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Archive for the ‘Gin Review’ Category

2017 Rum Howler Awards for Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 6, 2017

rh-winner20172016 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

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:

The 2017 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

I hope everyone is enjoying the awards to this point. Stay tuned for the Whisky and Rum Awards which will publish early next week!

Chimo!

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Review: Botanica Spiritvs Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 10, 2016

castle-sam_2877Botanica 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:

Review: Botanica Spiritvs Gin

“… 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.

Chimo!

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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.

Chimo!

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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.

Chimo!

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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.

Chimo!

 

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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.

Chimo!

 

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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.

Chimo!

 

 

 

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