Tempo Renovo Gin
Review: Tempo Renovo Gin 78.5/100
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published February 13, 2017
Tempo Renovo Gin is produced by Goodridge & Williams, an independent craft distilling company located in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). The gin is produced from British Columbia wheat, distilled in a copper pot-still, and according to the company website is a modern expression of contemporary dry gin.
What I do not know are the botanicals used, but I think it might be fun to see what I can tease out of the glass, and perhaps the producer will let me know if I was on the right track. Tempo Renovo Gin was apparently designed to be mixed in cocktails or to be enjoyed straight on the rocks. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume and is labeled as a Vancouver Dry Gin.
In the Bottle 4/5
The spirit arrives in the medium tall rectangular bottle shown to the left. I like the medium long neck which makes pouring easier as well as the synthetic cork stopper which seals the top of the bottle and implies that this spirit is perhaps more premium than the standard gin which arrives in those metallic screw capped bottles.
I am not a fan of the label. As you can see by my photo, the white label combined with the silver fonts is hard to read. I would like to see more contrast which would help the spirit stand out in a retail setting.
In the Glass 8/10
The spirit is clear in the glass, and when my glencairn is tilted and twirled, I see long thin legs develop as the mid-sized droplets are released from the crest of the light sheen which appears on the inside of that glass. The initial nose brings light indications of juniper and angelica with firm licorice root or anise meandering in the breezes as well.
I left the glass to breathe to see what else could be gleaned. I began to notice a light grain-like spiciness which was lightly tinted with a somewhat zesty impression of lemon. I suspect that coriander is bringing me these impressions although I would not be surprised if there was also some form of citrus peel in the mix somewhere.
In the Mouth 47/60
When sipped the gin is lightly creamy in the mouth and brings that same triumvirate of juniper, licorice root, and angelica root forward which I noticed on the nose. The juniper is very restrained, to the point that I would suggest the licorice root dominates slightly (but only slightly). A hit of spice arrives late and the spiciness seems to be a combination of grain spice, coriander and cardamom. There is a bit of lemon at the back-end of the palate which I wish was shining just a little more brightly. (I also wish the juniper was just a little stronger.)
I added some ice as this seems to be the suggested way to enjoy the spirit. I was glad I did as the flavours of the gin seemed to meld together bringing about a more balanced flavour profile. Although I believe the gin seems a tad muddled when sipped neat, the ice smoothed all of that out making for a more enjoyable spirit.
With the juniper held back, I am not tempted to mix a gin and tonic as I prefer a firm piny flavour to mesh with the quinine in the tonic. So instead, I began with a simple gin and juice formulation mixing a Gin Fix using fresh lime juice. The experiment did not go well as the resulting cocktail was dominated by licorice root. So I added a bit of Tripe Sec to the glass and was happy when the orange flavour from the Triple Sec brought about a better balance of flavour in the cocktail. I still wasn’t completely happy, so I decided to go with a firmer orange theme. The cocktail I had in mind was my March Lion Cocktail (see recipe below), and when I sipped it I knew I had found the right combination to work with the Tempo Renovo Gin.
In the Throat 11.5/15
The gin has a flat finish with spicy coriander and licorice root settling in after the swallow giving me an impression of black pepper. The combination almost works, but some brightness of citrus and a stronger punch of juniper would be welcome.
The Afterburn 8/10
Tempo Renovo Gin describes itself as a modern expression of contemporary dry gin. The juniper is laid back and other simple botanicals are meant to carry the flavour. Licorice root, angelica and coriander spice appear to be the botanicals which carry the flavour, but it doesn’t quite work. If a citrus element were to shine more brightly, that might put the gin over the top; but even then, I suspect that the juniper would need just a little more expression. This gin can be sipped over ice, which is no mean feat for gin, but the spirit is difficult to place into a suitable cocktail. I finally succeeded, however I feel the mixing potential is quite limited.
You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Based loosely upon the Red Lion Cocktail, my March Lion Cocktail omits the grenadine in favour of sugar syrup, and reverses the proportions of Gin and Curacao resulting in a much nicer bar drink.
March Lion Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Curacao
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup
lemon slice for garnish
Add the first four Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lemon slice
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!
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)