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Granny’s Gin (Last Mountain Distillery)

Review: Granny’s Gin (Last Mountain Distillery)   (85.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 21, 2018

Colin Schmidt was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1992. After being drafted, he spent four years playing College Hockey and then signed his first pro contract in 1996. Colin’s pro experience was brief, cut off by a few shoulder injuries after a short spell of what Colin referred to as “playing left bench.” Fortunately, as far as we are concerned, Colin’s story did not end there.

Photo Courtesy Brittany Bellamy (All Rights Reserved)

A few years later, Colin, who was working in the mortgage industry, and his wife, Meredith, whose background was in banking, began to look for their own business opportunities in Saskatchewan. Colin had a friend who had started up a micro-distillery in Colorado, and the idea to begin a similar operation in Saskatchewan was very appealing to them. In August of 2010, Colin and Meredith’s hard work and perseverance paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

Granny’s Gin pays homage to Colin’s grandmother, Muriel who came to Canada back in 1946 as a war bride from England and has been known to enjoy a Gin and Soda. Since Colin began to distill spirits at Last Mountain Distillery, his Granny has been asking for a nice dry gin to enjoy, one that is ‘not too florally’ which is how his Granny like to enjoy it.

In the Bottle 4/5

Colin uses the same tall slender bottle for his gin that he uses for his Vodka. These tall bottles seem to be popping up all over nowadays, and I have been forced to adjust my liquor shelves to accommodate their growing numbers. The bottle is sealed with a nice tight synthetic cork.

The drawback to the presentation is lack of ‘pop’ in the label. It’s not that the label is unattractive or anything like that, it is just that the clear plastic label doesn’t stand out well next to the other gin bottles I have on my shelf. As you can see from the photo, the clear label became lost when I tried to photograph it.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When poured into the glass, Granny’s Gin gin is clear, with no trace of colour. The initial aroma from the glass is very nice, representing a traditional juniper forward dry gin. Along with the juniper is a mild but firm presence of licorice and citrus zest (in particular orange and grapefruit). Light lemony scents rises up alongside impressions of spicy coriander and cardamom. Perhaps there is a hint of mint in the breezes,as well as a light ribbon of orange Curacao.

The gin is exactly as described to me by Colin, and I suspect his Granny loves it.

In the Mouth 52/60

The entry into my mouth is soft and dry bringing a traditional flavour of juniper and Ouzo-like licorice across the palate. These flavours are brightened by a tangy citrus zest along with ebbing coriander and cardamom spices. I taste a light mint-like herbal quality which compliments the other flavours quite well. As I sip a few more times I notice a mild grapefruit like taste and perhaps a touch of ginger. The gin is not aggressive and promises to mix very well in traditional gin cocktails.

I made myself a Gimlet to begin, and found that Granny’s Gin played beautifully with the lime juice. A Dry Gin Martini worked well, as did the traditional Gin and Tonic. Again Granny’s Gin seemed to be exactly as Colin had promised, a traditional dry gin (not too florally) perfect for an afternoon of mixed drinks and cocktails. My favourite cocktail was the Sentimental Lady (see recipe below).

In the Throat 12.5/15

When sipped straight, the exit is perhaps a little too dry for my personal taste. The trailing flavours of Juniper and licorice leave their ebbing flavours on the back of the palate, and then spicy citrus zest warm the back of the throat. I must be stated that the dry quality of the gin is very welcome when mixed into cocktails.

The Afterburn  9/10

While so many of the new micro-distillers are trying to reinvent the gin wheel before they have mastered the spirit in its more common form, Last Mountain Distillery has taken decided to make a traditional spiritn which any gin enthusiast would appreciate. I like Granny’s Gin, and I suspect that if you like a nice dry Martini or Gin and Tonic, you will like it too.

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 Recipe

Sentimental Lady

2 oz Granny’s Gin
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
3/8 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Lemon Slice

Place the five ingredients in a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Add a Lime Slice for Garnish

Enjoy Responsibly!

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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