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Posts Tagged ‘Gin’

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!

Posted in Awards, Extras, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Botanica Spiritvs Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 10, 2016

castle-sam_2877Botanica 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:

Review: Botanica Spiritvs Gin

“… 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.

Chimo!

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Review: Eau Claire Gin Rummy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 4, 2016

gin-rummyEau 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:

Review: Eau Claire Gin Rummy

“… 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!

 

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Cocktail Hour: Gin and Tonic Vesper

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 8, 2016

Orthydox

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).

G & T Vespet SAM_2735

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
Ice
Q Tonic
Cucumber chunk

Add the first four ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber

Enjoy Responsibly!

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:

__________________________________________________

Review: Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

Review: Iceberg Vodka

__________________________________________________

Enjoy my vespered cocktail and my reviews, Chimo!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Saffron Gin (Gabriel Boudier)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 3, 2016

Safrron Gin SAM_2496_1Saffron 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:

Review: Saffron Gin (Gabriel Boudier)

“… 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!

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Cocktail Hour: Mad about Saffron

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.

Mad about Saffron SAM_2505Saffron 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)
Ice
Lemon Twist

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!

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Review: Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 24, 2016

Hayman's Family Reserve Hayman Distillers is the longest-serving family owned gin distiller in England today and they produce a family of gins of differing styles which are each made from their own recipe of botanicals and grain alcohol. They produce each gin separately upon their 450 litre copper pot still which is affectionately called “Marjorie” in a batch style where the botanicals and grain alcohol are steeped for a full day within the still before it is fired up distillation begins.

Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin was created to reflect a past style of gin which could be found in English cities in the 1800s. The recipe for the gin is said to have been developed in 1850. Unlike most English style gins, this gin is rested in Scottish Whisky barrels for three weeks to mellows the overall flavour profile of the spirit. This idea is based upon the fact that until the 1860s gin would more often than not be sold from within an oak cask rather than from the bottle. This meant that the gin was slowly maturing as it was being sold.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin

“… The breezes in the air above the glass tell a story of a very traditional gin profile. Soft juniper and light black licorice notes rise first followed by pleasingly sweet citrus scents (orange and lemon) which mingle freely with the juniper. Some spiciness of citrus zest and coriander are apparent as well …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding gin, Chimo!

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Review: Berkeley Square Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 21, 2016

6397_berkeley_square_still_no._8_limited_release_gin_0_7l My gin binge continues today with a lightly floral London Dry Gin from G and J Greenall, Berkeley Square London Dry Gin. The company likes to bill this spirit as the ‘single malt’ of the gin world based upon the production methods used which they trace back to the late 1700s.

According to their website:

On day one, the traditional four core natural botanicals, which ensure Berkeley Square can officially be called a ‘London Dry Gin’, Juniper, Coriander, Angelica and Cubeb berries are placed by hand in copper pot still No. 8 along with the Kaffir Lime Leaves. The remaining three unique botanicals of Lavender, Sage and Basil are wrapped in muslin and immersed in the triple distilled spirit to infuse their essential oils …

On day two, the still runs at a very slow rate to simmer all the ingredients gently which allows the delicate essential oils of the botanicals to develop, letting the flavours release further into the spirit. Once the temperature inside Still No. 8 reaches approximately 80°C the spirit will vaporise and travel up the column of the still. As the vapour passes over the swan neck, it takes with it the essential oils from the eight botanicals …

The resulting gin is bottled at 46 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Berkeley Square Gin

“… The juniper is crisp and is surrounded by fruity lemon and lime scents. There is a ribbon of earthy bitterness which seems to entwine itself into that fresh juniper and citrus fruitiness. As I let the glass sit I sense a very appealing floral component which reminds me of a bouquet of spring flowers …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a couple of recipes, my Modern Gin Cocktail (which was featured yesterday) and the Pegu Club Cocktail.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Modern Gin Cocktail

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 20, 2016

Leo Engels, published his Bartender’s Guide, American and Other Drinks, in 1878. It is a fascinating glimpse into early mixology at a time when bar drinks and cocktails were just beginning to evolve and spread through North America and Europe. At that time, the word ‘cocktail’ was reserved for a specific serving, which resembles what we call the Old-Fashioned cocktail today. Other bar drinks had their own names, the Crusta, the Smash, and the Julep just to name a few.

Gin Cocktail SAM_2473Nowadays, all of these libations are part of the entire class of mixed drinks called cocktails; but back then, they were each their own serving and the cocktail was its own mixed drink, separate and distinct. How the word ‘cocktail’ evolved to encompass all classes of bar drinks is unknown to me; but if you want to go back in time and build an original ‘cocktail’, Leo Engels’, American and Other Drinks is a great starting place.

Here is a modern version of Leo Engels’ recipe for the Gin Cocktail made with Berkeley Square Gin.

Modern Gin Cocktail

2 oz Berkeley Square Gin
1/8 oz Orange Curacao
Dash of Angostura Bitters
1/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
Orange Peel

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

Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel and Enjoy!

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!

Note: My review of Berkeley Square Gin will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Review: Empire London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 12, 2016

empire-gin1The Highwood Distillery is the only locally (Albertan) owned major distillery in Canada. It sits in the town of Highwood, Alberta, which lies just about 40 minutes due south of Calgary, at the foot of the Rocky Mountain. The distillery producing more than 300,000 cases of bottled spirits per year. Although the bulk of their production goes towards Vodka, Flavoured Vodka, and Premixes, they also produce a sizable (and growing) amount of Whisky and Gin each year.

Empire Gin is the company’s premium traditional style London Dry Gin. It is produced by blending a light-bodied vodka spirit with juniper and the distillery’s own special botanical selection of natural herbs, spices and citrus. These botanicals are introduced during the final distillation, and the final spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Empire London Dry Gin

“… The aroma from the glass is very nice, although I might be tempted to call it somewhat mellow. We have a floral bouquet of coriander and citrus elements (in particular orange and lime; but also some grapefruit zest and hints of lemon). I also sense a firm juniper aroma with a mix of flowery herbs, building black licorice and a hint of mint and in the breezes above the glass …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful locally produced gin.

Chimo!

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