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Posts Tagged ‘Gin’

Review: Granny’s Gin (Last Mountain Distillery)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 7, 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.

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.

Here is a link to my first Gin Review of 2018:

Review: Granny’s Gin (Last Mountain Distillery)

“… 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 …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice cocktail recommendation, the Sentimental Lady.

Chimo!

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The 2018 RumHowler Awards for Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 11, 2018

Beginning in 2016, I began to seek out and review as many juniper based spirits as I could get my hands on. It would be true in fact, to state that in the past two years, I have been as likely to be found enjoying a nice gin cocktail as I would have been found to enjoying a nice sip of Rum or Whisky. I have learned two important things in my gin journey. The first is that gin is much more complicated than I first suspected with several divergent styles of gin being produced. The second important thing I have come to realize, is that of those styles, my preference leans towards traditional London Dry Gin with juniper at the heart of the spirit’s flavour profile.

Sentimental Bloom

That is not to say that I cannot appreciate a more floral style; but in my opinion, floral botanicals within the spirit’s construct should serve the purpose of enhancing and elevating the juniper rather than ambushing or hiding it. This means that I am sort of at odds with the current trend in North America where many of the new producers are seeking a gin with a broader botanical base, and with new flavours which serve to propel the spirit forward. The spirit which is being produced often doesn’t taste like my idea of gin at all.

As one producer even confided in me,

“I don’t really like gin, so I have made a gin that doesn’t taste like gin.”

That statement caught me off guard, but it certainly explained a lot regarding my gin experiences of the past few years.

My 2018 Rum Howler Awards for Gin are of course based upon my enjoyment, not the enjoyment of others. This means that my award winners are a celebration of the juniper berry above all other botanicals. That does not mean that floral spirits have been ignored, it just means that those floral spirits which have garnered awards, were first and foremost spirits of the cypress berry genus Juniperous.

Here is a link to my Awards page:

The 2018 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

Stay tuned for more of my Award Winners in the days to come!

Chimo!

Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Jawbox Single Estate Classic Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 4, 2017

Gin and Ginger

Jawbox Classic Dry Gin is a single estate spirit made in the heartland of the Ards Peninsula near Belfast Ireland. The folks who make the spirit grow and harvest their own grain on the 300 acre Echlinville Estate. They create their own alcohol and distill their dry gin three times on a in copper pot stills. They use eleven botanicals, Juniper, Coriander, Cassia Quills, Angelica Root, Black Mountain Heather, Lemon Peel, Cardamom, Licorice Root, Grains of Paradise, Orris Root and Cubebs, 3 of which are vapour infused rather than steeped.The spirit is apparently named in honour of one of Belfast’s most enduring legacies, the Belfast kitchen sink, a.k.a. the Jawbox.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Jawbox Single Estate Classic Dry Gin

“… The breezes above the glass bring firm indications of juniper accented by an earthy black licorice note and spicy notes of coriander and cardamom. My first impression is that the use of the word ‘classic’ in the name of the gin is justified …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with two cocktails, the Gin and Tonic #3 and the Jawbox swerve on Gin and Ginger-ale.

Chimo!

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Review: Aviation Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 14, 2017

Aviation North

Aviation Gin is produced by House Spirits in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon). According to the company website, Aviation was the result of a collaboration between House Spirits and American Bartender, Ryan Magarian, and many consider this spirit to be the gin which launched the American Gin style.

For those unfamiliar with what is termed American Gin, it is a style which tempers the flavour of the juniper berry (and citrus to some extent) in favour of bringing forward a more floral style of gin. That is not to say that juniper is absent among the botanicals which help to infuse their flavour into the spirit, it is just that the juniper is held in check to allow the other botanicals, (in this case: cardamom, lavender, sarsaparilla, coriander, anise and orange peel) more expression.

Here is a link to my latest Gin Review:

Review: Aviation Gin

“… The piny aroma is not as forceful as a typical London Dry Gin, as juniper lies beside rather than ahead of the coriander and cardamom with lavender pushing through quite clearly as well. There are hints of lemon, licorice (anise) and mint and if you wait for it, orange peel climbs out of the glass to join in the menagerie of scents and smells …”

Please enjoy the review which includes my cocktail suggestion, Aviation North.

Chimo!

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Summer Cocktails No 2: The Gimlet

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 10, 2017

The Gimlet is perhaps my favourite gin cocktail. This simple serving though, is not without its share of controversy as over time a growing group of ‘cocktail police’ began to insist that the libation must be made in a particular way in order to properly be called a Gimlet. Any other construction they maintained ws not the bar drink which we call the Gimlet.

At the center of this controversy is a lime cordial called Rose’s Lime, which according to those aforementioned ‘protectors of the cocktail’ must be used in the bar drink’s construction rather than sweetened lime juice. I did a bit of research, and discovered that the controversy over the Gimlet stretched back to at least 1953 when a description found in the Raymond Chandler novel, The Long Goodbye, stated:

“a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else”

The fact that this statement made it into Chandler’s novel indicates that bartenders of the time were already arguing over the proper form of this simple cocktail, and it very well could be that the popularity of Raymond Chandler as a novelist and screenwriter fueled the belief among those Cocktail Police that this was the only construction that should be considered as proper.

However; If one goes back even further in time (all the way to 1928), we can find a different viewpoint put forward by D.B. Wesson in his book, I’ll never be Cured, where his description of the Gimlet is:

 “gin, a spot of lime, and soda.”

Apparently, in this earlier period, the recipe for the Gimlet was more generic and even included soda as the sweetener. This indicates to me that the narrative put forward by the aforementioned cocktail protectors should be reassessed.

The truth is that we have not found a definitive starting point for the recipe of the Gimlet. It is also true that almost all bar servings evolve over time as better ingredients are discovered, and newer versions of the mixed servings are put forward. Even the word ‘cocktail’ has evolved over time from its beginnings when the term referred to a very specific style of bar drink to the present when it now refers to a large variety of bar drinks.

I say, let’s avoid stagnation and allow evolution to continue!

Here is the Gimlet in it’s most basic form mixed with one of my favorite Dry Gins, No 3 London Dry Gin and fresh Lime Juice:

The Gimlet

2 oz No 3 London Dry Gin
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
Ice
Lime Slice for garnish

Add the three main ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double strain into a Cocktail Glass
Float a Lime Slice on top
Enjoy

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

You may read my review of No 3 London Dry Gin Gin here: (Review: No 3 London Dry Gin)

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Review: Opihr Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 3, 2017

ophir-ginOpihr Gin was created (for Quintessential Brands) by Joanne Moore, who also was the creative force behind my recently reviewed Bloom Gin (see review here). Opihr is a unique style of London Dry Gin created  from hand-picked exotic botanicals which were collected along the original trade routes which brought Oriental spices to the Western World. These spices include cubeb peppers from Malaysia (isle of Malacca)cardamom and Tellicherry black peppers from India’s south-east coast in Malabar, spicy cumin seeds from Turkeyjuniper from Venice, coriander from Morocco, and oranges from Spain.

The spices are bought to England’s oldest continuously operating gin distillery ( G & J Greenall), where within a copper pot still, Opihr Gin is produced using the same London Dry method that has been used at that distillery since 1761.

Here is a link to my latest Gin review:

Review: Opihr Gin

“… Opihr Gin has a lightly oily texture which feels nice in the mouth. This is combined with a very aggressive flavour profile which seems to take me on a frantic ride. Peppery spices and bursts of citrus compete for my attention, and both of those flavour impressions are impacted by a light herbal (almost perfumed) character …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a spicy brunch cocktail, the Red Snapper, Chimo!

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Review: Malfy Gin (Con Limone)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 27, 2017

The Lady From Sicily

The Lady From Sicily

Malfy Gin is a brand owned by Biggar and Leith, who are based in the New York area with distribution across North America and in 16 Countries worldwide (and growing). Biggar & Leith own a small portfolio of spirits which are produced by established, family owned distilleries.

Malfy G.Q.D.I. (Gin di Qualità Distillato in Italia) is distilled by the Vergnano family in Moncalieri, Italy. (G.Q.D.I. stands for ‘Gin di qualità distillato in Italia’. It is a stamp and guarantee of quality and origin.) The family uses a traditional stainless steel vacuum still and produces their gin from a distillation of lemons (coastal grown Italian lemons – some from Amalfi and some from Sicily) and juniper (of course) as well as 5 other botanicals (including coriander, angelica and cassia bark).

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Malfy Gin (Con Limone)

“… the gin revels in the lemon. At first , that is all I taste. However, as I let my palate adjust I begin to notice other flavours playing within the lemon construct. Lightly bitter juniper, hints of dark licorice, and a spiciness which at first I took for lemon zest, but which certainly has the imprint of coriander upon it as well …”

Please enjoy my review, and my cocktail suggestion which follows, the Lady From Sicily, Chimo!

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Review: Bloom London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 20, 2017

Sentimental Lady

Sentimental Lady

Bloom is a London Dry Gin created by Master Distiller, Joanne Moore. The spirit is intended to be a floral gin which, although it has a secret botanical recipe, relies on four botanicals in particular: juniper berries from Tuscany; chamomile from France; and honeysuckle and pomelo from China for the main essence of its flavour.

According to Joanne Moore:

Honeysuckle provides a special sweetness that’s a bit like candied fruit, and it’s this that delivers the gin’s unparalleled sweetness. I balanced this with calming chamomile to hold the flavour together and rounded it off with citrus notes from the pomelo.

(Bloom Gin is a product of G&J Distillers (Greenall))

Here is a link to my latest Gin Review:

Review: Bloom London Dry Gin

” … The breezes bring me a bouquet of pansies and wild flowers plucked from a garden meadow. These floral scents are not heavy and full of perfume, rather they are firm but light and refreshing in the air above the glass. The floral notes are accompanied by bright citrus notes (lemon and grapefruit) with everything wrapped around a light but firm juniper presence …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my cocktail suggestion, The Sentimental Lady.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Tempo Renovo Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 13, 2017

march-lion-sam_2955

The March Lion Cocktail

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.

Here is a link to my review of this new Vancouver Dry Gin:

Review: Tempo Renovo Gin

” … 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 …”

Please enjoy the review which includes my cocktail suggestion, The March Lion.

Chimo!

 

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2017 Rum Howler Awards for Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 6, 2017

rh-winner20172016 was a tremendous year for that spirit which we call Gin (at least as far as my website reviews are concerned). Not only did I add many new gin reviews to my website during that year, I also revisited many of my old favourites with new reviews and new cocktails. The impact of all this writing catapulted my website onto the front page of many internet search engines including google where (as of the time I am writing this) The Rum Howler Blog is the number 3 listed independent spirits review website listed when the search term ‘Gin Reviews‘ is searched.

1878 Gin Cocktail

1878 Gin Cocktail

In 2016 I also spent a great deal of time exploring gin cocktails, researching new recipes as well as refining some of my older constructions as my appreciation for the juniper spirit has continued to increase.

The result of all of this effort has been that I was able to examine and taste 20 different gins at one point or during the last year. When those 20 are added to those juniper spirits I examined during 2015, the result was that I had a field of over 30 Gins to choose from for this years awards.

The best have been brought forward to receive 2017 Rum Howler Awards.

Here is a link to my Awards Page:

The 2017 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

I hope everyone is enjoying the awards to this point. Stay tuned for the Whisky and Rum Awards which will publish early next week!

Chimo!

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