I opened this box of adventures-to-come from derk and about went catatonic with indecision. I finally snapped out of it and — having just tried Mountain Stream’s Wintergreen White Ruby — decided I’d start by pulling a couple of gifted 18s and splashing around in some ruby puddles this afternoon.
The steaming leaves already have me off and running to understand wintergreen… they smell like those pink chalky candies and Euthymol toothpaste. I’ve always been quite drawn to this flavor, so I’m stoked. Also a bit medicinal/herbal. Celery became the prominent scent after several steeps.
For the nerds: wintergreen is an essential oil from the Gualtheria procumbens plant; the specific compound that creates the smell is methyl salicylate. Wintergreen is not a true mint. The sassafras descriptors in others’ notes make sense, as wintergreen is the oil most often used in root beer these days (sassafras itself got outlawed, so we replaced it). Anyway.
Pours a reddish caramel, and the liquor first and foremost smells like wet dog — persistent through all steeps. Also red fruit, and a spearminty scent that isn’t quite wintergreen.
Middling weight in the mouth — not light or full. Cooling taste and big ol’ wintergreen, dried red raspberry, lightly tannic and crisp. Sweet, but a light fruity sweetness that doesn’t read caramel/molasses/honey to me… distinctly herbal, which is probably the wintergreen but feels like it could lean toward fresh fennel… a touch of toastiness toward the final steeps.
I stopped around eight steeps — the last two sat quite a long time and, though the character was still pleasant and the mouthfeel good, the tannins started vying for too much attention. I cut ‘em off. I’m really enjoying the Ruby 18 cultivar (aka Sun Moon Lake!). Thank you, derk <3
Flavors: Crisp, Fennel, Fruity, Herbal, Medicinal, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Spearmint, Tannic, Wet Dog, Wintergreen