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Triple Beam Gin (North of 7 Distillery)

Review: Triple Beam Gin (North of 7 Distillery)   (87/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted On June 10, 2018

Greg Lipin and Jody Miall are both avid rock climbers who regularly travel to Kentucky on climbing trips. It was on one of these trips that the two friends developed a passion for ‘brown spirits’ which ultimately led them to opening their own Micro-distillery (North of 7) in Ottawa, Ontario. They currently produce several styles of Canadian Whisky, their Leatherback Dark Rum (sold at 40 % abv. and at 57 % abv.) Triple Beam Gin and Illuminati Vodka.

The subject of this review is the Distillery’s Triple Beam Gin. According to the folks at North of 7:

Triple Beam Gin is made with eleven carefully selected botanicals that are precisely measured on our triple beam scale. We strive to use local ingredients wherever possible, and use juniper berries sourced from Ferme et Foret in Wakefield, Quebec. Vapour infused in 50 L batches, our gin offers a classic dry taste that can be enjoyed in all your favourite gin drinks – martinis, G&T’s, Tom Collins, and even straight up.

During my review, I will be testing that claim as I sample the Triple Beam gin in those classic cocktails as well as sipping the spirit neat and/or on the rocks.

In the Bottle 4/5

Triple Beam Gin is sold in the medium tall rectangular bottle shown to the left. The bottle is sealed with a cork closure and with a black plastic wrap. The label is designed to have a bit of an old faded (or weathered) look with the batch number printed by hand at the bottom of the label. This look was chosen to imply that this is a hand crafted spirit rather than mass-produced.

Both the bottle and the label also imply an attempt to provide economy to the consumer. Craft Spirits typically cost more to produce than regular distillery offerings and in order to keep the retail price in line it is a smart choice to use an economical bottle and label.

By the way, the bottle with is rectangular ergonomic shape does hold to the bartender’s creed of being easy to store on the bar shelf, easy to grab and most importantly the mid length neck makes the bottle easy to pour and serve.

In the Glass 9/10

Triple Beam is a clear gin which, when tilted and twirled, leaves a thin sheen of liquid on the inside of the glass the crest of which drops medium-small slender legs back into the gin. The scents and smells from my glencairn bring impressions of a tradition gin with firm piny juniper scents leading out in front of soft citrus and light floral impressions.

Although the juniper is dominant (as it should be); the breezes above the glass also bring other light nuances forward. I sense wisps of licorice and angelica which bring a light earthy quality to the breezes. This is joined by mild impressions of citrus zest (lime) and lightly lemony smells. A beguiling floral component is present which reminds me of a very lightly scented potpourri. What is so nice is how the juniper is surrounded and elevated rather than smothered by the additional botanicals. Hints of coriander and light peppery spices round out the nose which has me appreciated the care and attention that North of 7 has obviously applied to the construction of their Triple Beam Gin.

In the Mouth 52.5/60

I will admit suspicion when I read the website information which claimed the gin was suitable for sipping, and for classic cocktails. Everyone claims their spirit is meant for sipping, but few gins really are. In the case of Triple Beam Gin, I believe that marketing has met reality. The gin has a soft juniper forward flavour which is lightly sweet and remarkably smooth. The impressions I received on the nose translate almost completely through the palate. Underlying the juniper are light impressions of licorice melded with mild citrus flavours. There is a light floral characteristic within the spirit which surrounds the juniper, but does not diminish it. Trailing along behind is a light pop of coriander and spice which is just firm enough to be noticed.

I decided to mix a few classic cocktail next, and I began with a simple Gimlet. It was very nice, although I was hoping that the juniper would have been just a touch more aggressive in the serving. I felt the same way with respect to both the Martini and the Gin and Tonic I made the next day. When I thought about it though, I was not sure I would have enjoyed sipping the gin neat as much as I did if the Juniper was more aggressive. I think it is a bit of a balancing game. In the Case of Triple Beam Gin, in order to maintain the soft juniper flavour which is so easy to sip, the resulting classic cocktails are necessarily softer as well.

In the Throat 13/15

Triple Beam Gin has a lovely soft and dry finish which begins lightly piny juniper and earthy licorice, follows with mild citrus and floral flavours and finally ends with a lightly spicy coriander and pepper finish. The spirit which began as a delight to nose, arrived at the finale with the same soft wonderful impressions.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

I have tasted a good portion of the North of 7 Distillery’s Portfolio and I am impressed. My admiration for their spirits has reached its peak with their Triple Beam Gin. The construction of the juniper spirit speaks to craftsmanship and finesse. It has a soft juniper forward flavour profile which is not only suitable for classic gin cocktails, it is also very approachable for those who prefer to sip gin neat. It is going to be fun following the lads from North of 7, as I believe big things are in store.

You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Recipes

Cara Cara oranges are a navel variety orange grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley. They have a bright orange peel with just a touch of a pinkish hue, and their interior flesh is distinctively pinkish similar to a pink grapefruit. The flavour of this orange is unique representing a sort of hybrid mixture of tangerine and traditional navel orange flavour with an unusual (but delightful) sweetness. I have recently found that this variety of orange is a great choice for cocktails.

SAM_1121 Cara Cara Gin CocktailCara Cara Gin Cocktail

2 oz  Triple Beam Gin
1 1/4 oz  Fresh Squeezed Cara Cara Orange Juice
3/4 oz  Fresh Squeezed Lime juice
1/2 oz  Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Cucumber

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the metal shaker begin to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a cucumber
(You may add the cucumber to the drink)
Enjoy!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret that score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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