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Archive for the ‘Gin’ Category

Review: Gordon’s Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 7, 2023

Alexander Gordon founded the Gin Distillery in London in 1769, and although the company is now part of the Diageo conglomerate, they have apparently remained true to their original Gin recipe which includes handpicked juniper berries and other secret botanicals. (According the company website, only 12 persons in the world know the secret recipe.)

Although Gordon’s Gin is about as typically English as gin can be, the version I am reviewing is distilled and made in Canada. (Apparently the gin is distilled to different bottling proofs for different markets, and for the North American market, Diageo has chosen to have the spirit made in Canada.)

Its been twelve years since I last tasted Gordon’s, here is a link to my updated review:

Review: Gordon’s London Dry Gin

“… Gordon’s Gin has an assertive flavour profile with a piny (and mildly bitter) juniper leading out in front. A Lightly sweet lemony citrus follows.  The gin is dry, and as I sip my glass, my mouth puckers …”

Please enjoy this long overdue re-visitation to Gordon’s Gin. You will find that my assessment has changed a little in the twelve years since my last review of this spirit.



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Review: Hendrick’s Original Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 23, 2023

Hendrick’s Gin’s Master Distiller, Ms. Lesley Grac, has been adding new limited releases to compliment the brand’s growing family of unusual piny spirits. Four of these new expressions, Hendrick’s Flora Adora (featuring a bouquet of fragrant flowers laid out especially by Ms Lesley Gracie), Hendrick’s Lunar Gin (rich with night blooming floral essence), Hendrick’s Neptunia (expresses the sensory delights of the sea coast), and Hendrick’s Orbium (re-imagined with extracts of quinine, wormwood and lotus Blossom) have become available in my locale, and I am expecting delivery of each of these at some point this summer.


This means it is a good time to reacquaint myself with Hendrick’s Original Gin and its unusual infusion of cucumber and rose petal.

The people who make Hendrick’s Gin pride themselves on being just a little quirky, and perhaps a bit eccentric. Their offbeat website revels in the odd and the peculiar and seeks to convince all who peruse the site, that Hendrick’s Gin is special exactly because of the things which make it odd and peculiar.

Hendrick’s and Fever Tree Tonic

The gin is produced in Scotland, in the village of Girvin, Ayrshire. The distillery sits  just about a mile inland overlooking the island of Ailsa Craig.  It is made small batches, on two different stills with 11 different botanicals, and infused with cucumber and rose petals.

Here is a link to my recently revised review of Hendrick’s Original Gin:

Review: Hendrick’s Orignal Gin

“… The nose begins with mild citrus tones which are accented by juniper. The influence of the rose petal is perhaps that touch of red berry I am noticing in the background, and a light cucumber influence can be found if I pay attention. I catch hints of lemon-lime and orange as well. And impressions of black licorice and fennel …”

This recent re-evaluation sees my scores for Hendrick’s Gin elevated by a few points as either my appreciation of the spirit is improving, or the spirit has improved.


(PS: Look for my upcoming review series of the Hendrick’s Limited Edition Gins to begin in June.



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Review: Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 19, 2023

Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin is produced by the team at Victoria Distilling in Sydney, British Columbia. Their spirit is inspired by the city of Victoria (also known as ‘The City of Gardens’) where flowers blossom almost year-round. (Due to its location on the southern tip Vancouver Island, the warm pacific waters keep even the harsh Canadian winters at bay).

This gin is distilled in small batches with nine botanicals: juniper berries, rose petals, elderflower, lavender, orange peel, orris root, cinnamon, coriander and black carrot.

According to the folks at Victoria Distilling:

” We use a unique combination of red rose petals and black carrots to achieve its stunning ruby hue. Roses are a traditional gin botanical with a beautiful floral note and a delicate aroma. The black carrot adds a touch of sweetness and enhances and maintains our rich ruby colour.”

Empress Elderflower Rose Gin is bottled at 42.5 % alcohol by volume and sold as a all-natural, gluten free, and certified Kosher premium gin.

Here is a link to my full review of this very interesting gin:

Review: Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin

“… I notice opening notes of juniper and heated coriander with cinnamon adding a light spicy twist. Fruity notes come though reminding me of red berries and orange peel, and then I notice the floral bouquet. The floral notes become more prominent as the glass sits, however they remain comfortable and inviting rather than heavy and perfumed … “

Please enjoy my review which includes two cocktail suggestions, The Garden Gimlet and Rose-Violet Lady of the Empire.


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Review: Stillhead Wild Blackberry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 17, 2023

Stillhead Distillery began operations in October of 2017 in Duncan, British Columbia with a vision to distill the essence of Vancouver Island into their brands. They do this by adding distinct Vancouver Island ingredients to their products showcasing their home in every bottle. Their flagship spirit, Wild Blackberry Gin, uses handpicked, local berries (100% wild blackberries) from the Cowichan Valley as well as Canadian honey.

This is constructed as a flavoured gin, not a liqueur. Therefore the sweetness of the honey is kept in check. The flavoured spirit is constructed to be a versatile cocktail mixer, a bramble in a bottle, or perhaps to be simply enjoyed over ice.

Bottled at 37.5 % alcohol by volume, Stillhead’s Wild Blackberry Gin was named the Best Canadian Flavoured Gin for two years in a row (2020 1nd 2021) at the World Gin Awards, in London, Uk.

Review: Stillhead Wild Blackberry Gin

” … The nose is a little retrained, I notice mild indications of fruity blackberry alongside the light spiciness of what I believe is coriander. Hints of juniper peak out through the blackberry, and after that I am only guessing as the other scents and smells seem jumbled together or hidden completely by the fruit which has gained momentum as the glass sits. …”

Please enjoy the review! I have a few more of Stillhead’s Island spirits to review in the next week or two, so stay tuned.


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Review: Levenswater Spring 34 Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 3, 2022

Levenswater Gin is produced in Ontario Canada by Niagara Falls Craft Distillery. It is part of a family of spirits which includes Levenswater Spring 34 Gin, Levenswater Harvest Gin as well as the Levenswater Barrel Aged 34 Gin. These spirits are produced from a base distilled from potatoes with botanicals which have been selected to represent the seasonality of the spirit, fall botanicals selected for the Harvest Gin and spring botanicals selected for the Spring 34 Gin.  The barrel Aged Gin is apparently a version of the Spring 34 Gin which has been aged in oak for 3 months.

This is the review for Levenswater Spring 34 Gin which has been infused with the flavours from with 34 botanicals. The actual botanical recipe for the gin has not to my knowledge been revealed, but they were apparently inspired by the aromas and spices one encounters in Toronto’s nearby Kensington Market. According to the producer’s website information, we can expect this gin to be uniquely Canadian with spring-like flavours and aromas of lavender, coriander, chamomile and rosemary.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Levenswater Spring 34 Gin

“… Mild lavender and other floras (chamomile perhaps) combined with spicy coriander and ginger. Juniper, mild licorice-like anise and an earthiness akin to angelica root becoming more focused as I let the glass breathe. Other botanical impressions are hard to ferret out. I might even make the suggestion that things are a little muddled with too many competing components …”

Please enjoy my review!



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