Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 3, 2017
Opihr Gin was created (for Quintessential Brands) by Joanne Moore, who also was the creative force behind my recently reviewed Bloom Gin (see review here). Opihr is a unique style of London Dry Gin created from hand-picked exotic botanicals which were collected along the original trade routes which brought Oriental spices to the Western World. These spices include cubeb peppers from Malaysia (isle of Malacca), cardamom and Tellicherry black peppers from India’s south-east coast in Malabar, spicy cumin seeds from Turkey, juniper from Venice, coriander from Morocco, and oranges from Spain.
The spices are bought to England’s oldest continuously operating gin distillery ( G & J Greenall), where within a copper pot still, Opihr Gin is produced using the same London Dry method that has been used at that distillery since 1761.
Here is a link to my latest Gin review:
“… Opihr Gin has a lightly oily texture which feels nice in the mouth. This is combined with a very aggressive flavour profile which seems to take me on a frantic ride. Peppery spices and bursts of citrus compete for my attention, and both of those flavour impressions are impacted by a light herbal (almost perfumed) character …”
Please enjoy my review which concludes with a spicy brunch cocktail, the Red Snapper, Chimo!
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Cocktail, G & J Greenall, Gin, Opihr, Quintessential Brands, Red Snapper, Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 27, 2017
The Lady From Sicily
Malfy Gin is a brand owned by Biggar and Leith, who are based in the New York area with distribution across North America and in 16 Countries worldwide (and growing). Biggar & Leith own a small portfolio of spirits which are produced by established, family owned distilleries.
Malfy G.Q.D.I. (Gin di Qualità Distillato in Italia) is distilled by the Vergnano family in Moncalieri, Italy. (G.Q.D.I. stands for ‘Gin di qualità distillato in Italia’. It is a stamp and guarantee of quality and origin.) The family uses a traditional stainless steel vacuum still and produces their gin from a distillation of lemons (coastal grown Italian lemons – some from Amalfi and some from Sicily) and juniper (of course) as well as 5 other botanicals (including coriander, angelica and cassia bark).
Here is a link to my full review:
“… the gin revels in the lemon. At first , that is all I taste. However, as I let my palate adjust I begin to notice other flavours playing within the lemon construct. Lightly bitter juniper, hints of dark licorice, and a spiciness which at first I took for lemon zest, but which certainly has the imprint of coriander upon it as well …”
Please enjoy my review, and my cocktail suggestion which follows, the Lady From Sicily, Chimo!
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Biggar and Leith, con Limone, Gin, Malfy Gin, Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 20, 2017
Bloom is a London Dry Gin created by Master Distiller, Joanne Moore. The spirit is intended to be a floral gin which, although it has a secret botanical recipe, relies on four botanicals in particular: juniper berries from Tuscany; chamomile from France; and honeysuckle and pomelo from China for the main essence of its flavour.
According to Joanne Moore:
Honeysuckle provides a special sweetness that’s a bit like candied fruit, and it’s this that delivers the gin’s unparalleled sweetness. I balanced this with calming chamomile to hold the flavour together and rounded it off with citrus notes from the pomelo.
(Bloom Gin is a product of G&J Distillers (Greenall))
Here is a link to my latest Gin Review:
” … The breezes bring me a bouquet of pansies and wild flowers plucked from a garden meadow. These floral scents are not heavy and full of perfume, rather they are firm but light and refreshing in the air above the glass. The floral notes are accompanied by bright citrus notes (lemon and grapefruit) with everything wrapped around a light but firm juniper presence …”
Please enjoy my review which includes my cocktail suggestion, The Sentimental Lady.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Bloom, Cocktail, Gin, Greenall, London Dry, Review, Sentimental Lady | Comments Off on Review: Bloom London Dry Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 13, 2017
The March Lion Cocktail
Tempo Renovo Gin is produced by Goodridge & Williams, an independent craft distilling company located in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). The gin is produced from British Columbia wheat, distilled in a copper pot-still, and according to the company website is a modern expression of contemporary dry gin.
What I do not know are the botanicals used, but I think it might be fun to see what I can tease out of the glass, and perhaps the producer will let me know if I was on the right track. Tempo Renovo Gin was apparently designed to be mixed in cocktails or to be enjoyed straight on the rocks.
Here is a link to my review of this new Vancouver Dry Gin:
” … The juniper is very restrained, to the point that I would suggest the licorice root dominates slightly (but only slightly). A hit of spice arrives late and the spiciness seems to be a combination of grain spice, coriander and cardamom. There is a bit of lemon at the back-end of the palate which I wish was shining just a little more brightly …”
Please enjoy the review which includes my cocktail suggestion, The March Lion.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Gin, Gin Review, Goodridge & Williams. Craft Distillery, Renovo, Tempo | Comments Off on Review: Tempo Renovo Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 6, 2017
2016 was a tremendous year for that spirit which we call Gin (at least as far as my website reviews are concerned). Not only did I add many new gin reviews to my website during that year, I also revisited many of my old favourites with new reviews and new cocktails. The impact of all this writing catapulted my website onto the front page of many internet search engines including google where (as of the time I am writing this) The Rum Howler Blog is the number 3 listed independent spirits review website listed when the search term ‘Gin Reviews‘ is searched.
1878 Gin Cocktail
In 2016 I also spent a great deal of time exploring gin cocktails, researching new recipes as well as refining some of my older constructions as my appreciation for the juniper spirit has continued to increase.
The result of all of this effort has been that I was able to examine and taste 20 different gins at one point or during the last year. When those 20 are added to those juniper spirits I examined during 2015, the result was that I had a field of over 30 Gins to choose from for this years awards.
The best have been brought forward to receive 2017 Rum Howler Awards.
Here is a link to my Awards Page:
I hope everyone is enjoying the awards to this point. Stay tuned for the Whisky and Rum Awards which will publish early next week!
Posted in Awards, Extras, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: 2017, Gin, Review, Rum Howler Awards | Comments Off on 2017 Rum Howler Awards for Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 10, 2016
Botanica Spiritvs Gin is part of the new wave of modern ‘American Style’ gins where the flavor of Juniper is pulled back to allow the other botanicals to have more expression in the spirit. Botanica is produced in small batches (less than 300 bottles per) at Falcon Spirits Distillery in Richmond California. The base spirit for the gin is a Non-GMO (Non-Genetically Modified Organism) grain spirit which has been 6 times distilled and carbon filtered to remove impurities.
Over 12 different botanicals are used in the production of the gin. Because some of the fruits used are not available year round, they are distilled previously (within a day from the time they are picked up from farm). Other botanicals are vapour infused during a final distillation, and after the heads and tails have been discarded, this final distillation is blended with the fruit distillates.
Here is a link to my review:
“… The initial aroma from the glass is somewhat effervescent with floral and fine citrus notes (fruity lemon and lime scents) leading out. As I nose the glass piny juniper, earthy angelica and herbal licorice root and mint build taking the spirit back down a more tradition gin pathway. I find the scents and smells play nicely together, and I like that the menagerie of scents do not overwhelm the juniper …”
Please enjoy my review which includes two serving suggestions, Botanica Lime and Tonic, and the Castle Cocktail.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Botanica Spiritvs, Castle Cocktail, Gin, Gin Review | Comments Off on Review: Botanica Spiritvs Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 3, 2016
Saffron Gin is produced in Dijon, France by micro-distiller Gabriel Boudier. It is apparently made from a 19th century colonial India recipe which includes nine botanicals seven of which are listed on the back label of my sample bottle: Juniper, Coriander, Lemon, Orange Peel, Angelica Seeds, Iris, and Fennel. In addition to the botanicals, the gin is flavoured with Saffron which is a spice derived from the orange stamen of the Crocus Sativa, more commonly known as the “saffron crocus”.
The use of saffron as an exotic spice can be traced back almost 3000 years to the 7th century BC where its use as a botanical/spice is referenced in the library constructed by Assyrian King Ashurbanipal, and in fact its use actually predates written history itself, as Saffron-based pigments have been found in Mesopotamian which date as far back as 50,0000 BC.
Saffron Gin is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… I allowed the glass to sit for just a little while and the dominant combination of saffron and orange liqueur remained in the breezes. It takes a little while but juniper does struggle upwards as does a light licorice-like scent of fennel and angelica. There was only a trace of coriander spice in the breezes while the lemon and iris botanicals remained buried …”
Please enjoy my review of this unique saffron flavoured gin, Chimo!
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Gabriel Boudier, Gin, Review, Saffron Gin | Comments Off on Review: Saffron Gin (Gabriel Boudier)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 24, 2016
Hayman Distillers is the longest-serving family owned gin distiller in England today and they produce a family of gins of differing styles which are each made from their own recipe of botanicals and grain alcohol. They produce each gin separately upon their 450 litre copper pot still which is affectionately called “Marjorie” in a batch style where the botanicals and grain alcohol are steeped for a full day within the still before it is fired up distillation begins.
Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin was created to reflect a past style of gin which could be found in English cities in the 1800s. The recipe for the gin is said to have been developed in 1850. Unlike most English style gins, this gin is rested in Scottish Whisky barrels for three weeks to mellows the overall flavour profile of the spirit. This idea is based upon the fact that until the 1860s gin would more often than not be sold from within an oak cask rather than from the bottle. This meant that the gin was slowly maturing as it was being sold.
Here is a link to my review:
“… The breezes in the air above the glass tell a story of a very traditional gin profile. Soft juniper and light black licorice notes rise first followed by pleasingly sweet citrus scents (orange and lemon) which mingle freely with the juniper. Some spiciness of citrus zest and coriander are apparent as well …”
Please enjoy my review of this outstanding gin, Chimo!
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Gin, Gin Review, Hayman's Family Reserve | Comments Off on Review: Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 21, 2016
My gin binge continues today with a lightly floral London Dry Gin from G and J Greenall, Berkeley Square London Dry Gin. The company likes to bill this spirit as the ‘single malt’ of the gin world based upon the production methods used which they trace back to the late 1700s.
According to their website:
On day one, the traditional four core natural botanicals, which ensure Berkeley Square can officially be called a ‘London Dry Gin’, Juniper, Coriander, Angelica and Cubeb berries are placed by hand in copper pot still No. 8 along with the Kaffir Lime Leaves. The remaining three unique botanicals of Lavender, Sage and Basil are wrapped in muslin and immersed in the triple distilled spirit to infuse their essential oils …
On day two, the still runs at a very slow rate to simmer all the ingredients gently which allows the delicate essential oils of the botanicals to develop, letting the flavours release further into the spirit. Once the temperature inside Still No. 8 reaches approximately 80°C the spirit will vaporise and travel up the column of the still. As the vapour passes over the swan neck, it takes with it the essential oils from the eight botanicals …
The resulting gin is bottled at 46 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The juniper is crisp and is surrounded by fruity lemon and lime scents. There is a ribbon of earthy bitterness which seems to entwine itself into that fresh juniper and citrus fruitiness. As I let the glass sit I sense a very appealing floral component which reminds me of a bouquet of spring flowers …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a couple of recipes, my Modern Gin Cocktail (which was featured yesterday) and the Pegu Club Cocktail.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Berkeley Square Gin, Gin, Gin Review | Comments Off on Review: Berkeley Square Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 12, 2016
The Highwood Distillery is the only locally (Albertan) owned major distillery in Canada. It sits in the town of Highwood, Alberta, which lies just about 40 minutes due south of Calgary, at the foot of the Rocky Mountain. The distillery producing more than 300,000 cases of bottled spirits per year. Although the bulk of their production goes towards Vodka, Flavoured Vodka, and Premixes, they also produce a sizable (and growing) amount of Whisky and Gin each year.
Empire Gin is the company’s premium traditional style London Dry Gin. It is produced by blending a light-bodied vodka spirit with juniper and the distillery’s own special botanical selection of natural herbs, spices and citrus. These botanicals are introduced during the final distillation, and the final spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The aroma from the glass is very nice, although I might be tempted to call it somewhat mellow. We have a floral bouquet of coriander and citrus elements (in particular orange and lime; but also some grapefruit zest and hints of lemon). I also sense a firm juniper aroma with a mix of flowery herbs, building black licorice and a hint of mint and in the breezes above the glass …”
Please enjoy my review of this wonderful locally produced gin.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Empire Gin, Gin, Gin Review, Highwood Distillers, London Dry Gin | Comments Off on Review: Empire London Dry Gin