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Archive for the ‘Gin’ Category

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!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Extras, First Impressions, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

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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Review: Beefeater London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 13, 2011

Beefeater London Dry Gin is currently produced in Kensington, a district of West London, in the United Kingdom. The company has roots stretching back to 1820 when the Chelsea Distillery was constructed on Cale Street and served as the first home for Beefeater Gin. The founder of the company, James Burrough, was not born until 1835, and it was not until about 1876 that the Beefeater brand was created from gin produced at the Chelsea Distillery. Over time the brand has changed locations twice, first in 1908 to Hutton Road, and then in 1958 to its present location in Kensington.

The Beefeater Gin website lists nine ingredients which are used to flavour the gin: juniper from the hills of Italy, Siberia and Macedonia, Seville orange peel, bitter almonds, ground orris root, coriander seeds, angelica (seeds and root), licorice and lemon peel. The list of ingredients is a pretty good list for a flavourful gin, and it will be interesting as I sample the gin to see which of the botanicals shine through the gin and which remain undiscovered by my nose and palate.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…As I sniff the glass I get the impression that I am going to find the Beefeater Gin to be a very laid back and gentle spirit. Soft piny notes of juniper arise beside predominant scents of orange and lemon citrus.  Because I know what other botanicals are used in the gin’s construction, I am able to discern some notes of coriander and very faints wisps of licorice…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Beefeater London Dry Gin

I have provided a nice gin cocktail with the review which I call, Heaven’s Staircase.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

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Movies and Cocktails: Part 1

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 24, 2011

I found myself watching an old western on the television a few weeks ago on one of those rare days when the movie suited my mood perfectly. Of course, I wanted a drink, but not just a drink…. I wanted a drink that suited the mood I was in and the movie I was watching. I settled on a dusty Canadian Rye Whisky and settled down to watch my movie.

Afterwards I began to think about why I wanted a particular drink for that particular movie, and I realized that this actually happens to me quite often.  For me movies are a ‘mood’ experience. I have to be in a certain mood to watch certain movies. Certain moods call for certain styles of drinks. So I began to put together a list of my favourite movies and thought about what I would like to drink while watching. I analyzed each movie briefly before selecting the appropriate cocktail for each.  I came up with this list:

Some of my Favourite Movies (And What to Drink When Watching Them)

This is just Part 1, next month or thereabouts I will post Part 2 with five more movies.

Cheers!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Extras, Gin, Rum, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , | Comments Off

Review: No. 3 London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 5, 2011

Berry Bros. & Rudd is London’s oldest wine and spirits merchant with over 300 years of experience and tradition to draw on. They chose to use this expertise with a team of spirits experts creating the recipe which would be called No. 3 London Dry Gin. The recipe is based upon three fruits and three spices, and to those I shall speak to in the review. However, I shall say as a bit of foreshadowing, that sometimes artistry can be found in simplicity.

I first sampled the No. 3 Gin at a store called Lacombe Park Spirits in St. Albert, Alberta. I have come to know the proprietors, Karim and his brother Jeff, quite well over the past couple of years, and when Karim discovered that I was about to venture into a series of Gin reviews he insisted that I try one of his favourites. I was convinced after one sip that this was a gin which I wanted to review, and after contacting the website for No. 3 London Dry Gin, Ross Hendry from Berry Brothers & Rudd, arranged for me to receive a bottle sample.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…When that first sample was poured for me at Lacombe Spirits, the first thing I noticed was the assertiveness of the aroma around the glass. I commented to Karim (the proprietor of Lacombe Park Spirits) that this was exactly how I liked my gin to smell in the glass. The nose was full of juniper, but it was not sharp and unpleasant, rather it was full of aromatics which lifted the juniper scent out of the glass and then surrounded it with floral notes and a beguiling sweetness…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: No. 3 London Dry Gin

I have provided a couple of nice recipes for the No. 3 Gin, the first is a nice Classic Gin Martini recipe which is provided on the No. 3 Gin website, the second recipe is a classic Gin cocktail recipe called the Bulldog Cooler.

Please enjoy my review and the recipes that follow!

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Review: Shiver Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 9, 2011

Shiver Gin is a new product of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC). It is a Canadian made gin which is produced in the ‘London Dry’ style in the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Of the various styles of gin, London Dry Gin, is the most common. (For those who do not know, the legal requirement is that London Dry Gin must be distilled in the presence juniper and other botanicals.) Of the botanicals used in the production of this particular gin, the company makes specific reference on their website to anise which is said to give the gin “an unexpected uplift with each sip“.

I contacted Gregg Kerr of the NLC  a few weeks ago informing him of my plans to begin a series of gin and vodka reviews hoping to include at least a few Canadian spirits. Greg was kind enough to forward me a bottle of Shiver Gin and here is an excerpt from the resulting review:

“… The juniper aroma was perhaps a little understated on the nose; but, that unmistakably punch of alpine berry reveals itself immediately when you take your first sip. Beside the juniper lie sweeter flavours which I would describe as maraschino cherry liqueur, sweet mandarin oranges, citrus pith, and just a hint of licorice…”

You may read my full review here:

Review: Shiver Gin

Following my review is an excellent cocktail which I highly recommend you try with Shiver Gin, The Darby Cocktail.

Please enjoy the review and my suggested cocktail!

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Review: Gordon’s London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 19, 2011

Alexander Gordon founded the Gin Distillery in London in 1769, and although the company is now part of the Diageo conglomerate, they have apparently remained true to their original Gin recipe which includes handpicked juniper berries and other secret botanicals. (According the company website, only 12 persons in the world know the secret recipe.)

I picked up a 375 ml bottle of Gordon’s London Dry Gin a few months ago, and I decided that it was finally time to publish a review here on my website. Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…As I nosed the glass a nice piny juniper aroma climbed out of the glass into the breezes. This scent was quickly surrounded by sweeter lemon and lime citrus aromas. As well a light, almost birch-like aroma was hinted at, and the overall effect is quite nice…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Gordon’s London Dry Gin

As well I have included a nice “Fizz” style recipe which tastes great with the Gordon’s Gin called The Lime Fizz.  Please enjoy my review of Gordon’s Gin and the Cocktail recipe which accompanies it.

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Review: Empire London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 1, 2010

Photo courtesy Highwood Distillery

Highwood Distillers is a Canadian distiller situated in the town of Highwood, Alberta, which lies just about 40 minutes due south of Calgary, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  Recently, I visited the distillery and watched first hand as they turned the local wheat into whisky, vodka. and gin.  I sampled the whisky, (See my reviews of Centennial Whisky & White Owl Whisky) and was delighted by the quality I encountered.  So when I started to review gin on my website, I decided to sample Highwood’s  Empire Gin to see how a locally produced gin would rate.

Although Empire Gin is a London Dry Gin, the moniker “London Dry Gin” refers to the double distillation method of production which defines London Dry Gin, but is not a reference to the country of origin.  Rather than being produced in England, Empire London Dry Gin is produced and bottled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, in the Highwood Distillery. It is a Canadian Gin, and I was very curious as to how it compared with the more well-known brands like Tangueray No. 10 and Bombay Sapphire.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The initial entry into the mouth is a little spicy as the tangy citrus seems to be in the forefront of the flavour.  The piny juniper seems to be more evident on the palate than it was on the nose, but it does not overwhelm the citrus, rather it seems to sit just underneath acting as an anchor to support the gin flavour through the palate…”

You May Read the full review here:

Empire London Dry Gin

Enjoy the Review!

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Review: Bombay Sapphire Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 8, 2010

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

Bombay Sapphire Gin is considered a London Dry Gin.  This refers to the process of distillation and not the current origin of the gin.  London Dry Gin is made through a double distillation of a neutral grain spirit with botanicals added during the second distillation.  The ten botanicals listed on the Bombay Sapphire website are: 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, cassio 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.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…I am a naive son of a gun.  I actually expected a light blue coloured gin to flow out of the bottle the first time I poured it.  Alas, the bottle is blue, not the gin.  It is a clear colourless liquid which imparts just a very light sheen of oil on the side of my glass.  The aroma from the glass is   a clean aroma with a piny (juniper) citrus note…”

You may read the full review here:

Gin Review: Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin

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