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Tawse Dry Gin

Review: Tawse Dry Gin   (85/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published December 9, 2020

The Tawse Winery is situated on the lower slopes of the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario. The Winery not only produces a nice range of wines and cider, it also produces a range of spirits which includes Vodka, Canadian Whisky and Gin. Early last year I was sent samples of their gin and vodka for review; unfortunately the worldwide pandemic stuck creating such a turmoil that my review and publication schedule for the website was thrown into disarray. Beginning in November, I began to pick up the pieces and have finally taken the Tawse Dry Gin from my shelf to taste.

Tawse Dry Gin is produced entire from 100% Ontario grown corn. The spirit is distilled upon the Winery’s Copper Pot Still where it passes through a blend of 10 botanicals. The result is an aromatic gin with juniper berry, citrus, floral and spicy notes. Tawse Gin is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

Tawse Gin arrives in the stubby long necked bottle shown to the left. The neck is slender giving the bottle just a touch of fragile elegance. (Don’t worry it’s not really fragile.) The synthetic corked closure is also a nice touch. The label is a simple affair which reflects the style of Tawse Distillery, although I find myself wishing that the label gave me more information about the gin and its botanicals.

In The Glass  8.5/10

Colour: Clear

Legs: Slender

Nose:  A nice combination of citrus and juniper with trailing aromas of black licorice and berries. A good indication of the spiciness of cardamom and coriander seems to play in the background adding to the traditional feel of this hand crafted gin. There is nothing awry and I look forward to tasting.

In The Mouth 51/60

Juniper and earthy black licorice jump forward with a swat of coriander spice for good measure. The citrus is not as obvious; but it does come through along with floral flavours which remind me of garden flowers. There is a touch of vegetal flavour at the back-end which hints at the small pot still distillation. Everything though seems to be in balance and I look forward to cocktails.

To that end, I mixed two cocktails, a simple Gin and Lime as well as a Gin and Tonic. Both were very nice and I have no trouble recommending the Tawse Gin for further exploration.

In the Throat 13/15

Tawse Gin has a nice mouthfeel which is probably a result of pot still distillation. The lightly creamy texture gives the spirit a longer than usual finish for a dry gin, allowing the coriander and cardamom to linger. Citrus seems to brighten this finish and all of this bodes well for high end cocktails.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Tawse Winery has made a fine gin. It features a classic juniper forward flavour profile and is elevated by a lovely mouthfeel which seems to add just a touch of class. I preferred gin and tonics and gimlet style cocktails, but see no reason why

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


Suggested Recipes

Gin and Lime

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Slice of Lime

Pour the lime and sugar syrup into a suitable glass
Add Ice
Pour in a dollop of Gin
Garnish with a slice of lime

Stir and Enjoy Responsibly!

If you would like to see more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


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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