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Archive for the ‘Gin Review’ Category

Review: Saffron Gin (Gabriel Boudier)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 3, 2016

Safrron Gin SAM_2496_1Saffron 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:

Review: Saffron Gin (Gabriel Boudier)

“… 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!

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Review: Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 24, 2016

Hayman's Family Reserve 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:

Review: Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin

“… 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!

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Review: Berkeley Square Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 21, 2016

6397_berkeley_square_still_no._8_limited_release_gin_0_7l 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:

Review: Berkeley Square Gin

“… 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.


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Review: Empire London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 12, 2016

empire-gin1The 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:

Review: Empire London Dry Gin

“… 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.


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Review: De Kuyper Genièvre

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 9, 2016

De Kuyper SAM_2454De Kuyper Royal Distillers is a Netherlands based company which produces several lines of flavoured spirits and liqueurs. The company was founded in 1695 by Petrus De Kuyper, and by 1752, the family owned a distillery in Schiedam which was at the time the leading center for the production of Dutch Gin or Genever. In 1911, a new distillery was built in Schiedam and the company began to produce liqueurs and flavoured spirits as well. By the 1960s the production of flavoured spirits and liqueurs had overtaken the production of genever. In 1995, on the occasion of its 300th anniversary, the company received the title “Royal” from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. This led to the company changing its name from Johannes de Kuyper & Zoon to De Kuyper Royal Distillers.

Although there is no mention of De Kuyper Genièvre on the Dutch Company’s website, I have learned that this dutch gin is produced under license for the Canadian market (particularly Quebec) via De Kuyper Canada. The recipe was developed in the 16th century and has since been handed down from generation to generation. The Genièvre is apparently produced from three grains (barley, corn and rye) which have been distilled 4 times on a pot still. The distinctive flavour is created from an infusion of Juniper berries (and perhaps other botanicals).

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: De Kuyper Genièvre 

“… The initial aroma is lightly vegetal with both grain spices and juniper reaching out to greet my nose. There is a muted malt-like sweetness and a few impressions of both sharp citrus peel and mushy banana and grilled plantain …”

Please enjoy my review of this traditional Dutch Genièvre.



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Review: Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 6, 2016

Defender Island SAM_2364Legends Distilling is a small craft distillery in Naramata B.C. (the heart of Okanagan Wine Country). Owner’s Dawn and Doug Lennie moved there 11 years ago and witnessed the progression of the wine business happening all around them. They were already running their own businesses, but had a dream of working together to build a new company they could share. Dawn and Doug had been watching what was going on with craft distilling in the USA, and they decided that distilled spirits would be a great business to bring to their community as a compliment to all the great wines available around them. Offering something new in the area was key. This included their unique location along the Naramata Bench, as other distilleries were being located in more industrial areas.

Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin is made from a wheat based spirit which was produced upon Legend Distillery’s main still (which comprises of a pot and 20 plate column). The gin features juniper, wild Okanagan sage and a host of other botanicals which are vapor infused through their copper still. Following distillation, flame charred locally grown rosemary is added, giving the gin a unique smokey flavour. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin

” … The breezes above the glass are appealing. I receive a firm piny juniper scent which is softened by the very apparent aroma of smoked rosemary. Light impressions of poultry seasoning, treacle, orange liqueur, and a light coriander-like spiciness comes forward as well …”

Please enjoy the review which includes the suggested recipe, the Sour Defender.

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Review: Eau Claire Parlour Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 28, 2016

ECD-ParlourGin-medium-closecutEau Claire Distillery opened as Alberta’s first craft distillery in the summer of 2014. The facility is located 35 minutes southwest of downtown Calgary in the picturesque Hamlet of Turner Valley. The name ‘Eau Claire’ is a name of great historical significance in Alberta, meaning ‘clear water’, and is representative of the clear water from the nearby Rocky Mountains that is used in the making of the distillery’s offerings.

Eau Claire’s Parlour Gin was launched in August 2014. It is a London-dry style gin which features traditional gin botanicals including juniper, coriander, lemon, orange, and mint combined with unique local botanicals such as rosehips and Saskatoon berry. It’s name, Parlour Gin reflects the history of prohibition era gin parlours throughout the world, and honour gin’s place in generating social conversation, friendship and enjoyment.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Eau Claire Parlour Gin

“… The initial aroma brings a crisp juniper sent into the breezes with firm scents of rosehips and accents of coriander and citrus spice. When I inspect the glass more closely I notice impressions of dark fruit in the air which I believe are traces of Saskatoon berry, and deeper within the glass I seem to sense an underlying herbal earthiness …”

Please enjoy my review.



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Review: Pinnacle Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 24, 2016

Pinnacle Gin SAM_2419Pinnacle Gin is a Beam/Suntory spirit imported from the United Kingdom and (according to the back label) bottled by Portfield Importers, in Deerfield Illinois. Pinnacle is a London Dry Gin handcrafted in small batches, 4x distilled from 100 % grain, infused with botanicals, and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Interestingly Portfield Importers also own the Pinnacle Vodka brand. The two spirits appear to be produced independently, and as far as I can determine are not related to each other in any way except through brand ownership.

Here is a link to my review of Pinnacle Gin:

Review: Pinnacle Gin

“… The gin is very clean with a crisp note of juniper dominating the breezes above the glass. This piny juniper scent is accompanied by sharp orange peel and a few zesty notes of lemon and lime. If I am patient with the glass I also seem to sense light impressions of cardamom and coriander as well as perhaps a faint note of anise …”

Please enjoy my review which includes two nice recipe suggestions from W. J. Tarling’s 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book: The Red Lion and yesterday’s feature cocktail, the Abbey.





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Review: Bols Genever

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 21, 2016

Bols Genever SAM_2415Lucas Bols advertises itself as the oldest distillation company active in the world today with origins that trace back to 1575. After 440 years, the company has grown to become one of the leading global concerns in the spirits industry. Bols has a presence in over 110 countries selling liqueurs, vodka, gin, and genever. The wide range of  liqueurs is particularly impressive. With 36 naturally flavoured liqueurs, the company can boast the widest range of liqueur flavours in the world.

According top the Bols Genever website, Lucas Bols began distilling Genever in 1664.  In fact, genever is the juniper-flavored spirit from which modern gin evolved. Traditional genever is still very popular in the Netherlands. I remember as a child when my parents would go back to Holland (where they emigrated from), and when they would return they would bring back a bottle of dutch genever which was not available in our hometown.

Bols Genever is based upon a recipe which Luca Bols introduced in 1820. The spirit is produced from malt wine distillate which is made from long-fermented rye, corn and wheat which is triple-distilled in copper pot stills. This malt wine, is then infused with a carefully selected distillate of botanicals and brought to 42% alcohol.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Bols Genever

“… Rather than being greeted with a clean piny juniper aroma in the glass, the scents and smells which reached up to me were much earthier, with warm, musty vegetal impressions drifting in the breezes. I do sense a firm juniper presence in the spirit, but it is disguised somewhat by the more dominant vegetal aspect of the spirit …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

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Review: Doctor’s Orders Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 12, 2016

Doctor's OrdersLegend Distilling Smalltown Spirits is located in Naramata, British Columbia, where they create small handcrafted batches of Gin and Vodka. Their craft distillery is housed in an old doctor’s office and that is the inspiration for their Doctor’s Orders Gin.

The craft spirit is produced from a base wheat spirit which was produced upon a still which comprises of a pot and 20 plate column. The botanicals are locally foraged juniper berries, coriander and citrus as which are mixed with local Okanagan flavours (locally grown lavender, elderberry, mint and apple). The final spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Doctor’s Orders Gin

“… Juniper comes across more clearly upon the palate than it had upon the nose, and the fruit speaks clearly as well. In particular I can taste firm apple flavours alongside the juniper with zesty citrus and coriander laying just a little further underneath. Impressions of mint and lavender seem to provide a light cooling sensation upon the palate …”

Please enjoy my review of this new Okanagan Spirit.


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