$$ — 44% ABV — 3 months
Made from corn spirit for body and malted barley for roundness, Ransom looks and sounds far more like a whisky than a gin. It's even aged for as much as a half year in French oak! But this ain't no whisky, it's a ginny gin gin — only sweet and round and so wonderful, you might even consider sipping it neat. Yup.
Another product godfathered by historian David Wondrich, Ransom recreated the old and true style of Old Tom, from far before the '90s vodka craze stripped gin of more and more flavor, until it was naked in the street. No, Ransom is full-bodied: pungent enough to stand out in a mixed drink, mildly sweet so as to pair with just about anything and very complex without being too heavy.
Ransom's Old Tom is most impressive in its versatility. If you're like me, and most enjoy a party when everyone's eating and drinking the same thing, you'll know that's not always easy to do. People are cultured; they have preferences. But this Old Tom hits a lot of chords, for whisky drinkers, vodka drinkers, wine drinkers...
And it's the round and peppery French oak that makes it such the chameleon. Want a (very strange-looking) Martini? How about something sweeter like a Martinez? You could do a gin old fashioned, a fizz, a Rickey, a Last Word... Anything short of a very delicate recipe like the Aviation is worth a try. All of them are good.
Ransom is located in Sheridan, Oregon in the Northwestern USA. Established in 1997 by Tad Seestedt, it remains an independent distiller.