This Top Shelf Gin Is Infused With Old Harley-Davidson Parts

For more than $1,000, you can drink the essence of flathead, knucklehead, or panhead.

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Hand-out—The Archaeologist

I once tried a beer for no reason other than because it was named "Old Engine Oil." Though it's the same color as the 5w30 motor oil I drain every few thousand miles, this black ale tasted good enough on its own merits—thankfully, it didn't share many taste characteristics with actual engine oil. But The Archaeologist takes the infusion of vehicles and alcohol several steps further by including the internal components of old Harley-Davidsons in bottles of high-end gin.

We've written about H-D's sales and marketing woes, but we absolve the motorcycle manufacturer of any responsibility for this one. The Archaeologist is the brainchild of Uwe Ehinger, who describes himself as a motorcycle archaeologist with a love of Harleys. "Every time I make a find of rare bikes, I wonder how to use every single part–because they deserve to be preserved," reads the web site. "That is where the idea for ‘The Archaeologist’ emerged: preserving the spirit of the old machines in an actual spirit and make it possible to experience the taste."

Personally, I've never tasted a 1939 flathead, or a 1947 knucklehead, or a 1962 panhead. I doubt I'd be able to tell the difference between them by licking internal engine components. But any difference would be hidden anyway, trapped beneath a tin alloy that prevents them from tainting, imbuing, or poisoning the gin, according to a press release. This makes sense from a food safety perspective, but it does seem to negate the purpose of sticking motorcycle parts into a bottle of gin to preserve their spirits in the... um... spirits.

Most of us won't get to experience the results of these labors for ourselves, though, thanks to the price tag ranging from $1,047 to $1,280 (converted from €900 to €1,100), or, depending on which model or flavor you buy. The packaging, from the bottle itself that contains the old Harley parts, to the labels that are printed on a Heidelberg Tiegelprinting press from 1931 for extra vintage cred, certainly isn't cheap. But all of the gin I've ever tried, of any brand, tastes like a pine tree to me. It's quite possible that I've never actually tried good gin. But considering that one bottle costs far more than my Volkswagen Jetta, I think I'll stick to my Old Engine Oil.