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New Generation Gins


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#121 jmfangio

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 01:44 PM

I don't think that I've ever had the Seagram's, but I'll give it a try. A recent Difford's Guide gave the Extra Dry 4 stars, and the Distiller's Reserve 4 1/2, and at only $12.99 for a fifth at my local BevMo it won't be all that expensive mistake if I don't like it.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite. For many years I was a devout Bombay Sapphire drinker, but as I've become more and more interested in cocktails and tried more gins, I've come to realize that a) it's not quite the bomb diggity that I used to think it was, and b) while Gin X might make a great martini, it fails in many gin based cocktails, and vice versa.

If I had to choose just one gin to keep it would probably be Plymouth, which to me is the best all rounder.
"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

#122 gethin

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:32 AM

According to the Bluecoat Website, the gin is only available in PA and NJ for now.  However, the website might be a little behind the curve.
.

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Bluecoat was one of the gins at a tutored gin tasting I attended at the London Wine and Spirit Fair yesterday. Roberts Cassel , Bluecoats distiller, is attending the fair so hopefully this means Bluecoat going to be available here soon.

The other gins at the tasting were Beefeater, Hendricks, Tanqueray, Whitley Neil, Plymouth, Martin Millers Westbourne Strength and a strange blue gin which seems to be called "The London Gin" . This is apparently made by a former tea blender, has bergamot as one of the botanicals and has a distinct hint of Earl Grey tea about it . (I've never seen this gin before, but apparently its being distributed by Gonzalez Byass the sherry people ).

The gin that really stood out for me , among this collection of pretty distinctive gins, was the Martin Millers which had such a complex set of tastes ranging from parma violets to cucumber , as well as the more conventional citrus and juniper flavours.



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#123 KatieLoeb

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:41 PM

Bluecoat was one of the gins at a tutored gin tasting I attended at the London Wine and Spirit Fair yesterday. Roberts Cassel , Bluecoats distiller, is attending the fair so hopefully this means Bluecoat going to be available here soon.


So did you like it? I've been using it quite a bit lately in more warm weather cocktails that have a citrusy component like Corpse Reviver #2 and the Strawberry Smash I've been making with muddled strawberries and tarragon syrup.

I really like the "old schooley-ness" of the Bluecoat, what with the copper pot distillation and the complex aromatics. I've met the distiller and the marketing guys at several events here in Philly and they're really nice folks that really believe in their product. The fact that it's local for me just gives it a little more cachet. Surprisingly a lot of folks here in Philly aren't familiar with it yet and since my restaurant is attached to a B & B I get a lot of out of town guests that are fascinated with it and end up buying a bottle to take home with them after I've made them a cocktail with it.

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#124 tkd7

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 09:22 AM

I recently received a bottle of Gale Force Gin as a gift. It comes from Nantucket RI. It is a classic London Dry Gin at 88 proof. It is light on juniper and botanicals. It makes a nice dry martini, but doesn't mix well in other gin cocktails. I haven't seen it in the NY/NJ area, so I'm guessing it isn't widely distributed.

Edited by tkd7, 27 May 2007 - 09:30 AM.


#125 TallDrinkOfWater

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 07:06 PM

I've been really lame about posting notes to this thread lately -- I blame drinking.

Anyway, lately I've had the opportunity to try:

Blackwood's Vintage Dry
Love it as a martini gin. Has a lot of potential as a mixer, but not as a 1:1 drop-in for most traditional things. Needs some thought, and I've been experimenting, but since I only have 1 bottle and it's hard to come by, I've been a little conservative and have not developed any great invention yet :wink: Makes a fantastic G&T with Fever Tree Tonic; looking forward to trying it with Q as well.

Rogue Spirits Spruce Gin
First try tonight. Damn good. Again, not sure about mixing it yet; the cucumber, tangerine, and other notes are different enough that it's probably also not always a good 1:1 sub for "London dry gin" in many things. Might make an interesting and edgier variation on Hendricks in some drinks.

Aviation
Mixed feelings on this one. Damn good in an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail -- thank you David Wondrich for bringing the drink to my attention in your Killer Cocktails book -- but it's not particularly great otherwise. In my opinion of course. Even in its namesake cocktail, it falls flat; I did a blind tasting against Tanqueray and Bellringer and it failed badly, at least with my wife (and with me, though I knew which was which).

Bellringer
Bears mention not because it's a premium gin -- it's not -- but because it has become my "well" gin for mixed drinks after seeing Murray at Zig Zag in Seattle use it for such a purpose. It's more or less a good inexpensive replacement for Tanqueray in anything where gin nuances are otherwise lost; it's a decent standalone, but I'd never crave it.

Bluecoat
Thanks to Murray (again), I got to try this. Excellent, if a bit tame. I would use this to introduce non-gin-drinkers to gin martinis, much in the same way that Plymouth, Martin Miller's, and Van Gogh are good for that.

Bulldog
Ruff ruff!! I think I like it, but have been reluctant to delve too far into my one bottle. Kinda spicy, in a good way.

Cricket Club
An Oregon gin, this is very coriander-forward (interesting to compare to Sarticious, which is cilantro-forward...) Still developing an opinion. The juniper seems a bit muted. Probably bears developing unique recipes.
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#126 eje

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 01:41 PM

Bluecoat gin is starting to show up in a few liquor stores around town.

Picked up a bottle last week and tried it last night in a Fancy Gin Cocktail.

I guess I've been drinking mostly traditional gins lately (Tanqueray, Beefeater, Plymouth) so found Bluecoat a little odd.

First off, it's not the smoothest gin in the world, more like Tanqueray than Beefeater or Plymouth. Second the spices are just a little, well, weird.

I dunno, something about the spices almost reminded me more of an Aquavit, like Linie, than a Gin.

Try to mix a bit more with it this week, and see if I come around to it.
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#127 KatieLoeb

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 08:54 PM

Erik:

IMO the Bluecoat works best in drinks with a citrus component - martini with a twist not olives, a french martini with a big orange twist (it plays very well with Lillet), a Vesper with a dash of Orange Flower water, a Tom Collins, or a Corpse Reviver #2. Also plays well with (good) Cassis and soda with a fat lemon twist. It won't replace more juniper-ey gins on a 1:1 basis. It needs to be used to showcase the more citrus forward aromatics best.

I'm surprised you found it rough. I've always found it pretty smooth myself.

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#128 eje

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 09:43 AM

I was surprised at my reaction, too.

Though, it is pretty consistent with my reaction to the two previous martinis I've had made with it out at bars.

It is 46% ABV. I may have under stirred the cocktail, accounting for some of my reaction.

I'll be interested to try it in some cocktails that feature citrus. Bronx, Casino, Corpse Reviver, etc.

I really like the bottle, though. Easily one of my favorite liquor bottles. Really stands out.

Also, from what I've read, a real labor of love for the distiller.
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#129 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 07:46 AM

Ok I am not a gin drinker..I wish I was and keep trying!!!!

my dearest friend however is and he just did me a HUGE favor ... I want to buy him a special surprise bottle of something out of the ordinary? ...out of this world? ....a new one?

please advise me

I did read through this but really need to know if you love gin what would you love to see someone buy you?

no I do not have an unlimited budget

#130 TBoner

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 08:12 AM

Junipero (for something with a real juniper wallop), Kensington (may be too expensive), Damrak (for historical and taste reasons), or Vya dry vermouth (because if I've got a lot of good gins, I'd like a stellar vermouth for martinis).

Others with more gin-drinking experience than I have may chime in, but those would be my choices, which cover a pretty wide taste spectrum and a reasonably wide price spectrum, too.
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#131 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:43 AM

Junipero (for something with a real juniper wallop), Kensington (may be too expensive), Damrak (for historical and taste reasons), or Vya dry vermouth (because if I've got a lot of good gins, I'd like a stellar vermouth for martinis).

Others with more gin-drinking experience than I have may chime in, but those would be my choices, which cover a pretty wide taste spectrum and a reasonably wide price spectrum, too.

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thank you so much for that advice ... I will take these names with me to to the store today and see if I can find them!

#132 eje

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:29 AM

Of the more or less traditional style gins, I'll second TBoner's Junipero recommendation. It's one of my favorites.

For something different with a Pacific NorthWest origin, you might try the Aviation Gin, Cascade Mountain Gin, Desert Juniper, or Rogue's new Spruce Gin. I've read they're all a bit off from traditional gins in various ways. I've enjoyed the Aviation when I've tried it in cocktails.
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#133 eje

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 04:31 PM

I was reading a Recent Issue of Gary Regan's Ardent Spirits Newsletter, and I was interested to discover from his trip to the Beefeater's Distillery:

The best gins, Beefeater among them, are made by distilling botanicals such as juniper, citrus peels, angelica, and orris root into vodka.  Gin is a flavored vodka.  What always puzzled me, though, is the fact that the major brands always boast of using a relatively small pot still to produce their gins.  Pot stills ain't quick.  How do they produce enough gin to go around, then?  Desmond put me straight: They distill concentrated gin, then add more vodka to it before reducing it to bottle proof.  Simple, really.  "I don't know of any major gin producer that doesn't do it this way," said Desmond.


Now, my impression from Alberta Straub's trip to the No. 209 distiller in the most recent "Cocktails on the Fly", Distillery 209 (Part 3), is that they do not distill a concentrated gin, and all that gets added after distillation is water to bring it down to proof.
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#134 bostonapothecary

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 11:23 PM

i want some of that concentrated gin....that would be the chronic.
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#135 Alchemist

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 08:35 PM

What would happen if you slow simmered gin to half it's original volume?



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#136 slkinsey

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 07:32 AM

You'd evaporate off most of the alcohol and ruin most of the aromatics. The thing to do would be to take out the water by fractional freezing. Stick it in an extra cold freezer for a few days and then chuck in a few grains of ice. If the freezer is cold enough, the ice grains should grow as additional water freezes to them.

Edited by slkinsey, 22 July 2007 - 07:35 AM.

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#137 Dave the Cook

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 08:01 AM

. . . .
Aviation
Mixed feelings on this one. Damn good in an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail -- thank you David Wondrich for bringing the drink to my attention in your Killer Cocktails book -- but it's not particularly great otherwise. In my opinion of course. Even in its namesake cocktail, it falls flat; I did a blind tasting against Tanqueray and Bellringer and it failed badly, at least with my wife (and with me, though I knew which was which).
. . . .

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Ryan Magarian, one of the developers of Aviation, gave a short talk about the product in yesterday's gin seminar at Tales of the Cocktail. A couple of interesting points:
  • Aviation was formulated, among other things, to be a sipping gin -- as far as I know, the only gin to make this claim. This accounts for the slightly sweet flavor, especially in the finish, where the sarsparilla shows up. (Nearly everyone else noted lavender first; maybe I'm flower-imparied, but to me, the cardamom was predominant -- after juniper -- and then the nice root-beer aftertaste.)
  • As for the Aviation cocktail, Ryan was insistent that this gin required Maraska, not Luxardo, maraschino. Then he gave this formula:

    2 oz. gin
    3/4 oz. Maraska maraschino
    5/8 oz. Lemon juice

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#138 bostonapothecary

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 11:26 PM

i always thought gin was supposed to be massively integrated spirit... if you can parse any particular flavor then it was made wrong... you integrate many flavors to create something totally new... but i don't drink gin martini's... i usually only mix with beafeater and only in proper cocktails....
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#139 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 09:25 AM

5/8 oz. Lemon juice

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What is up with measurements like that? They pop up all the time but why be so precise when there's no common measuring device calibrated to this amount. Why not say something like "Scant 3/4 oz" or something? Weird.
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#140 Alchemist

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:23 AM

i always thought gin was supposed to be massively integrated spirit... if you can parse any particular flavor then it was made wrong... you integrate many flavors to create something totally new... but i don't drink gin martini's... i usually only mix with beafeater and only in proper cocktails....

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If a martini isn't, what praytell, is a proper cocktail?



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#141 slkinsey

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:12 AM


5/8 oz. Lemon juice

What is up with measurements like that? They pop up all the time but why be so precise when there's no common measuring device calibrated to this amount. Why not say something like "Scant 3/4 oz" or something? Weird.

I'm with you, Andy. That's ridiculous. Anything less than a teaspoon (1/6 oz) of spirit, modifier or juice is unlikely to make a difference that can be detected, and the threshold is more likely to be a 1/4 ounce with most things. This is especially true with something like lemon or lime juice, that can be fairly variable as to acidity such that a 1/4 ounce will make a different impact depending on the lemon. At least the recipe is very specific as to spirits. It's even more ridiculous when a recipe has a level of specificity less than a teaspoon or 1/4 ounce but does not specify spirits. You want a 2 : 1 : 7/8ths Sidecar? What if it's a sweet cognac? What if it's a dry one? You'll have to adjust the lemon juice.

On the other hand, I do know what they're trying to say in that recipe -- they're just not saying it in a very helpful way. They're trying to say: "2 ounces Aviation gin, 3/4 ounce Maraska maraschino and a little less than 3/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice." But, instead of saying that, they decided to break it down beyond a 1/4 ounce -- so the person reading the recipe has to do a little math and decipher what they actually mean to say (clearly, no one is actually measuring our 5/8ths of an ounce).

The other place one sees fractions like this are in modern recipes that go by "parts" -- as in: "2/10 gin, 2/10 Midori, 1/10 limoncello, 5/10 mango juice." I have to believe that these recipes are specified by bartenders who "free pour" rather than use jiggers, since they work okay with the "count system" but not so well with actual measuring tools.
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#142 bostonapothecary

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 12:33 PM

i always thought those odd fractional measurements should be ignored...

i try to stick with classical ratios 1:1:1 2:1:1 + plus a spoonful ... dash dash

and if your cognac is sweeter don't compensate but let the drink live like a wine.... i'm under the impression that wine makers like zind humbrecht let nature decide the sweetness of most of their reislings....

i think they look to control for alcohol level more than brix so that every year can express itself with different brix and acidity....

shouldn't every sidecar get the same ratio so that different cognacs can express themselves with differnt nuancing balances of brix and acidity....
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#143 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:51 PM

i always thought those odd fractional measurements should be ignored...

i try to stick with classical ratios 1:1:1 2:1:1 + plus a spoonful ... dash dash

and if your cognac is sweeter don't compensate but let the drink live like a wine.... i'm under the impression that wine makers like zind humbrecht let nature decide the sweetness of most of their reislings....

i think they look to control for alcohol level more than brix so that every year can express itself with different brix and acidity....

shouldn't every sidecar get the same ratio so that different cognacs can express themselves with differnt nuancing balances of brix and acidity....

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I sometimes agree with using a specific ratio regardless of brands, and with something like a Sidecar, where lemon juice acidity can vary and the difference in relative sweetness of different Cognac bottlings is rarely extreme, I am likely to do this. To me, however, drinks using primarily aromatic ingredients (vs acidic ones) cry out more for balancing to different ratios. The Martini, for example: I usually go 2:1 with Tanqueray but 3:1 with Plymouth. And I definitely use less vermouth in a Manhattan with Saz6 than with Wild Turkey Rye. And it gets even more specific, I would argue, when you make an even simpler drink like an Old Fashioned with different bottleings of different spirits. How much sugar? How much bitters? What kind of each? I think gin definitely varies more from bottling to bottling than other mixing spirits, and so the need to balance them in recipes is more than with whiskey or brandy. But of course, depending on my mood or the preferences of my customers I'll let the spirit brand shine in the cocktail or the flavor combination: these are really the options you are choosing between.

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#144 Chris Amirault

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 04:48 PM

Found a bottle of Avation gin at Brix in the South End of Boston, and I've been fiddling around with it. I'm finding that Gary Regan's version of the Bennett Cocktail works very well with this tricky gin. (Click here for a quick discussion of ratios for the cocktail in the Savoy topic.) For a radically different drink, try Dave the Cook's tasty Paradise Regained.

ETA: I wondered what a dash of green Chartreuse would do to the Bennett. "Work wonders" is the answer: it's a fine addition.

Edited by chrisamirault, 29 August 2007 - 05:44 PM.

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#145 eje

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 10:00 PM

Posted Image

Recent quick trip back to the heartland resulted in some cultural exchange.

We brought back Hangar One Chipotle vodka for our vodka fan friends, and they scored us the new Death's Door Gin.

Death's Door is an interesting small company distilling their spirits from red wheat harvested on Washington Island in Wisconsin.

I haven't tried the vodka; but, this year they introduced a gin, which is flavored with Juniper berries also grown on the Island.

Cocktail is my usual gin test cocktail, the 19th century style Improved Gin Cocktail: 2 oz Gin, dash Maraschino, dash Absinthe, dash simple syrup, dash bitters. Stir, strain, lemon twist.

The gin is very smooth and a bit sweet. Well distilled with traditional botanicals. If I had any criticism, it would be that it is a bit light in flavor. I'm just starting to experiment with it and am not sure I can detect any "wheat" flavor.

If I had to put it near anything I would stand it close to the Zuidam Dry Gin. Not bad company, as far as I am concerned.
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#146 gethin

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 06:09 AM

I tasted a couple of new gins yesterday (at the Boutique bar show) :

G-vine - based on grapes (and distilled by the same people that make Ciroc , the grape based Vodka), its distilled with the normal run of botanicals and then has a maceration of vine flowers added. Very floral, lightweight and to my mind rather more trouble than is justified by the end result.

Bulldog Gin - apparently flavoured with Poppy and Dragon's Eye (whatever that may be) it struck me as being not terribly nice - rather a bitter end taste and not much to distinguish it from your average supermarket own brand gin except a slight hint of white pepper.

I had an interesting chat with the people at Blackwoods as well- their 2006 vintage is very different to the 2005 and apparently the 2005 available in the States was different to the one available here - the US authorities don't recognise wild sea pink flowers as a food substance so they had to use a substitute - spinach leaves- in the US version.

They had hoped to use seaweed in the 2006 but it apparently didn't work out terribly well. The wretched Shetland summer in 2006 meant they grew very little angelica so the final version ended up with lots of coriander shoots (rather the more convential coriander seed) and a lot of lime peel (presumably not locally grown !). The 2006 is certainly lighter, more flowery and more citrussy than the 2005.

This summer has been even shorter and wetter than last year so again a poor crop of angelica - they did however get plenty of elderflowers and this will be a major dimension of the 2007. ( They have been looking at lichen too- but probably for even more desperate times).

They plan to release a boxed set 2005 -2010 in February 2011 , for those who aren't squirelling away the different vintages for future comparison.


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#147 eje

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 10:02 PM

Aviation
Mixed feelings on this one. Damn good in an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail -- thank you David Wondrich for bringing the drink to my attention in your Killer Cocktails book -- but it's not particularly great otherwise. In my opinion of course. Even in its namesake cocktail, it falls flat; I did a blind tasting against Tanqueray and Bellringer and it failed badly, at least with my wife (and with me, though I knew which was which).

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Toured the House Spirits distillery last weekend with some friends. They asked me to make them a Savoy Cocktail with the Aviation, so I (bravely) went with the ATTY, as we had creme de violette and Absinthe available.

I went with my usual 2 parts gin to 1 part vermouth, and thought the Aviation Gin did remarkably well in that cocktail.
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#148 Bunnyhugs

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 06:05 AM

I just did a bit of a gin comparison on my blog.

http://bunnyhugs.org...rison/#more-803

People who haven't tried South might find it interesting to read about. It's not very good though.

I have to say that Plymouth and Tanqueray are hard to beat. For the new generation stuff though I rather liked Blackwood's (vaguely similar idea to Hendricks but a bit more offbeat), and Martin Miller's (a bit delicate but tasty).

I must try and get hold of this Old Raj sometime. It sounds interesting.

#149 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 08:48 AM

This may be an inappropriate place for this, but it was my best guess.

I learned yesterday that the reason Anchor Junipero has become scarce around these parts is that the distributor (Horizon) dropped most of their spirits accounts. I was wondering if anyone out there in egulletland had any info on this or when it might get picked back up and by who. This is very distressing to me, before we were finally informed of the situation we bought every bottle in the county and sold it all.

Anyways hopefully when Anchor products come back to Texas Genevieve will be with them. And hopefully that's not too far off.
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#150 jmfangio

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 04:14 PM

Has anyone seen the new Beefeater 24 yet? I just learned about it, but can't find it anywhere in Los Angeles yet.
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