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Posts Tagged ‘Gin’

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!

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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The Rum Howler Awards – Vodka, Gin and Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 15, 2011

Last week, I began to present my 2nd Annual Rum Howler Awards for excellence in the production of distilled spirits. The Awards last week were presented to those spirits which performed the best in what I considered to be a basic (but classic) cocktail for each category of distilled spirit. I had an award for the best rum in a Daiquiri; an award for the best whisky in a Horses Neck (Whisky and Ginger-ale): an award for the best tequila in a Margarita, an award for the best gin in a Gin Fizz, and an award for the best vodka in a Cosmopolitan.

Today I will recognize the best of the Vodka, Gin and Tequila spirits. I included all of the spirits I sampled over the past two years. (Going back two years allows me to include a larger volume of samples for each category which I hope makes the Rum Howler Awards more relevant.) The judging was based upon side by side comparisons using a combination of suitable cocktails and sipping the samples neat.

Here are my Rum Howler Awards for Vodka, for Gin, for Tequila.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rum Howler Award for Best Flavoured Vodka

and the winner is:

Pristina Espresso Flavoured Vodka

Honourable mention to Nemiroff Rye Honey and Zubrowka (Bison Grass) Vodka.

Because of the wide variation in product styles, this was a hard category to judge; but one which I feel I got right. All three of the nominees are spirits which I would have no problem sharing with which ever guests happen to pop by. They rise to a standard of excellence which was recognized when I did my initial reviews for them. I had some help deciding this category, and in a kind of committee approach, my friends and I decided that the Pristina Espresso Flavoured Vodka was the clear winner. 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rum Howler Award for Best Value Priced Vodka 
(Under $30.00 in my Alberta Marketplace)

and the winner is:

Russian Standard Original Vodka

Honourable mention to Nemiroff Original Vodka and Nemiroff Ukrainian Wheat Vodka

In my marketplace, taxes and storage fees can increase the price of a product by $13.00 a bottle (In some cases as high as  $18.00 a bottle). This means the value priced spirits usually begin at a price of $22.00 per bottle in most of the liquor stores. My upper limit of $30.00 per bottle,therefore,  eliminated a wide swath of products. I considered two major factors in determining the Best Value Priced Vodka. The first was the Vodka’s mixability in a range of cocktail styles, (the Screw Driver, the Cosmopolitan and the Vodka Tonic), and I weighed this equally against the performance of the Vodka served neat at room temperature. All three of the nominees are excellent choices, but the Russian Standard was not only my choice, but it was also the choice of my entire Vodka tasting group in this category.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rum Howler Award for Best Vodka
(Price irrelevant)

and the winner is:

Wyborowa Exquisite (Wodka)

Honourable mention to Patriot Excellence Vodka, Pristina Vodka, and Nemiroff Lex Vodka.

The Nominees for this category were judged in much the same way that the nominees for the Best Value Vodka were judged. However much more weight was attached to the performance of the Vodka when sipped neat at room temperature. To be honest, I have no complaints with any of these spirits and would happily receive them at any gathering. Having said that, the Wyborowa Exquisite is exactly what its name says it is, an exquisite Vodka which oozes class and luxury upon the palate. When I want a superior cocktail, this Vodka fits the bill beautifully, and when I want a great sipping bottle to share with friends and food, again the Wyborowa Exquisite is my first choice.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Gin

and the winner is:

No. 3 London Dry Gin

Honourable mention to Tangueray No. 10

This was a two-horse race right from the start, and to make my determination I decided to mix three cocktails, a Gin and Tonic, a Key Lime Gimlet, and a Gin Fizz. Then I sampled each gin neat at room temperature. Half the score was based upon the taste of the cocktails, and half the score was based upon the performance of the gin when served neat. Although both of these spirits are wonderful. The No. 3 Gin was my clear choice.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rum Howler Award for Best Blanco Tequila

and the winner is:

Cabo Wabo (Blanco)

Honorable mention to PaQuí Tequila (Silvera)

Last week I awarded the PaQui Tequila Silvera with the award for the best Blanco tequila in a Margarita with the Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila as the runner-up. This week the two spirits flip positions as the more complex earthy tones of the Cabo Wabo made it the clear winner in the head to head contest when I sipped the spirits neat.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rum Howler Award for Best Reposado Tequila

and the winner is:

Alamo Reposado Tequila

Honourable mention to Cabo Wabo Reposado, and Herencia de Plata (Reposado)

Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila was the very first Tequila I reviewed on my website, and in a way it has served as the standard for all other tequila spirits that followed. It was the first tequila I reviewed because I really like it, and it became the Tequila I was most likely to serve when I made a margarita for myself or my friends. When I sampled the Herencia de Plata (Reposado), I began to serve the either of the two interchangeably depending upon whether I wanted the clean flavour of Herencia or the more funky flavour of Cabo Wabo. When I later sampled the Alamo Reposado Tequila, my serving habits for Margaritas did not change; but that is only because I do not serve the Alamo in a Margarita; I serve the Alamo neat at room temperature. It really is that good!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rum Howler Award for Best Anejo Tequila

and the winner is:

1921 Anejo Tequila

Honourable mention to Corzo Anejo Tequila

The 1921 Anejo Tequila is simply outstanding. It is one of those spirits which tastes great the first time you sip it, and then as you let the spirit breathe, the tequila  gains even more character in the glass. I did my side by side tasting with Corzo Anejo early in the fall. It was at first a very close contest, but as the 1921 Tequila decanted in the glass its character grew by leaps and bound making it the clear winner.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

To recap:

The Rum Howler Award for Best Flavoured VodkaPristina Espresso Flavoured Vodka

The Rum Howler Award for Best Value Priced Vodka:  Russian Standard Original VodkaThe Rum

The Rum Howler Award for Best Vodka:  Wyborowa Exquisite (Wodka)

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Gin: No. 3 London Dry Gin

The Rum Howler Award for Best Blanco TequilaCabo Wabo (Blanco)

The Rum Howler Award for Best Reposado TequilaAlamo Reposado Tequila

The Rum Howler Award for Best Anejo Tequila:  1921 Anejo Tequila

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Next week I will tackle whisky!

Cheers!

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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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