Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 3, 2017
Opihr 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 Turkey, juniper 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:
“… 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!
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Cocktail, G & J Greenall, Gin, Opihr, Quintessential Brands, Red Snapper, Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 27, 2017
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:
“… 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!
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Biggar and Leith, con Limone, Gin, Malfy Gin, Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 20, 2017
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:
” … 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.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Bloom, Cocktail, Gin, Greenall, London Dry, Review, Sentimental Lady | Comments Off on Review: Bloom London Dry Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 13, 2017
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:
” … 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.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Gin, Gin Review, Goodridge & Williams. Craft Distillery, Renovo, Tempo | Comments Off on Review: Tempo Renovo Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 6, 2017
2016 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
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:
I hope everyone is enjoying the awards to this point. Stay tuned for the Whisky and Rum Awards which will publish early next week!
Posted in Awards, Extras, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: 2017, Gin, Review, Rum Howler Awards | Comments Off on 2017 Rum Howler Awards for Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 10, 2016
Botanica Spiritvs Gin is part of the new wave of modern ‘American Style’ gins where the flavor of Juniper is pulled back to allow the other botanicals to have more expression in the spirit. Botanica is produced in small batches (less than 300 bottles per) at Falcon Spirits Distillery in Richmond California. The base spirit for the gin is a Non-GMO (Non-Genetically Modified Organism) grain spirit which has been 6 times distilled and carbon filtered to remove impurities.
Over 12 different botanicals are used in the production of the gin. Because some of the fruits used are not available year round, they are distilled previously (within a day from the time they are picked up from farm). Other botanicals are vapour infused during a final distillation, and after the heads and tails have been discarded, this final distillation is blended with the fruit distillates.
Here is a link to my review:
“… The initial aroma from the glass is somewhat effervescent with floral and fine citrus notes (fruity lemon and lime scents) leading out. As I nose the glass piny juniper, earthy angelica and herbal licorice root and mint build taking the spirit back down a more tradition gin pathway. I find the scents and smells play nicely together, and I like that the menagerie of scents do not overwhelm the juniper …”
Please enjoy my review which includes two serving suggestions, Botanica Lime and Tonic, and the Castle Cocktail.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Botanica Spiritvs, Castle Cocktail, Gin, Gin Review | Comments Off on Review: Botanica Spiritvs Gin
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 4, 2016
Eau Claire Distillery opened as Alberta’s first craft distillery in the summer of 2014. The facility is located 35 minutes southwest of downtown Calgary in the picturesque Hamlet of Turner Valley. The name ‘Eau Claire’ has historical significance in Alberta, meaning ‘clear water’, and is representative of the clear water from the nearby Rocky Mountains that is used as the water source of the distillery.
The folks at Eau Claire pride themselves in sourcing locally farmed ingredients, including grains and potatoes from neighbouring farms. Each ingredient is secured from suppliers who are known and respected in Alberta’s agriculture profession. Eau Claire’s Gin Rummy is an Albertan take on a classic drink which mixes the satisfying taste of both gin and rum, with winter spices added for a unique taste sensation. The spirit is hand crafted, barrel finished, and made only by Eau Claire.
Here is a link to my review of this unique spirit:
“… The gin influence within the spirit seems to bring forward an impression of dark licorice which is almost Sambuca-like in its intensity. There are wisps of piny juniper and hints of both cardamom and coriander spice (and perhaps ginger) as well. Underlying these gin-like impressions is a lovely rum-like sweetness of butterscotch and caramel. There is also perhaps some wood spices mixed in with hints of clove and cinnamon rounding out the aroma. …”
Please enjoy my review, Chimo!
Posted in Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Uncategorized | Tagged: Eau Claire Distillery, Flavoured Spirit, Gin, Gin Reiview, Review, Rum | Comments Off on Review: Eau Claire Gin Rummy
Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 8, 2016
Gin and Tonic
The weather has been warm recently, and I found myself wanting to make a nice cold Gin and Tonic. On this particular day I was feeling adventurous and wanted to try an experiment that I had been mulling for some time. I wanted a Gin and Tonic; but I wanted to challenge myself by mixing the serving with a gin which I had previously deemed as being unsuitable for that particular libation. That gin was Tanqueray Rangpur.
Tanqueray Ranpur is a relatively new spirit in the Taqueray family. When I reviewed it last year, I stated that I thought the spirit possessed more than just a passing resemblance to the new “American Style” of gin. This was because within the spirit, the juniper is held in check and other botanicals (in this case strong citrus flavours) are allowed greater expression. Frankly this ‘American Style’ is not a direction I prefer; I like my gin to have a firm juniper presence reveling in the flavour of the berry which gives the spirit its name, especially if I am making a Gin and Tonic. In the case of the Rangpur Gin, I felt that a strong flavour of lime zest would spoil my G & T cocktail. (Lime zest is derived from the lime peel not the lime juice.)
I grabbed my bottle of Rangpur Gin from the shelf, and then (feeling a little like James Bond) I grabbed a vodka bottle as well, in this case Iceberg Vodka. My aim was to use the vodka in the serving to dampen the firm flavour of lime zest while at the same time keeping the alcohol strength of the mixed drink the same as it was before. In essence I was ‘vespering‘ my Gin and Tonic (see post on the Vesper Cocktail here).
Gin and Tonic Vesper
After a few tries, I developed a recipe I was quite happy with.Although the resulting Gin and Tonic Vesper was not nearly as juniper forward as would be the case in my usual gin and tonic cocktail, the final serving was nevertheless, refreshing, and the lime zest push from the Rangpur Gin was held in check.
Gin and Tonic Vesper
1 1/3 oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
2/3 oz Iceberg Vodka
1/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Add the first four ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber
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!
If you are interested, you may read my reviews for Tanqueray Ranpur Gin and Iceberg Vodka by clicking the links below:
Enjoy my vespered cocktail and my reviews, Chimo!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: Cocktail, Gin, Gin and Tonic, Iceberg Vodka, Review, Tanqueray Rangpur, Vesoer, Vodka | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 3, 2016
Saffron Gin is produced in Dijon, France by micro-distiller Gabriel Boudier. It is apparently made from a 19th century colonial India recipe which includes nine botanicals seven of which are listed on the back label of my sample bottle: Juniper, Coriander, Lemon, Orange Peel, Angelica Seeds, Iris, and Fennel. In addition to the botanicals, the gin is flavoured with Saffron which is a spice derived from the orange stamen of the Crocus Sativa, more commonly known as the “saffron crocus”.
The use of saffron as an exotic spice can be traced back almost 3000 years to the 7th century BC where its use as a botanical/spice is referenced in the library constructed by Assyrian King Ashurbanipal, and in fact its use actually predates written history itself, as Saffron-based pigments have been found in Mesopotamian which date as far back as 50,0000 BC.
Saffron Gin is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… I allowed the glass to sit for just a little while and the dominant combination of saffron and orange liqueur remained in the breezes. It takes a little while but juniper does struggle upwards as does a light licorice-like scent of fennel and angelica. There was only a trace of coriander spice in the breezes while the lemon and iris botanicals remained buried …”
Please enjoy my review of this unique saffron flavoured gin, Chimo!
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Gabriel Boudier, Gin, Review, Saffron Gin | Comments Off on Review: Saffron Gin (Gabriel Boudier)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 2, 2016
Today I am mixing with Gabriel Boudier’s Saffron Gin. Saffron, for those who do not know is a Middle Eastern spice derived from the stamen of the Crocus Sativa, more commonly known as the Saffron Crocus. This is an ancient spice as written records which describe its use as a botanical were found in the ancient Mesopotamian library of Assyrian King Ashurbanipal (which is dated to the 7th century BC). Pigments which date back to 50,000 BC have also been found with telltale traces of the orange coloured spice.
Saffron has a peculiar flavour which is sort of like dry grassy hay with strong floral aromatics. It does in fact remind me (in a very passing kind of way) of insect repellent, and mixing a cocktail with this ingredient was very challenging. I was sent various recipes by the Canadian distributor; but every one of those servings called for other exotic ingredients which I don’t keep in my home bar. I did though, arrive at a recipe construction of my own which I found absolutely delightful.
In this recipe the saffron shines and is complimented beautifully by the bright flavour of lemon.
Mad about Saffron
2 oz Saffron Gin (Gabriel Boudier)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1)
Combine ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a twist of Lemon
Please remember the aim is not to drink more it is to drink better!
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!
Tomorrow my Gin Binge ends with my final gin review of the springtime, Gabriel Boudier’s, Saffron Gin.
Of course one ending is another beginning as a little Tequila Madness will follow, Chimo!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: Cocktails, Gabriel Boudier, Gimlet, Gin, Mad about Saffron, Saffron Gin | Comments Off on Cocktail Hour: Mad about Saffron