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Posts Tagged ‘London Dry Gin’

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 20, 2013

RH-winner2013It is that time of year again when I present my annual Rum Howler Awards where I recognize the best spirits which I have had the pleasure of sampling over the past two years. You see, I save my sample bottles after writing my reviews, and have a fun little tasting competition (usually with a few friends to help me). The aim is to determine which spirits are truly the best. My gin tastings were completed a few weeks ago, and I have complied the results for The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin.

This has been a good year for Gin. The Spirit has become more than just a base for Gin and Tonics and Martinis; it has become part of the cocktail revolution which is underway on both sides of the Atlantic (and threatening to cross the Pacific as well.) In fact, it could be said that walking side by side with the Cocktail Revolution is a new Gin Revolution. While London Dry Gin still dominates the landscape of juniper, we are at the forefront of the development of new variations upon the pinene theme. I see varieties of gin aged in oak (see review here); I see specialized flavoured gins (see review here); and I see distillers experimenting with local botanicals and spices in an effort to bring new taste profiles forward (see review here). We are even witnessing the resurrection of an heretofore almost forgotten styles of gin (see review here).

This year, I invited one of my gin loving friends to help me in the judging process which occurred during two lazy Sundays in September. Each spirit was served in three cocktails (Grange Cocktail, Gin and Tonic, and a Dry Gin Martini) as well as served neat with no ice.

And without further ado, it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2013 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Gin. These Awards are for the best Gin Spirits, I encountered in the year 2013:

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

(Use the above link to find the Awards Page.)

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Review: Tanqueray Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 1, 2013

SAM_0968 TanquerayTanqueray 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 badly damaged 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 Gin, is a London Dry Gin distilled four times with the botanicals infused prior to the fourth distillation . According to the Tanqueray website, juniper, coriander, angelica root and licorice are the four major botanicals used in the gin’s construction. Tanqueray is bottled at different proofs for different regional markets. As I live in Canada, the bottling proof  of my sample bottle is 40 % alcohol by volume.

SAM_0971 Lime MartiniYou may read my full review by clicking on the excerpt:

Review: Tanqueray Gin

“… Tanqueray is a clear spirit which when poured into my glass displays a nice combination of assertive juniper and lemon citrus at the forefront of the aroma. There is also a firm, but mild spiciness rising from the glass which hints at cardamom, ginger and citrus zest with more than a few hints of anise and licorice …”

Please enjoy my review, and the fine cocktail which follows, the Lime Martini.

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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: 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: 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: 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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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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