Distillery No. 209 with its citrusy spice flavour profile, No 209 Gin is what we’ve come to call a “contemporary classic” here at The Gin Blog. No doubt, the flavour profile leans more towards American pallets, with its slightly subdued juniper and more prominent citrus notes however, the core gin backbone is still there. It hasn’t shied away from the category’s heritage and the team has managed to create a modern, contemporary gin, which would appeal to many.
The No. 209 story begins in 1880, when William Scheffler bought the Edge Hill Estate in St. Helena, at the time one of the most impressive wineries in the Napa Valley. A distiller at heart, Scheffler added a stone and brick distillery to the wine making facilities at Edge Hill in 1882 and registered the distillery with the Federal Government. The license number, 209, was granted which Scheffler proudly painted above the front door of his new distillery building. The spirits he produced were reputedly of very high quality and won numerous awards, including a medal at the Universal Exposition of 1889 in Paris, France.
Skipping some 100 years of history, most notably when all production ceased during Prohibition – new life was injected into the distillery in 1999, when Leslie Rudd became the new steward of the Edge Hill property. The Rudd family’s background is in wine and fine food – they own both Rudd Oakville Estate Winery and Dean & DeLuca and had purchased the estate for the vineyards. The story has it that Lesley Rudd had begun the restoration of the building on his estate, and one day while he was surveying the poorly maintained property, noticed the faintly visible words “Registered Distillery No. 209” painted above the iron doors.