Atelier Vie – New Orleans Spirit

What can you do on a rainy day in NOLA? Visit Atelier Vie distillery that’s what!

Atelier Vie

Today saw us visit our first distillery on our world trip – Atelier Vie in New Orleans. Situated in Art Egg studios in the MidCity district of New Orleans, Jedd Haas has been distilling spirits for the last 7 years creating two gins, two types of absinthe & a brandy.

Where did it all start

Coming from an electrical manufacturing background, Jedd always wanted to do something that involved manufacturing & found himself drawn to sprit production. Why? Firstly the city.  New Orleans is famous for being the home of the cocktail so it only seemed natural to Jedd that his future lied in spirit manufacture. Another reason was that when he started 7 years ago there was only one other distillery in the whole of the Louisiana state.

As mentioned earlier, Jedd has built up a good catalogue of products which we were able to taste while on our visit. The brandy and absinthe we tried were fantastic, the red and green absinthe being a particular favourite… Having not really tried absinthe before it was interesting to learn about how it is created and the different types that are available.

The Gins

As I said Jedd produces two gins at the distillery – Euphrosine Gin #9 & Euphrosine Gin #9 Barrel Reserve.

So, let’s start with the name

Euphrasine

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Well, that one is easy! Its the name of the street that runs down the side of the building that houses the distillery… But it also has another meaning…it has links to Greek mythology and is meant to mean joy and happiness – quite apt for a gin name don’t you think! And the #9? Well, that represents the recipe number that was eventually brought to market.

Both gins are bottled at 45% Alc. / Vol and are pot distilled from neutral grain spirit. The botanicals are heat-infused at 125 degrees for around 24 hours before being added to the still. Jedd explained that he infuses before distilling as he found that he could get more flavour into the gin. Jedd uses 11 botanicals in his gin but they are a closely guarded secret, with only juniper and bay leaf being the botanicals Jedd was happy to reveal!

What are they like

Both of the gins are fantastic & a real credit to Jedd & his understanding of botanicals and flavour. They both have a savoury profile with & lovely juniper bite. The standard gin has hints of vanilla with a strong citrus presence on the nose but when tasted that citrus isn’t as big as you would expect. Instead, the gin is very savoury and fresh on the palate. There is a pleasing tingle around the mouth that lasts right through to the finish where the citrus pops its head back up again. There are many layers to this gin and they all work very well together to give a lovely rounded flavour. Nothing jumps out too much, but then again nothing is lost. 

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A selection of botanicals in the distillery.. but apprently some of them are decoys!

If I was going to have to take a shot at some of the botanicals I would have to go with

  • Juniper
  • Bay leaf
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Some sort of pepper – maybe black pepper
  • Coriander 
  • Vanilla 
  • Orris
  • Cassia Bark

But then again I may be wrong!

 

 

As for the barrel aged, well this is something special indeed! Aged for nine months in American whiskey barrels, the resulting spirit is described by Jedd as “a sipping gin” and we couldn’t agree more. Putting tonic in this gin would be a travesty! The flavours are rich and warming. The barrels have added a lovely smokiness to the gin as well as a slight sweetness. Plus its incredibly smooth!  

 

 

 

Awards 

We loved Euphrasine gin and it appears that others do too! Both the barrel aged and the standard have won gold this year at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 

This year’s competition was the largest ever, with over 2,200 entries. 

Jedd told us 

“Atelier Vie went head-to-head against spirits from around the world with no restrictions on entries. Competitors included the largest spirits companies in the world. The fact that we triumphed at this level of competition shows the excellence of our spirits,”

In addition to this most recent win, Euphrosine Gin #9 has also previously received a Gold Medal from the American Distilling Institute (ADI), a Best of Category from ADI, and a Gold Medal from the American Craft Spirits Association (ASCA).

We would like to say a big thank you to Jedd for letting us take a look around his distillery and entertaining us for a few hours! It really was a great experience and we are going to have fun polishing off the two bottles we bought while on the rest of our travels! 

If you want to find out more about Atelier Vie, or if you ever find yourself in NOLA, you can check out their website here – http://ateliervie.com

Next stop… San Francisco! 

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