Inspired by a story of WWII merchant marines, the KO Distilling navy strength gin is an interesting expression that adopts the title of New Western gin. Proudly brandishing the number 142, the gin's particular set of digits doesn't refer to the strength of the spirit but rather the story of 142 cadet-midshipmen merchant marines who died in WWII. The gin is meant to celebrate the history of these brave soldiers in a strong and delicious spirit.
KO Distilling crafts its gin with eight botanicals: juniper, orange peel, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, grains of paradise, angelica root and orris root. These botanicals sound like traditional London Dry styles of gin, but this expression could not be further removed. Unlike a London Dry, the nose of the KO Distilling features heavy spices of cinnamon and black pepper. The palate brings a mix of earth tones, coriander and strong citrus. This exhibition of citrus defines the gin as a New Western style as it plays beautifully with the juniper-heavy finish. At 114 proof, the gin drinks with a surprising cleanness and feels much cooler than any other overproof spirit.