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Taynton Bay Gin

Review: Taynton Bay Gin   84/100
Review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Published: February 03, 2021

Taynton Bay Spirits are located in Invermere British Columbia making their spirits from wheat which is grown only 10km from their distillery. Their website advertises that they use only real ingredients in the production of these spirits with no artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners. 

Taynton Bay Gin is described on the producer’s website as:

Bright and lively, refreshing Juniper highlights backed my touches of citrus and floral elements. Everything you’d expect from a classic gin and more. The perfect base for your G & T or Martini…shaken or stirred!

The botanicals listed in its production are, juniper, lemon peel, coriander, orris root, and Angelica root, and it is bottled at 42 % alcohol by volume.

In The Bottle: 3.5/5

The gin arrives in the tall long necked bottle shown to the right. The clear bottle was extremely hard to photograph, as the labels which are printed directly on the glass on both the front and back of the bottle tend to blend into each other in the photograph. Although this could be blamed on my poor photographic skills, it would be truthful to say that the bottle when viewed in person is not that more easier to deal with. The entire look is distracting especially with the floral pattern added in.

There are some positives. For one a botanical ingredients list is included on the back of the bottle, and for another the batch number is also listed. (my bottle came from batch 16.

In The Glass  8/10

Taynton Bay Gin is clear, and when my glass is tilted and twirled, I see the  spirit leaves lightly oily film on the inside of that glass the crest of which forms small leglets which fall as slender legs. The initial aroma is lightly vegetal with a muted porridge-like sweetness and impressions of both mushy banana and grilled plantain. I suspect this is not an impact from the botanicals but rather from the underlying wheat spirit.

The juniper is soft and muted and it takes a little while for the impact of the piny aroma to become apparent. It is the same for the lemon citrus and coriander which begin to penetrate the breezes only after the glass has had an opportunity to breathe for a few minutes.

The style of this gin appears to  softer and earthier than the more typical dry Gin we are familiar with. In fact, Taynton Bay Gin reminds me strongly of the a style of gin called Old Tom Gin which is a throwback style made to resemble gins produced before the introduction of the Coffey Still which ushered in the London Dry style.

In the Mouth 51/60

The gin has a soft mouth feel with flavours of underlying wheat distillate (sort of like wheat porridge and banana) lying within a soft juniper. Angelica and orris root are obviously adding to the earthy/vegetal quality of the spirit. Lemon zest and spicy coriander add some brightness to the palate. I can’t shake the feeling that the Taynton Bay spirit really does feel like and taste like a more old fashioned spirit.

Because of the spirit’s softer, earthier character, I decided that perhaps I should build a cocktail that would match the style of gin. To that end, I chose an 19th century cocktail found in Leo Engels Bartender’s Guide, American and Other Drinks (published in 1878).

Here is Leo Engels’ recipe for what in 1878 he called the Gin Cocktail:

Leo Engels’ 1878 Gin Cocktail

2 oz  Taynton Bay Gin
2 dashes of Orange Curacao
2 or 3 dashes of Bitters
3 dashes of Plain Syrup
squeeze of Lemon peel

Fill the shaker 1/3 full of ice
Add all ingredients and shake well
Strain into a glass

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

BTW:This recipe turned out really well!

In The Throat  13/15

The slightly thickened body gives the gin a longer finish than most dry gins would have. The gin is very smooth as well. Coriander and lemon peel brighten this finish, and there is an unexpected light sweetness as well.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Taynton Bay Gin is a softer, somewhat earthier spirit which lacks the hardened bite of a typical London Dry Gin. When I looked my bottle over, I saw that the spirit did not even have the word ‘dry’ on its label. I would suggest that if you wanted to go back in time and taste what gin was like before the transition to the London Dry style had occurred that this spirit perhaps gives us that glimpse.

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

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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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