Ransom Old Tom Gin is a historically accurate revival of the predominant Gin in fashion during the mid 1800's and the golden age of American cocktails. The recipe was developed in collaboration with historian, author, and mixologist extraordinaire David Wondrich. Old Tom is the Gin for mixing classic cocktails dating from the days before prohibition. Its subtle maltiness is the result of using a base wort of malted barley, combined with an infusion of the botanicals juniper, coriander, orange, lemon, angelica root and cardamom in high proof corn spirits. The final distillation is run through an alambic pot still in order to preserve the maximum amount of aromatics, flavor and body. Only the "heart of the hearts", the very best portion of distillate, is retained. This is then aged in wine barrels, as the Old Toms of pre prohibition would have been for transportation. The barrel aging gives colour and complexity to the spirit.
Ransom Spirits was started by Tad Seestedt in 1997 with a small life savings and a fistful of credit cards. The name was chosen to represent the debt incurred to start the business - Tad was paying his own ransom to realize his dream. Initially, the distillery made small amounts of grappa, eau de vie and brandy. Ransom began the production of a number of small-batch fine wines in 1999. In 2007, Ransom took up the craft of grain-based spirits, adding gin, whiskey and vodka to the line-up.
Both the distillery and the winery moved several times in their early days, and in 2008, the purchase of a forty-acre farm outside of Sheridan Oregon brought them together for the first time. This was the same year barley was first planted on the farm. Ransom Farms is located in the Willamette Valley in the foothills of the Coastal Mountain Range. In keeping with their commitment to sustainability and stewardship, the farm has been certified Organic since 2011.
Ransom distills their spirits in a hand-hammered, direct-fired French alembic pot still, making all of the selective cuts by taste and smell, without the use of computers or robots. This labour intensive, traditional method of distillation retains greater aromatic intensity and body from the raw materials they select with such great care. They mash and ferment the base wort on site weekly in small batches, sourcing local and organic grains where possible and incorporating barley grown on their own farm. The gins include the finest natural botanicals, many of which are Organically grown in Oregon.
Ransom strives embody core values of historicity, craftsmanship, and terroir. Ransom works hard every day to make products that speak to their literal and figurative roots. They have created dynamic, terroir-driven craft spirits with the weight and aromatic complexity of their predecessors. This also speaks meaningfully of a new provenance; the green foothills of the Oregon Cascades, where a new tradition of distilling is springing to life.