Gin

Review: Gordon's London Dry Gin by Jason Hambrey

Gordon's Dry Gin.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
None
Recipe
N/A
Producer Diageo

In 1830, Aeneas Coffey designed and thereafter patented his Coffey still - the first widely used continuous still. The consequences of this still were widespread, and gin saw the effects - the impurities in gin did not need to be covered up with sugar in the prominent Old Tom style of the time. Instead, a new gin was able to emerge, driven by the clean spirit of the Coffey Still - an unsweetened ("dry") and "strong" version of gin started to take hold - London Dry Gin. The wealthy classes of England gravitated to this gin, and the Victorian emphasis on health further promoted it. Old Tom faded, London Dry emerged - and dominated, for hundreds of years. One of the earliest big gin distilleries emerged in the midst of this popular wave of London Dry - a distillery founded by Alexander Gordon in 1769 in London. It is now the world's best selling London Dry Gin, and is even produced exclusively for the North American market in Canada - presumably at the Crown Royal distillery in Gimli, based on the bottling code.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: L72552P00119:24 51SL143
  • Bottling Date: ~2018

Classic gin: clean, with juniper, lemon peel, white pepper – it is focused around juniper, which I like. Coriander plays a light background, but, overall, everything is held in balance. A touch of spicy, earthy bark too. The palate is clean, with lots of fresh, spicy coriander and a light juniper backbone. The spiciness is nice. Quick, light finish.


Review: Radoune Gin (O'Dwyer Distillery) by Jason Hambrey

Radoune Gin 1.jpg
ABV
43%
Aging
None
Recipe
N/A
Distiller ODwyer (Gaspe, Quebec)

I encountered this at the SAQ in Quebec when a store manager gave me a sip. I was drawn right in! Made out of wild mushrooms in the beautiful area of Gaspe. Made with 4 different organic mushrooms in the gaspesie forest, along with other botanicals. The gin itself is named after a region - Radoune, which is an area between the two mountains where the mushrooms for the gin flourish. I must say I do like the diversity of gin...

Odwyer has whisky on the way, too...


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2017

A really interesting nose, especially with a bit of water added. Cilantro, pepper, a rich earthiness, and loads of umami notes. Citrus, also, in the middle – well worthwhile. The cilantro notes are fascinating – very much like cooked, as opposed to fresh, cilantro. Dried mushrooms on the nose, too. The nose really opens up with water. The palate is lightly sweet, with cilantro and mint sauce playing in amidst the earthiness and light citrus. It really is quite terrific...there is a light, earthy spicy backbone to this too. The finish is full of coriander, but we have the cooked cilantro, wet earth, and a great umami richness on the finish too. Big and long lasting on the finish, and there is a bit of rising heat leading up to the finish – fantastic.

One of the most unique gins I’ve tasted, and I really like it. It is a bit different than many gins I’ve tasted, and I wonder if it won’t be up everyone’s alley...but everyone should try it, if you can find it...

Assessment: Outstanding.


Review: Glen Saanich Genever by Jason Hambrey

 Image courtesy of De Vine Spirits.

Image courtesy of De Vine Spirits.

ABV
45%
Aging
None
Recipe
Malted Barley Base
Distiller De Vine Vineyards (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)

Genever was the original spirit that predates gin, developed in Holland and consumed starting from the 16th century - flavoured malt distilled with botanicals and used to cover up poor tasting spirit and for medicinal (and recreational...) uses. This then was found by the English who started then developed it to gin. It is still widely consumed in Netherland and Belgium.

When I visited De Vine vineyards, I tasted through all of Saanich’s spirits when I visited, and this is the spirit I chose to walk away with. Nicely balanced, good feel, and interesting. The malt base underneath works its wonders. I only bought a half bottle, but I wish I had taken a full....


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2017

Fascinating nose. Really intriguing and spicy – lots of licorice and clove, with a terrific balance between citrus, herbal, and spice notes. Dried fruit notes come in too, and this is a full bodied spirit. It reminds me, in some ways, of homemade bitters (or, I suppose, purchased) which are added to gin. Beside other gins – you start to notice all sorts of interesting notes – tomatores, sea minerality...The palate is rich, complex, and spicy with great mouthfeel. This would mix well, and makes some great classic gin cocktails, including a nice take on a negroni. Terrific, rich spices. Star anise just shines through. It’s nice too since the coriander is quite present on the nose, but it fades to all sorts of other flavors throughout the palate.

I tasted through mostly all of Saanich’s spirits when I visited, and this is the spirit I chose to walk away with. Nicely balanced, good feel, and interesting. The malt base underneath works its wonders. I only bought a half bottle, but I wish I had taken a full....

Assessment: Outstanding.


Review: Triple Beam Gin (North of 7 Distillery) by Jason Hambrey

Triple Beam.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
None
Recipe
N/A
Distiller North of 7 Distillery (Ottawa, Canada)

A gin from North of 7 distillery here in Ottawa. They hand dry the juniper to get the moisture levels they want, and the baby of one of the two guys that head up the distillery. It is made with 11 botanicals (including local juniper) measured on their triple beam scale (hence the name) and distilled from their vodka base (from corn and sugar) in their dedicated gin still. The botanicals going into the gin - juniper, coriander, Angelica root, orris root, lime peel, caraway, cardamom, aniseed, licorice root, black pepper, and nutmeg.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2017

The nose is spicy and lightly soapy, with peppery spice all around a soft juniper and citrus centre. Not a sharp gin, but rather a broad and easy one – full of complexity. The palate is soft and citrusy, rising to a spicy crescendo of black pepper, coriander, and clove before dying down to a finish of dried mixed citrus peel, light juniper, white pepper and light green chilli. Enjoyable to sip (though I like gins which are bigger on the juiniper scale), good on ice, and mixes very well.

Assessment: Recommended.


Review: The Botanist Islay Dry Gin by Jason Hambrey

ABV
46%
Aging
None
Recipe
11 Classic + 22 Foraged Botanicals
Distiller Bruichladdich (Bruichladdich, Scotland)

This classic gin was developed by Jim McEwan at Bruichladdich and has been an important factor to their success. It is brilliant. It is composed of 22 islay foraged botanicals, alongside 9 classic gin botanicals (for a total of 31). The 22 are a fun bunch:

  • Trifolium repens: white clover
  • Crataegus monogyna: common hawthorne
  • Melissa officinalis: lemon balm (balm mint)
  • Thymus polytrichus: wild thyme
  • Mentha x villosa: mojito mint
  • Betula pubescens: downy (white) birch
  • Filipendula ulmaria: meadowsweet or mead wort
  • Ulex europaeus: gorse (smells like coconut!)
  • Myrrhis odorata: myrrh (also cicely or sweet chervil)
  • Trifolium Pratense: red clove
  • Mentha Aquatica: water mint
  • Tanacetum vulgare: Tansy
  • Juniperus communis:  common juniper
  • Myrica gale: Bog myrtle
  • Artemisa vulgaris: mugwort (common wormwood)
  • Mentha spicata: spearmint
  • Chamaemelum nobile: chamomile
  • Galium verum: lady’s bedstraw
  • Calluna vulgaris: heather
  • Teucrium scorodonia: wood sage (woodland germander)
  • Sambucus nigra: elderberry
  • Cirsium arvense: creeping thistle

Also, a terrific bottle.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: L16083 16/308 2016 12 08 11:57
  • Bottling Date: 2016

This is nice gin...you can tell at once from the nose. Exceedingly complex, with juniper notes at the fore, which is the way I always like my gin. Mint, menthol, coriander, dried coconut, almond, and grass. Sweet, with some confectioners sugar, and yet so shrubby and vegetal – juniper, pine, cedar, orange peel, lemon peel, and marine notes – which I particularly like. I think they’d get lost in cocktail, but those salty, mineral, light seawater notes are in there. Really, it’s worth a try just for that, and this is what excites me about the uniqueness and terrioir of this gin. The palate is easy, with light sweetness and vanilla countering the mineral water and pine/juniper/cedar/shrub notes. The finish is lightly citrusy and spicy. And a touch of salt. This is terrific – a sharp, balanced, complex gin.

If you like dry sipping gins, you need to try this one. It will mix very well too in all sorts of cocktails, though cocktail selection should be careful if the subtlety is to remain. One of my favorite gins. Brilliant!

Assessment: Highly Recommended.