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Archive for the ‘Gin Review’ Category

Review: Sahara Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 30, 2012

Highwood Distillers is a Canadian distillery situated in the town of High River, Alberta, which lies just about 40 minutes due south of Calgary, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. I have visited the distillery and watched first hand as they turned the local wheat into whisky, vodka. and gin. Sahara Dry Gin is produced in the London Dry style. This spirit is produced from Canadian wheat and naturally sourced Rocky Mountain water. Juniper, Citrus of Lemon, and other botanicals are all added during the final distillation.

This is s very dry gin. So dry in fact, that the folks at Highwood named it Sahara. I was provided with a sample bottle of this gin from the folks at Highwood Distillers (early in the summer) for the purpose of a review on my website.

Here is an excerpt from the resulting review:

“… The nose has a laid back quality of juniper and lighter accents of lemon and grapefruit. There is a bit of an alpine scent mingled with the juniper and perhaps some scents of willow thicket, meadow grass, and spring flowers. Everything is all rather mellow; but it is also rather enjoyable …”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Sahara Dry Gin

I have also provided a very nice ‘cooler’ style cocktail to enjoy with the Sahara, one I call the Jumping Buffalo Cooler. Please enjoy my review and my suggested cocktail.

Cheers!

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Review: Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 30, 2012

I have been on a bit of a gin kick lately, and recently re-acquainted myself with Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin. The reunion went quite well, and I thought I would update my review here on the website. The result was some minor changes to the tasting notes and a very minor change in the score.

Bombay Sapphire Gin is distributed by Bacardi. It was launched in 1987, and draws its unusual name from a competition where several marketing agencies were asked to submit possible names and bottle designs for the new Gin. Bombay Sapphire, the chosen name, refers to the British Empire and India heritage for the spirit in India, as gin was an extremely popular spirit during the time of the British Raj. The Star of Bombay (featured on the label) is a famous Indian Sapphire now on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

Bombay Sapphire Gin is a London Dry Gin. This style of gin is produced through a double distillation of a neutral grain spirit with botanicals added during the second distillation. The botanicals in Bombay Sapphire Gin which are listed on the company website are as follows:

Spanish almonds and lemon peel, West African grains of paradise, Chinese licorice, juniper berries from Tuscany, orris root from Italy, angelica root from Saxony, coriander seed from Morocco, cassia bark from Indo China, and cubeb berries from Java.

It will be most interesting to see what this bevy of ingredients from around the world has imparted into the spirit.

“… The aroma from the glass is a clean aroma with a piny (juniper) citrus note. A well-defined floral character sits with the juniper, but it will take a better nose than I have to distinguish the effects of each of the ten botanicals used to produce the gin. What i smell is a hint of lilac and mint. I also seem to catch an aroma reminiscent of sweet grass, and a vague humus like scent in the glass which is not unappealing.… “

You may read my full review here

Review: Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin

This is such a nice gin that instead of one recipe, I found myself recommending two, the traditional Dry Gin Martini, and my recipe, Mean Streets.

Please enjoy the review, and do try a few cocktails, Cheers!

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Review: Tanqueray No.10 Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 16, 2012

Tanqueray Gin was originally produced by Charles Tanqueray in London, England in 1830 at the Bloomsbury Distillery. The distillery prospered through the nineteenth century; but after being in production for over one hundred years, it was almost destroyed in the bombing raids of World War II by the German air force. One still survived, and this still affectionately called “Old Tom” was moved to the new facilities in Cameron Scotland where Tanqueray Gin is currently produced.

Tanqueray No. 10, is produced through a quadruple distillation process with the botanicals infused prior to the fourth distillation. Rather than using only the citrus peel for their infusion, Tanqueray 10 is instead made with the whole fruit. Thus entire grapefruits, oranges and limes are used along with juniper, angelica, coriander, licorice and chamomile in the production of the No. 10 Gin. It is named for the “Tiny Ten” still, from which all of the No. 10 Gin is distilled, and is considered the most premium gin in the Tanqueray line up.

I recently revisited Tanqueray No. 10 and here is an excerpt from my new review:

“… The initial nose is light juniper and alpine forest. It reminds me of what I sense when I go camping in the forests of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. There are some sweet floral notes which are hard to identify (probably some chamomile in there); but the floral character combines well with the citrus flavours of lime and grapefruit (especially the grapefruit). I also sense a light ribbon of orange liqueur and the subtlety of other mixed botanicals. Nosing this Tanqueray gin is relaxing and enjoyable, as everything seems well balanced with no sharp notes and no single element causing disharmony… “

You may read my full review here

Review: Tanqueray No.10  Gin

This is such a nice gin that instead of one recipe, I found myself recommending three, the Key Lime Gimlet, the Key Lime Slushy, and one of my favourites, the Pink Rocket.

Please enjoy the review, and do try a few cocktails, Cheers!

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Review: London No. 1 Original Blue Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 6, 2012

London No. 1 Original Blue Gin is a product of Gonzalas Byass who are a Spanish wine/cellars company which also produces a variety of distilled spirits including brandy, anisette, botanical vodka and of course gin. Their gin is triple distilled (from English grain in London, England) on a traditional pot still in small batches by Master Distiller, Charles Maxwell. According to the London No. 1 website the gin is distilled with 12 key botanicals which include: Juniper from Croatia; Angelica root and Savory from France; Coriander from Morocco; Cassia bark from China, Liquorice from Turkey, Cinnamon from Ceylon, Almond from Greece; and Lemon peel, Orange peel, Lily root and Bergamot from Italy.

The product was first test marketed in Spain, and is now being launched in limited quantities internationally. It is bottled at 47 % alcohol by volume ensuring a more concentrated flavour than more traditional distilled spirits which are bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

I was given a bottle for review by Woodman Wines and Spirits Inc. who have informed me that this product is now available in limited quantities in Ontario, Canada.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The aroma from the glass is intensely floral. It has a sharp quality which similar to freshly bloomed lilacs. The more familiar gin aromas of earthy juniper, spicy cardamom, lemon peel and orange citrus lie somewhat behind that floral intensity …”

You may read my full review here:

Review: London No. 1 Original Blue Gin

I included a classic cocktail recipe, The Pegu Club Cocktail, with this review. Please enjoy the review and of course my included recipe.

Cheers!

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Review: Port of Barcelona Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 15, 2012

I was going to start this review by letting everyone know that the Port of Barcelona Gin is a Spanish gin distilled at the Esmeralda Distillery in the Catalan City of Lleida, Spain at the base of the Pyrenees Mountains (where in fact they are more well-known for their Obsello Absinthe Verte distillations than for their gin).

However, I have found out that changes are as they say, afoot, with respect to the Port Of Barcelona Gin. The producers have relocated from Spain to the US and are going to be producing their absinthe and gin in the USA rather than in Spain. The company is planning to begin production in the United States later this year. I do not know if the new gin will be called Port of Barcelona Gin anymore, or whether the new gin is even likely to be the similar. And, of course, means that whatever stocks of Port of Barcelona Gin which are in the retail stores now, are likely the last of the original Spanish Stocks.

The product is being brought into my home market of Alberta by the local Importer, PB Beverages, who arranged for me to receive a sample bottle of this unique gin to review here on my website, and who assure me that stocks of the original Port of Barcelona Gin will not run out in my locale any time soon.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

… Initially, I smell a mild piny scent that has a different sort of flair than I am used to. I suspect I am sensing the anise-like imprint of absinthe upon the gin. I also notice a sort of penetrating sweetness which is rather firm and unrelenting, as well there is some mild citrus scents running through the breezes which remind me of an orange liqueur. The floral accents above the glass are reminiscent of fresh lilacs and there seems to be a little heather in the breeze as well …”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Port of Barcelona Gin

And for your enjoyment I have included a cocktail suggestion, the Tom Collins.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail suggestion!

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Review: Broker’s (Premium London Dry Gin)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2012

Broker’s Gin is a relatively new brand, created in 1998 by the Dawson Brother’s (Martin and Andy). Despite the rather recent creation of this brand, the recipe for Broker’s Gin is reported to be over 200 years old. Apparently, during the design phase for the brand, the Dawson brothers tasted and tested many newer recipes as well; however they found that sometimes the old ways really are the best ways, and after various trials they chose the 200-year-old recipe.  Broker’s Gin is made from traditional copper pot stills in a distillery located near Birmingham, England. Like the recipe for the gin, this distillery is over 200 years old.

Broker’s is a wheat-based, quadruple-distilled, pure grain spirit. Ten natural ingredients are used to flavour this spirit and of course the primary botanical used is juniper. The botanicals are steeped in the quadruple-distilled base spirit inside the still for 24 hours prior to the spirit being processed through a final, fifth distillation to produce Broker’s Gin.

According to the Broker’s Gin Website, the botanicals used to produce Broker’s Gin and their sources are, juniper berries from Bulgaria or Macedonia, coriander seed from Bulgaria, orris root from Italy, nutmeg from India, cassia bark from China, cinnamon from Madagascar, liquorice from Sri Lanka, orange peel from Spain, lemon peel from Spain and angelica root from Belgium or France.

I was given a bottle of Broker’s Gin by Woodman Wines and Spirits to review on my website. Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… I poured out my first sample of Broker’s Gin into a glencairn glass and my nose was greeted with the classic mild piny juniper scent of a traditional English gin. Light notes of lemon and lime citrus lay in the breezes with just a hint of orange peel. The overall effect is light and refreshing. If you spend some time nosing the glass it is possible to detect a very light pungent spiciness which lies under the more assertive juniper and citrus… “

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: Broker’s (Premium London Dry Gin)

I have included a nice cocktail suggestion with the review called, Lady of the Empire. Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

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Review: Citadelle Reserve Gin (2011 Edition)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2012

Citadelle Gin has a history which stretches by to 1775 when King Loius XVI authorized two Frenchmen, Carpeau and Stival, to open a genievre distillery at the Citadelle in Dunkirk, which would serve as the Royal Distillery with an exclusive 20 year privilege. The Citadelle Distillery produced about 1000 litres of genievre per day which was predominantly shipped in small casks for sale in England, where gin was very popular.

About 200 years later in 1989,  Alexandre Gabriel of Cognac Ferrand, recognized that in France, gin had become more of an industrial spirit with much of the heritage and refinement lessened by time. He decided to create a handcrafted gin using small copper pots in the style and tradition of the Citadelle Distillery of old.

The Citadelle Reserve Gin (the most premium version of Citadelle Gin) is matured in oak casks for several months to add an extra dimension of flavour. I was given a sample bottle of Citadelle Reserve by Cognac Ferrand, for the purpose of a review here on my website.

Here is an excerpt:

“… Once poured into the glass, I am quite happy that I have opened this particular gin for a review. The aroma which drifts upwards is light and elegant, and very appealing. Mild piny notes of juniper seem to lead into the breezes with scents of lemon and balsam arriving almost as quickly. The oak manifests itself as sandalwood with light rye spices which build up as the glass sits… “

You may read the full review here:

Review: Citadelle Reserve Gin (2011 Edition)

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail suggestion which follows!

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Comparative Review: Schweppes Tonic VS Q Tonic

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 15, 2012

I was visiting one of my favourite Liquor Stores this past August, (Lacombe Park Spirits in St. Albert if you want to know), when Karim, who is one of the owners, asked me to try a Gin and Tonic with a new Tonic Water he had started to carry called Q Tonic. Up to this point, pickings were mighty slim in my neck of the woods for Tonic Water and Schweppes Tonic was pretty much the standard choice amongst my friends and I.

So I let him make me a small sample cocktail, and I have to say, it was pretty good. In fact, I was intrigued enough to make contact with Jordan Silbert, the founder of Q Drinks and asked him if he would like to send me a sample and some information, especially as I had recently began to receive a few gin samples for review. My thought was that it would be fun to make some side by side cocktails with Q Tonic and Schweppes Tonic to see if I preferred one over the other consistently.

Jordan agreed, and I received a few small bottles of Q Tonic in the mail shortly before Christmas. This was good because the gin samples were beginning to pile up, and I wanted to get at them.

So with four different gins in my review queue,  Beefeater 24, Citadelle Reserve, Port of Barcelona and Broker’s Gin, I set out over the next couple of weeks to test the Gin and Tonic Cocktail with both Q Tonic and Schweppes Tonic Water.

You may read the results of this exercise by following the provided link:

Comparative Review: Schweppes Tonic VS Q Tonic

Enjoy!

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Review: Beefeater 24 (London Dry Gin)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 8, 2012

The new Beefeater 24  is advertised as being handcrafted with 12 botanicals which include grapefruit, bitter almond, orris root, Seville orange peel, rare Japanese Sencha tea and Chinese green tea. This makes the new Beefeater 24 gin more complex in construction than the previously reviewed Beefeater London Dry Gin which listed 9 ingredients. There are other differences as well, The new Beefeater 24 is bottled at a higher proof (45 % alcohol by volume) which to me seems most welcome, and all of the ingredients are apparently steeped in grain alcohol for 24 hours prior to a 7 hour distillation where the master distiller makes an artisan cut by hand from the heart of the distillation run.

This product has been brought into my local market by Corby, and I  was delighted when the local rep arranged for me to receive a bottle of the new Beefeater 24 to review on my website. Here is an excerpt:

“… There is a ‘freshness’ rising out of the glass and I liken it to the scent of an alpine forest on a warm spring day with the snow is melt just beginning. The aroma of evergreen boughs and juniper jumps out of the glass pushed ahead by a crisp citrus-like aroma…”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Beefeater 24 (London Dry Gin)

As I usually do, I have provided a delicious cocktail after the review. in this case I stuck to tradition and recommended a Gin and Tonic.

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Review: Hendrick’s Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2011

The people who make Hendrick’s Gin pride themselves on being just a little quirky, and perhaps a bit eccentric. Their offbeat website revels in the odd and the peculiar and tries to convince all who peruse the site that Hendrick’s Gin is special exactly because of the things which make it odd and peculiar.

The gin is produced in Scotland, in the village of Girvin, Ayrshire by William Grant & Sons (who are perhaps better known for their whisky distillations than their gin). It is made small batches (450 litre batch size) using two unusual stills, a copper Bennett Still which has been dated to 1860, and a Carter-Headstill made in 1948. These stills each serve a different purpose, but together they create a unique gin made with 11 different botanicals, and infused with cucumber and rose petals one batch at a time.

I was provided with a bottle of Hendricks Gin by the William Grant media team here in Canada for the purpose of a review on my website. I guess it is time to find out if the Gin is as peculiarly good tasting as advertised.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The nose begins with mild citrus tones which are accented by juniper.  I catch hints of lemon-lime and orange as well as a fleeting impression of black licorice and fennel. The impressions continue to be fleeting with hints of light familiar scents, perhaps a touch of lilac, and perhaps something more earthy like damp moss. This is very complex …”

You may read my full review as well as my take on a quirky Gin and Tonic by clicking the link below:

Review: Hendrick’s Gin

Please enjoy the review and the quirky cocktail!

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