less water than other facilities of a similar size.
Hardshore Distilling Company was named “Best Craft Gin Distillery in America” by USA Today, and has won myriad awards from around the globe, including Double-Gold from the San Francisco World Spirits Competitions in both 2021 and 2022.
The suggested retail price for Hardshore Original Gin is $37.99 and $44.99 for Hardshore North Oak Barrel Rested Gin.
Hardshore is currently available in 19 states including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Washington, Colorado and Minnesota with plans to roll out in additional markets.