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New Generation Gins


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#31 slkinsey

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 02:11 PM

I was able to try a little bit of both Blackwood's Vintage Dry and Vintage 60 a little while ago. Very interesting spirits, and a little hard to describe. Very good. They certainly have an unusual flavor/aroma profile for gin. The Vintage 60, I thought, had some suggestions of the earthiness of fresh cracked pepper or, as someone else suggested, perhaps grains of paradise (neither of which appears to be a botanical actually used in the spirit).

I have no idea how much they're going to retail for in the US, but if they're priced so that mixing with them won't be a ridiculous waste, I could see making some interesting drinks with them.


Also had a chance to try No. 209 gin. Eh...? Didn't do it for me. To my palate, it was way too heavy on the citrus notes. In particular, it smelled like it was trying to be a "lime flavored gin" -- which is a problem because too much citrus always produces a certain "artificial seeming" taste. Most orange vodkas, for example, taste like baby aspirin. A lot of new gins seem to want to pump up the citrus and deemphasize the juniper, perhaps aiming for a "G&T gin." I don't get it. I'd take a bottle of Blackwood's over two bottles of No. 209 any day.
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#32 eje

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:26 PM

I don't quite get the "Nordic" aspect of the Blackwood gin.

"Thanks for plundering us, now we're naming gin in honor of you!"

Maybe Scots are different; but, I take no end of guff from my Irish friends for my viking ancestry.

In any case, does anyone have tasting notes for Martin Miller's gins?

Of the high end gins I have yet to try, those seem to be the most interesting to me right now.
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#33 slkinsey

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 05:30 PM

Dude, at some point you have to ask: who hasn't ransacked those islands? After all, the Scots don't have to look very far to find people who did bad things to them... the British are right next door. :smile:
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#34 eje

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 10:29 AM

True enough. It just seems like an odd selling point.

If I see a bottle with a viking boat on it, my first assumption will be that it is from Norway or Sweden.

There are so many great things about Scotland and the Scottish Isles. Why advertise yourself as a Scandanavian gin (or vodka)?
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#35 slkinsey

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 11:24 AM

Keep in mind that, while Blackwood's is made in Scotland, it's made in the Shetland Islands, which are probably as much Norse as is they are Scots. Actually, I think Shetland was part of Norway until something like 1500. Norway gave it to Scotland in exchange for a debt or some such thing. I'm pretty sure The Shetland Islands are closer to Norway than they are to Edinburgh.

Blackwood is advertising itself more as a Shetland distillery than a Scottland distillery (their mark is: Blackwood 'The Shetland Distillery') so I suppose the Norse designs are a way to highlight the Shetland Islands' unique history.
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#36 eje

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 01:09 PM

Blackwood is advertising itself more as a Shetland distillery than a Scottland distillery (their mark is: Blackwood 'The Shetland Distillery') so I suppose the Norse designs are a way to highlight the Shetland Islands' unique history.

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Huh, I had no idea!

No wonder they're making vodka and gin first. Though, I wonder where the Aquavit is!

From the wikipedia shetland islands page, "Originally populated by Picts, the Shetland Islands were invaded and became a Norwegian colony for approximately 500 years, but ownership defaulted to the crown of Scotland on 20 February 1472 following non-payment of the marriage dowry of Margaret of Denmark, queen of James III of Scotland."

In any case, it does sound like interesting Gin, as long as it isn't too expensive. I wonder if they are distilling their own base spirit.

edit - added comment to try to get back on topic.

Edited by eje, 02 March 2006 - 01:11 PM.

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#37 thebartrainer

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 10:23 AM

Huh, I had no idea!

No wonder they're making vodka and gin first.  Though, I wonder where the Aquavit is!

From the wikipedia shetland islands page, "Originally populated by Picts, the Shetland Islands were invaded and became a Norwegian colony for approximately 500 years, but ownership defaulted to the crown of Scotland on 20 February 1472 following non-payment of the marriage dowry of Margaret of Denmark, queen of James III of Scotland."

In any case, it does sound like interesting Gin, as long as it isn't too expensive.  I wonder if they are distilling their own base spirit.

edit - added comment to try to get back on topic.

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As far as I know they are shipping Shetland water to be distilled on the mainland into spirit.

The blackwoods people are hoping to market a whisky soon and I think that they see this as their major business.

They will steal the 'most northerly distillery in the UK' crown from Highland Park when they do. (not sure how coveted this is to be honest but H.P. always mention it.)

The concept that botanicals are different every year so that generates a vintage product is new to gin is interesting. They tell me that it is their use of home grown botanicals, such as sea pinks, that allows them to make this statement.

Personally I like the 60 but have not tasted the recent vintage so cannot comment.

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#38 Adam Balic

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 10:44 AM

Dude, at some point you have to ask: who hasn't ransacked those islands?  After all, the Scots don't have to look very far to find people who did bad things to them... the British are right next door. :smile:

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The Scots are British also and have been quite capable on the doing bad things to others and themselves and are historically much more diverse then the move to emphasize all thing Celtic would suggest. Shetland places a great deal of emphasize on their Norse history Click, so the Blackwoods thing is not surprising.

As for the gins, well I like them a great deal. Very individual, many gins talk about botanicals blah blah, but in the vast majority of cases the major flavour is always juniper berries. The Blackwoods is not in this catagorie, it has a very individual flavour profile in many ways more similar to Alpine herbal liquors, then any other gin I have had.

Did I mention that I will become British (Scottish?) in a week and a half?

#39 gethin

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 01:32 PM

  I'd take a bottle of Blackwood's over two bottles of No. 209 any day.

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Any London based gin drinkers who want to do their own comparison might be interested to know that Harrods wine dept have some No 209 in stock. I believe it was part of their recent California promotion and won't be a regular stock item.

At £30 it's slighly more than a bottle of the Blackwoods 60 and getting on for twice the price of the regular Blackwoods.


Gethin

#40 M.X.Hassett

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 03:47 PM

  I'd take a bottle of Blackwood's over two bottles of No. 209 any day.

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Any London based gin drinkers who want to do their own comparison might be interested to know that Harrods wine dept have some No 209 in stock. I believe it was part of their recent California promotion and won't be a regular stock item.

At £30 it's slighly more than a bottle of the Blackwoods 60 and getting on for twice the price of the regular Blackwoods.


Gethin

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I also found the 209 to have an overly strong artificial(lime)[not due to fake ingrediants but when citrus is used in high concentration it can develop an uber citrus profile/nose along with an overly citric after taste.]
In regards to the Blackwood I found both versions to be an admirable product. If you procure a bottle be sure to macerate the components(which are contained in a small pouch) between ones fingers.
Matthew Xavier Hassett aka "M.X.Hassett"

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#41 phlip

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 06:55 AM

has anyone else tried brokers. i found it at a store in brooklyn. very inexpensive and i think very good. very smooth. almost plymouthesk.

#42 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:43 PM

has anyone else tried brokers. i found it at a store in brooklyn. very inexpensive and i think very good. very smooth. almost plymouthesk.

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We have had the Broker's on several occasions and enjoyed it. I find it closer in taste to Beefeater than Plymouth but not tasting them side-by-side can not say for certain. Interestingly we were shipped some Broker's and some how it was mis-priced so that the litre bottles were $1.00 less than the 750's. As you can imagine I snapped up several of those bad boys right on the spot.
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#43 eje

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 05:14 PM

A friend of mine recently picked up some Zuidam Dry Gin and was kind enough to allow me to try it.

It made a good dry martini with Noilly Pratt vermouth.

Very lightly flavored, though, with more of a general spice flavor and not that strong a juniper accent. Base spirit seemed relatively smooth.

We both thought it would be a good stepping stone gin for vodka martini drinkers. Probably not much good for mixed drinks needing a stronger gin flavor, though.

~Erik

edit - add comment.

Edited by eje, 10 May 2006 - 10:54 AM.

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#44 TallDrinkOfWater

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:19 PM

Just a quick note that the first shipment of Blackwood's Vintage Dry Gin apparently arrived at the docks in New York last week, and should be available from retailers sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Apparently the Blackwood's 60 (120 proof) will be also be available, this summer or thereabouts. I don't have any info on pricing.

[Edited to fix a typo. Make that two typos. Can't even blame cocktail hour -- this was the middle of the work day.] :wacko:

Edited by TallDrinkOfWater, 09 May 2006 - 09:23 PM.

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#45 golden brown

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:34 PM

Although I no longer touch the stuff, I used to enjoy the occasional Boodles Gin on the rocks. If nothing else, the label is worth observing. It is identical front and back and the adhesive side can be viewed clearly through the clear bottle and spirit...as long as you haven't had one (or more) too many!

#46 KatieLoeb

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:05 PM

Has anyone tried the Bluecoat Dry American Gin yet? It's produced locally (to me) in Philadelphia, but I haven't had the pleasure yet. The interesting thing about it is that it's produced in a copper still.

Here's a short quote from the press release:

Master Distiller, Robert Cassell describes this formula as “A revolutionary dry gin that leads with refreshingly sweet aromatics, giving way to soft and earthy juniper notes. The body is intensely smooth with a complex depth of flavors that open up as they wrap around the palate. The bright citrus finish is exceptionally long and completes an experience that is incredibly pleasing to the senses.

There are several events locally in the near future where I ought to be able to check this stuff out in person. I'll report back when I finally get up close and personal with it.

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#47 gethin

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 03:49 AM

Just a quick note that the first shipment of Blackwood's Vintage Dry Gin apparently arrived at the docks in New York last week, and should be available from retailers sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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I assume that this will still be the 2005 vintage. I hear that they have been experimenting with seaweeds among the botanicals for the 2006. Hopefully there will be some to taste at the London International Wine and Sprits Fair next week.

The UK sunday papers this week all carried reports of a German made seaweed wine (tastes like a dry sherry apparently). Is this the beginning of a new trend ?
(not that it's that new, the Victrorians used to make a seaweed wine from bladder wrack as a treatment for arthritis).

Going back to Gin, Does Beefeater Wet always taste nasty or did i just get a duff bottle ? . (It's not technically available in the UK but I found a supply in a shop in Liverpool that seems to specialise in failed export orders and similar deals - they were also flogging Courvoisier bottled for the Singapore market though those bottles looked so shabby and mistreated for that I gave them a miss). The Beefeater Wet smells of acetone and has a bitter finish - really rather nasty.


gethin

Edited by gethin, 10 May 2006 - 03:50 AM.


#48 plattetude

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 06:29 AM

Anyone tried Hampton's Gin? Pretty bottle, frosted glass in a pear-shape reminiscent of Chinaco tequila, with a minimalist seagull. Looks something like this, actually. Frankly, the bottle put me off as being, well, a lure for people who don't necessarily like gin (and heck, the company name is "Hampton's Vodka"). But I'm curious to hear if my spidey-sense was throwing me off a good product.

Christopher

#49 slkinsey

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 09:42 AM

I've tried Hamptons Gin (no apostrophe, by the way). Thought it was not terribly interesting. By design, they put the citrus way out front and dialed back on the juniper.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#50 KatieLoeb

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 02:11 PM

I'll report back when I finally get up close and personal with it.


Yes - I'm responding to myself. With lightning quick Customer Service response, the e-mail I sent to Cashman Associates last night was forwarded to Philadelphia Distilling and my purveyor showed up this very afternoon with a sample of the Bluecoat gin. Very tasty stuff! Really interesting aromatics, less juniper, more citrus and floral but without the cucumber Hendrick's edge. Really smooth and refreshing. I made a quick 'tini of it with a splash of Lillet Blonde and a lemon twist and that really sang. Most everyone that tried it, liked it (with the exception of the real gin haters) and that included myself. Highly recommended. I received an e-mail from the distiller today as well and they said it should be available in New Jersey by next month.

I love their slogan.

Bluecoat Dry American Gin. Be Revolutionary! :biggrin:

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#51 gethin

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:51 AM

Spoke to the Blackstones people at LIWSF yesterday - they reckon the 2006 gin will be available around August . They are indeed planning to use seaweeds among the botanicals and also spinach ! They are starting to pick the 2006 botanicals in the next week or so. (Spring arrives late in the far, far North).

I also had a chance to try Zuidam (both their Dry Gin and their Genever). They make the dry gin by distilling off batches of grain spirit with each of the botanicals seperately and then blending the resulting distillates . (They had little bottles of each of the seperate distillates on the stand, although unfortunately they wouldnt let anyone taste them . They did let me sniff them though !)

It seems a lot of hard work for a result that is not not noticeably different to more conventionally made gins - its main characteristic seemed to me to be sweetness
(though this is based on a small tasting of rather warm gin after tasting several dozens of wines and a variety of odd spirits ranging from a Tea based liqueur (Tiffin) to Miclo's Eau de Vie de Pain D'epices by way of some (rather nice) nettle flavoured vodka.

The Genever was good though.


Gethin

#52 ned

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 06:41 AM

I had the good fortune to taste Bendistillery's Desert Gin at the Zig Zag Cafe on a recent trip to Seattle. Delicious and direct stuff this northwest gin. Very forward and distinctive aromatics. I look forward to getting my hands on a bottle for some experimentation.


. . . not that I think I could come up with anything better than Murray is producing at the very fabulous Zig Zag.
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#53 TallDrinkOfWater

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:07 AM

I had the good fortune to taste Bendistillery's Desert Gin at the Zig Zag Cafe on a recent trip to Seattle.  Delicious and direct stuff this northwest gin.  Very forward and distinctive aromatics.  I look forward to getting my hands on a bottle for some experimentation. 


. . . not that I think I could come up with anything better than Murray is producing at the very fabulous Zig Zag.

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Do you know which you had? Desert Juniper Gin and Cascade Mountain Gin are two different beasts, despite coming from the same distiller. Both good, though I've never actually done a simultaneous side-by-side, so would have a tough time adding anything beyond the general tasting notes on Bendistillery's site.
-Dayne aka TallDrinkOfWater

###
"Let's get down to business. For the gin connoisseur, a Martini garnish varies by his or her mood. Need a little get-up-and-go?---lemon twist. Wednesday night and had a half-tough day at the office?---olive. Found out you're gonna have group sex with Gwen Stefani and Scarlett Johansson at midnight?---pour yourself a pickled onion Gibson Martini at 8:00, sharp." - Lonnie Bruner, DC Drinks

#54 ned

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:32 AM

Do you know which you had? Desert Juniper Gin and Cascade Mountain Gin are two different beasts, despite coming from the same distiller. Both good, though I've never actually done a simultaneous side-by-side, so would have a tough time adding anything beyond the general tasting notes on Bendistillery's site.

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It was the Desert Gin. I must have accidentally edited that out of the 1st post. Haven't had a chance to taste the other.
You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

#55 gethin

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 05:05 AM

Were any other UK based e-gulleteers at Bar06 yesterday and able to sample Gabriel Boudier's new Saffron Gin ?

I thought it pleasant enough but not overly exiting, closer to a young genever than to English gin. It reminded me quite a bit of a (presumably saffron flavoured) boiled sweet that an elderly friend of my grandmothers used to dispense when we visited her as children 40 years ago.

Its certainly far more saffrony than Old Raj, and has a deep gold colour rather than the slight yellow tint that OR has.

Gethin

Edited by gethin, 07 June 2006 - 05:06 AM.


#56 daisy17

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 07:51 AM

I was able to try a little bit of both Blackwood's Vintage Dry and Vintage 60 a little while ago.  Very interesting spirits, and a little hard to describe.  Very good.  They certainly have an unusual flavor/aroma profile for gin.  The Vintage 60, I thought, had some suggestions of the earthiness of fresh cracked pepper or, as someone else suggested, perhaps grains of paradise (neither of which appears to be a botanical actually used in the spirit). 

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I should have guessed that you all would have been onto this already . . . tasted Blackwood's Vintage Dry Gin last night at a bar in London and absolutely loved it. I really know nothing about gin, so I don't have much to add about the botanicals and whatnot other than that it was pretty damned awesome. (Even Sam said it was hard to describe, so maybe I'm off the hook.)

Edited by daisy17, 10 August 2006 - 09:25 AM.


#57 eje

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:19 AM

Thanks for the writeup daisy17! Sounds promising. Now if I can only convince a liquor store around here to carry some...

Speaking of new Gins, has anyone tried Aviation Gin? It is made in Oregon and according to the label, they are trying to make it in a style close to a Jonge Genever.

I'm intrigued; but, not quite enough to splurge without some prior information.
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#58 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:39 AM

Just stumbled onto this thread. Great that others have discovered 209 as I've been a fan for a while. Also, I tend to go through a lot of No. 10 for my dry martinis.

One that we just tried for the first time was Brokers's which, at 94 proof, was a tad excessive for martinis. Kevin was playing around in the kitchen with it and stumbled on a reasonable summer cocktail that works with the Broker's; a combination of brewed tangerine tea, a little simple syrup, a jigger or Broker's... He has been playing with a blender so he blended the amount and added two drops of Grenandine for color and we were quite thrilled with this chilled specialty (getting tired of blending fruit juices with rum).

On the lookout for more specialty gins and was shown a rather expensive ($60) bottle that is made with saffron. Sorry, can't recall the name...

#59 slkinsey

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:44 AM

Hmmm. I don't know about Broker's for Martinis (I've never used it for that purpose). But I wouldn't think that the proof makes all that much difference, so long as one uses a decent amount of vermouth. Tanqueray, at 94.6 proof, is the standard Martini gin for Pegu Club's Fitty-Fitty -- and I like it at as much as 4:1.


I think the saffron gin would be Cadenhead's Old Raj (packing a whopping 110 proof, I believe).
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#60 daisy17

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 08:29 AM

I should have guessed that you all would have been onto this already . . . tasted Blackwood's Vintage Dry Gin last night at a bar in London and absolutely loved it.  I really know nothing about gin, so I don't have much to add about the botanicals and whatnot other than that it was pretty damned awesome.  (Even Sam said it was hard to describe, so maybe I'm off the hook.)

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does anyone know where to get a bottle in ny?