Canadian Gin

Review: Dillon's Rose Gin Liquer by Jason Hambrey

Dillon's Rose Gin 1.jpg
ABV
35%
Aging
None
Recipe
Made from 7 botanicals
Distiller Dillon's (Beamsville, ON)

Dillon's uses a dry gin base, but adds in rosehips and rosepetals and sweetens the spirit gently. Rose and gin are natural partners, so why not?


Review (2018)

  • Batch: 34
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: ~2018

Rich rose – rose bushes, petals, rosehip tea – but also conjuring up fresh vegetable notes like cucumber. Quite focused on the rose but the spirit underneath is spicy and subtle, adding light woodiness and spice. The palate is quite sweet, starting and ending with rose – first rosehips, then rose petals, then lots of black tea (orange pekoe). There is a light spicy character to this, and lightly woody – but largely the gin character is hidden and this is much more like a spicy rose liquer (and I say that with respect). Tannins come out very nicely on the finish with spices like clove and white pepper. Terrific sping and summer sipping with some ice (or in cocktails).

As much as I like this gin, I’ve made better rose gins through my own careful infusions...so, if you are the creative type, there is more to discover here...

Assessment: Highly Recommended.


Review: Dillon's Unfiltered Gin 22 by Jason Hambrey

Dillon's Unfiltered 22 2.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
None
Recipe
Made from 22 botanicals; niagara grape base
Distiller Dillon's (Beamsville, ON)

Dillon's other main gin, alongside the terrific Dry Gin 7, is this unfiltered gin made with 22 botanicals from a niagara grape base. It is quite a bit different than the Dry Gin 7, but another terrific gin which I would use in different cocktails - Dillon's really has a good cocktail game going.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: 77
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: ~2018

Dense, rich, fruity and spicy. A great gin. What I love about Dillon’s gins is not only that the botanicals and spices are great, but the underlying spirit itself is terrific. Sharp grape, cinnamon, soapy coriander, clove, rich bark...a terrific nose. The palate is spicy and fruity, with some of the spices coming through in the background but revealing rich dried flower notes and a nice woody finish, still vibrant with citrus and spice. Mildy sweet throughout – balanced.  Quite a bit different than their Dry Gin 7, which has a rye base and isn’t quite as complex botanically (but is more in terms of spirit). I usually reach for the simplicity and depth of the Dry Gin 7 more, but I actually objectively find this a better more complex and integrated spirit (indeed, one of the best gins I’ve tasted). Between which of the two is more desirable, it is likely it is a matter of preference. This is more complex, and much richer and fruitier. In terms of mixing between the two, they both would be for different kinds of cocktails – clean and deep would be gin 7, but in a cocktail where gin can get lost and needs to add complexity and richness, gin 22 is your mixer. A great portfolio of gins from Dillon’s.

However, I’ve rarely, if ever, seen a more big, complex, and integrated gin. This is one of the best all-time, for straight sipping. I choose Dry Gin 7 more often, but this is more complex and better. A stunner in blind tastings.

Assessment: Exceptional.


Review: Dillon's Dry Gin 7 by Jason Hambrey

Dillon's Gin 7.jpg
ABV
44.8%
Aging
None
Recipe
Made from 7 botanicals
Distiller Dillon's (Beamsville, ON)

This is Dillon's basic gin - made with 7 botanicals made with a rye base, bottled at a high ABV for a gin. They also make a 22 botanical, unfiltered gin. Dillon's has become known because of their high grade cocktail products, and this does not disappoint...


Review (2017)

  • Batch: 18

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

A rye gin! This is very nice...juniper is at the center, with coriander, cumin, cedar, orange peel, licorice root, lavender, and a slight sweetness at the end. The feel is nice, development is nice, and the finish carries the spices centrally. Gorgeous gin, terrific mixer, clean, simple, complex – the underlying earthy tones give it a great base. The rye base underneath comes through with great fruitiness and spice, even a bit of creaminess. Great from nose to finish – very nicely balanced.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.


Review: Ungava Canadian Premium Dry Gin by Jason Hambrey

Ungava 2.jpg
ABV
43.1%
Aging
None
Recipe
Made from 6 arctic botanicals
Distiller N/A (Quebec)

I'm not sure what the base is, but this gin is flavored with 6 botanicals, harvested in the summer in arctic Quebec: wild rose hip, crowberry, labrador tea, cloudberry, arctic blend, and Nordic juniper. It sells for $35 in Ontario.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: NL17c 815 H:1503
  • Bottling Date: 2015

Juniper, but broadly citrusy on the nose, even with some woody and oaky notes. Caramel, anise, cola, allspice, black pepper, and citrus peel on the nose. The palate is sharp, with juniper, anise, and light brown sugar before a broad, evergreen finish with a good dose of spice. Lots going on, and it is quite easy to drink, especially over ice. I like to mix with this one, as it really does showcase Canada. I like my gins a bit more juniper-centric and sharper (don’t get me wrong, I quite like this stuff), but this is more of a „modern” gin which many people are after these days.

Assessment: Recommended.