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New Generation Gins


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#271 Chris Amirault

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 09:42 AM

I've heard that Damrak is really genever even though they call it gin on the bottle (here we go again). What's the consensus on it (ie whether it's good and whether it is in fact representative of genever--I don't care about what it should be called)?


Not at all a genever: Bols has one of those already. As far as I can tell, Bols is marketing it as a substitute for Plymouth, and in the mouth it does lean more Plymouth than London, but ymmv.

Square One are entirely to be applauded, IMHO, for throwing away that marketing crutch and calling their entry "Botanical Spirit." I wish we could get everyone else to adopt a similar label, but that ain't gonna happen. So gin it is.


I've been thinking a lot about Bluecoat as a "botanical spirit" since reading this, and last night at work, spying some very good looking kirby cucumbers, I threw together this Kirby Smash for the night's special, based on DeGroff's Whiskey Peach Smash, based on Jerry Thomas's, based on...

1/2 kirby cuke, diced
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 oz Bluecoat
3/4 oz lemon
-1/2 oz simple
5-6 drops Angostura

Muddle cuke and thyme; shake; fine strain. Lemon twist.

Following a Negroni, I sold it to a big Tanqueray fan as drink #2 to go with her fried hake. "Damned refreshing," she says, "But that isn't gin." I shrugged.
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#272 slkinsey

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 11:43 AM

. . . As far as I can tell, Bols is marketing it as a substitute for Plymouth, and in the mouth it does lean more Plymouth than London, but ymmv. . . .

That's an interesting thought. My understanding is that Plymouth style gin used to be fairly different from what it is today, and kind-of split the difference between London dry and genever. It's unclear to me that there is a meaningful categorical style difference between today's Plymouth gin and what may be called London dry gin.
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#273 Chris Amirault

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 12:47 PM

It's unclear to me that there is a meaningful categorical style difference between today's Plymouth gin and what may be called London dry gin.


Whenever I do side-by-sides with Plymouth and, say, Beefeater or Tanqueray, the Plymouth seems a bit earthier, with a richer mouthfeel. But I've never really understood the "two different styles" distinction very clearly, and I couldn't articulate it to myself in such tastings. Seems more a matter of degree than category.
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#274 slkinsey

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 12:54 PM

Someone like Dave W could speak authoritatively on this, but I am led to believe that the historical Plymouth style was different from London dry in having a touch of "genever-ness" to it. Forget where I read that.
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#275 Chris Amirault

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 01:01 PM

Maybe kinda malty...
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#276 eje

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 01:18 PM

In a recent issue of Saveur, Mr. Wondrich had an article in which he turned up some 19th Century quotes which described Plymouth Gin as something like (don't have the article on hand), "being flavored with the wash of whiskey distilleries".

Since that article, while chatting with some folks who worked for Pernod-Ricard, they said they had tracked down a vintage sample of Plymouth and confirmed those descriptions of the product.

Anyway, it makes sense, at least in terms of English Gin's evolution from something heavily resembling Genever to modern day London Dry Gin.

Edited by eje, 04 August 2010 - 01:21 PM.

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#277 slkinsey

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 01:31 PM

Right. So perhaps slightly malty but still highly aromatic?. Anyway, not all that much like what they're selling now, I suppose is the point. Some malty-ness certainly would have made it possible to differentiate as a stylistic category of gin distinct from London dry.

The guys at Breuckelen Distilling might be making something a bit like this, as they are distilling their base spirit from wheat mash. Whether and to what extent they have knowledge about making gin, I couldn't say. I might see if I can catch a taste of it somewhere. For a just released spirit out of a distillery that just made its first run in June and settled on gin botanicals in mid-July, almost 40 bucks a bottle is a bit too rich for my blood for all the reasons previously stated.
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#278 haresfur

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:31 PM

. . . As far as I can tell, Bols is marketing it as a substitute for Plymouth, and in the mouth it does lean more Plymouth than London, but ymmv. . . .

That's an interesting thought. My understanding is that Plymouth style gin used to be fairly different from what it is today, and kind-of split the difference between London dry and genever. It's unclear to me that there is a meaningful categorical style difference between today's Plymouth gin and what may be called London dry gin.


I guess the question is whether it would taste good (even if different) as a substitute for Plymouth.

Right. So perhaps slightly malty but still highly aromatic?. Anyway, not all that much like what they're selling now, I suppose is the point. Some malty-ness certainly would have made it possible to differentiate as a stylistic category of gin distinct from London dry. The guys at Breuckelen Distilling might be making something a bit like this, as they are distilling their base spirit from wheat mash. Whether and to what extent they have knowledge about making gin, I couldn't say. I might see if I can catch a taste of it somewhere. For a just released spirit out of a distillery that just made its first run in June and settled on gin botanicals in mid-July, almost 40 bucks a bottle is a bit too rich for my blood for all the reasons previously stated.


I think Dry Fly gin from Spokane Washington uses wheat mash. I don't recall it being very malty or junipery, though.
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#279 Splificator

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:48 PM

Right. So perhaps slightly malty but still highly aromatic?. Anyway, not all that much like what they're selling now, I suppose is the point. Some malty-ness certainly would have made it possible to differentiate as a stylistic category of gin.

My understanding is that Plymouth used a mix of rectified spirit and whiskey wash, spiced with an English-style botanical mix (in fact, the same one they're using now). The word back in the nineteenth century was that it split the difference between an English-style gin and a Dutch genever, and that would definitely do it. It's sort of an on-the-fly equivalent of a blended base spirit, such as the Dutch took to using in the 1820s and 1830s, plus all the botanical spice we expect from an Old Tom or London Dry. Ironically this is more or less the procedure Tad Seestedt came up with for the ransom Old Tom, a year and a half before I found that stuff about the Plymouth (see, e.g., here), although Tad also does some barrel aging.

This process may explain why Plymouth was so popular in America at the turn of the last century, when we were switching from a Hollands drinking country to an English gin drinking country (it wasn't until 1899 or 1900 that imports of English gin surpassed those of Dutch gin).

To my palate, the Damrak has a certain irreducible Dutchness to its flavor profile. I don't know if it's the botanicals or the texture of the spirit, but it's definitely geneverish.
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#280 slkinsey

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:03 AM

Interesting! What do you think would be a workable reasonable approximation of the older Plymouth style, at least in spirit? Damrak? Damrak mixed with modern Plymouth? Modern Plymouth mixed with Bols genever? Modern Plymouth mixed with Genevieve? Ransom Old Tom?
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#281 eje

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 11:46 AM

I don't know if it's a reasonable representation, but a mix of Bols Genever and Plymouth is tasty in older cocktail recipes which call for Plymouth style gin. Plymouth and Genevieve doesn't really work, I blame Fritz' fondness for Star Anise, but Junipero and Genevieve is pretty good.

Ransom has more citrus flavor than either of the above, but is fun to play with too.
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#282 evo-lution

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:33 AM

Will be interesting to see how this turns out;

http://www.drinksint...ry.php/aid/1664

Bruichladdich to make gin

Islay: Bruichladdich distillery has started to produce gin. The Islay distillery, usually associated with peaty whisky, began making its first batch of gin today (3 August).

The gin, which is yet to be named, contains 30 botanicals - 21 Islay and 9 regular like coriander and juniper. The Islay botanicals include Angelica, Bog Myrtle, sweet Lady’s Bedstraw, Mace and Broom Flower.

Botanicals from further a field include citrus and coriander.

Bruichladdich chief executive Mark Reynier said the company’s new-found ability to produce gin is down to the purchase of an old still.

He said: “We found an old, unique still that was designed in 1955 to produce various different effects via its interchangeable neck. It’s called a Lomond still.”

Reynier said everything we know about making whisky, comes from ‘usquebaugh’.

“This is the clear spirit people were making when they were distilling illicitly in the hills. It wasn’t very pleasant and so they flavoured it with whatever they could find.

“We found a recipe from 1715 that includes Mace, Cloves and Cinnamon. It’s very similar to what you find it gin.”

Bruichladdich has been working with a local botanist called Dr Galliver to source botanicals from Islay. The first version, which is expected to be ready by September, will include the botanicals previously listed but the gin is to be a seasonal product and the next batch will include botanicals available during the season it is produced.

The gin is to be bottled at 46% and Reynier said it is to retail for around £26.


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#283 brinza

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 12:36 PM

That sounds intriguing to say the least. And we won't have to wait 12 years to try it!
Mike

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#284 evo-lution

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 03:15 PM

That sounds intriguing to say the least. And we won't have to wait 12 years to try it!


I'm particularly interested in the 1715 recipe and how they're going to utilise it in their gin (what style of gin this'll be, I'd love to know).

Edited by evo-lution, 06 August 2010 - 03:16 PM.

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#285 lancastermike

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 05:39 AM

So, we get home from work and my wife suggests a cocktail before dinner. An idea I can support with enthusiasm. What would you like? I ask. She replies, An Aviation.

I ice up a couple of glasses, grab some lemons, squeeze out the juice, strain it to get the seeds and pulp out. Ice up my shaker, hand cracked you know. Stroll over to the shelf, grab the Luxardo and the Creme de Violette.

And than it happened. I broke out into a cold sweat. My hands started to shake. My heart was pounding in my chest. There it was staring right at me. The bottle was a soothing color, but I knew it was trouble. Bluecoat. Frantically, I scanned the cabinet looking for some Beefeater or Tanqueray or Gordons. None to be found.

I stammered out to my wife, How about a Sidecar or an Americano? No she replied, I'd like an Aviation.

With shame I took the bottle over and made the drink.

I presented it to her head bowed in disgrace. Luckily for me, she loves me and did not greet me with reproach. Silently I sipped mine knowing the sin I had committed.

Oh the humanity!!!!!

#286 brinza

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:06 AM

So, we get home from work and my wife suggests a cocktail before dinner. An idea I can support with enthusiasm. What would you like? I ask. She replies, An Aviation.

I ice up a couple of glasses, grab some lemons, squeeze out the juice, strain it to get the seeds and pulp out. Ice up my shaker, hand cracked you know. Stroll over to the shelf, grab the Luxardo and the Creme de Violette.

And than it happened. I broke out into a cold sweat. My hands started to shake. My heart was pounding in my chest. There it was staring right at me. The bottle was a soothing color, but I knew it was trouble. Bluecoat. Frantically, I scanned the cabinet looking for some Beefeater or Tanqueray or Gordons. None to be found.

I stammered out to my wife, How about a Sidecar or an Americano? No she replied, I'd like an Aviation.

With shame I took the bottle over and made the drink.

I presented it to her head bowed in disgrace. Luckily for me, she loves me and did not greet me with reproach. Silently I sipped mine knowing the sin I had committed.

Oh the humanity!!!!!

Bravo! That was brilliant. And shame on you for serving your loving wife something that is barely fit for degreasing Amish buggy axles. You cad!
Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

#287 eje

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 09:54 AM

Cold River Vodka gets a gin sibling

"Head distiller Chris Dowe bases the gin on a 400-year-old traditional gin recipe that utilizes seven botanicals -- the requisite juniper berries plus coriander, lemon and orange peel, cardamom, orris root and angelica root. The base spirit is made from potatoes grown at the family-owned Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg, ME, just as the signature vodka is made. The finished product is gluten free with no added sugar."

Wacky, Gin on a potato vodka base?

Anyone had a chance to try this one yet?
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#288 slkinsey

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:51 AM

Wacky, Gin on a potato vodka base?

You think? My thinking is that high proof neutral ethyl alcohol is high proof neutral ethyl alcohol. Most likely, the reason grain neutral spirits is the usual choice for gin is simply because that is the cheapest and easiest sugar source in the major gin-producing areas of the world (UK and USA).

Meanwhile, $25 bucks a bottle seems reasonable enough.

Edited by slkinsey, 16 August 2010 - 10:52 AM.

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#289 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:23 AM

AND my friend with Celiac disease can drink it.

This is actually rather major.

#290 slkinsey

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:08 AM

I wonder how many products there out playing in the "dry gin" playground that are not on a base of grain spirit. Cold River is on a potato spirit. G'Vine is on a grape spirit. Both should be able to be consumed by those with Celiac disease.
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#291 ermintrude

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:17 AM

Genuine London Gin http://www.sipsmith.com/ tried this at taste of London and very nice it was to, quite junipery.
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#292 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 10:29 AM

I wonder how many products there out playing in the "dry gin" playground that are not on a base of grain spirit. Cold River is on a potato spirit. G'Vine is on a grape spirit. Both should be able to be consumed by those with Celiac disease.


I can see I have to check into this further. Thanks. (She always has the fear that even products that claim to be based on non-grain spirits have a bit of them in there. I don't really know how to allay that.)

#293 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:23 AM

I would've never guessed that gluten was volatile enough to pass through a still. Is this true?
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#294 KD1191

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:40 PM

Unless subsequently flavored, all distilled spirits should be gluten-free.
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#295 Chris Amirault

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:50 PM

So "gluten-free" is like the "It's toasted!" Lucky Strike campaign?
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#296 KD1191

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:31 PM

So "gluten-free" is like the "It's toasted!" Lucky Strike campaign?

Many in the gluten-free world have horror stories about products that should have been gluten free being cross contaminated by other products in the same production/supply chain, or some unscrupulous process used by the manufacturer. So, if a brand wants to make the claim "gluten free" and are willing to back it up, more power to them. I personally don't have an issue with gluten, so I don't know how big a deal it might be...I do know the science of distillation leaves no room for gluten in the result. What the distiller does after that, we have little control over.
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#297 Chris Amirault

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 03:28 PM

Based on the comments here, I'm wondering if Death's Door didn't change their formula when they changed their label and bottle. The stuff I have is the most savory gin I've ever tasted, what with the wild juniper, a pronounced vegetal (celery?) note, and an oily mouthfeel. I'm really enjoying the 2:1 Martini I am drinking now (with old NP and a dash of Regan's/Fee's orange, lemon twist).

Anyone else have this on hand?
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#298 jmfangio

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 10:49 PM

Anyone have any thoughts on Beefeater Wet? I understand that it's been discontinued, and local BevMo is unloading it for $9.99 per bottle.
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#299 nickrey

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 09:52 PM

Will be interesting to see how this turns out;

http://www.drinksint...ry.php/aid/1664

Bruichladdich to make gin

Islay: Bruichladdich distillery has started to produce gin. The Islay distillery, usually associated with peaty whisky, began making its first batch of gin today (3 August).

The gin, which is yet to be named, contains 30 botanicals - 21 Islay and 9 regular like coriander and juniper. The Islay botanicals include Angelica, Bog Myrtle, sweet Lady’s Bedstraw, Mace and Broom Flower.

Botanicals from further a field include citrus and coriander.

Bruichladdich chief executive Mark Reynier said the company’s new-found ability to produce gin is down to the purchase of an old still.

He said: “We found an old, unique still that was designed in 1955 to produce various different effects via its interchangeable neck. It’s called a Lomond still.”

Reynier said everything we know about making whisky, comes from ‘usquebaugh’.

“This is the clear spirit people were making when they were distilling illicitly in the hills. It wasn’t very pleasant and so they flavoured it with whatever they could find.

“We found a recipe from 1715 that includes Mace, Cloves and Cinnamon. It’s very similar to what you find it gin.”

Bruichladdich has been working with a local botanist called Dr Galliver to source botanicals from Islay. The first version, which is expected to be ready by September, will include the botanicals previously listed but the gin is to be a seasonal product and the next batch will include botanicals available during the season it is produced.

The gin is to be bottled at 46% and Reynier said it is to retail for around £26.

"The Botanist" has landed!!

I ordered it direct from the Bruichladdich site (link here) and it arrived on Friday.

First impressions in a G&T using Qtonic are that it has a very complex and floral flavour, which is unlike anything I've tried before and very pleasant.

Going to try it in a martini tonight to check out what it's like.

Unlike many gins, this one does not hit you around the head with juniper. If you're after a complex floral and (sweet) herb flavoured drop, it's definitely worth a try.

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#300 Emily_R

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 10:35 PM

Ok, so preface this with the fact that I drink gin entirely in mixed drinks -- with tonic, club soda, etc. No martinis. And I'm certainly not a gin expert, and probably can't accurately describe what I love about it... But I have been totally converted from being primarily a Tanqueray drinker (which I preferred to Bombay and substantially preferred to Hendricks) to Citadelle. And several friends who are much more dedicated drinkers than I were also wowed by it. Here's their website with more information...

http://www.citadelle...x/gin/citadelle

Has anyone else tried it?

Edited by Emily_R, 18 June 2011 - 10:36 PM.