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Comparing Gin Brands


jfd666
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As I mentioned above --

Just had a great time talking with Johnny Neill, the distiller of the remarkable Whitley Neill gin, a complex, smooth gin that's not-quite-dry but definitely London. You can read more in here.

-- I really like the Whitley Neill gin, but only had it that one time neat in a crowd. However, this afternoon, a lucky break.

I walked into the main lobby of the massive, mirrored Hyatt hotel here in Dallas, and, as I always do, scanned the shelves behind the bar. Lo and behold: lurking behind the Hendrick's and Tanqueray, a bottle of Whitley Neill gin.

Getting it into a glass took some doing. The bartender clearly hadn't a clue about making a drink, but I managed to get him to make a modified Martinez (no Maraschino, sadly, and I couldn't seem to convince him about stirring).

That stuff is fantastic. Dallas denizens and conventioneers, get thee there. I hope to spy it on a liquor shelf later this weekend....

Chris Amirault

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  • 2 weeks later...

And I did. I found it at the Pogo's on Inwood and Lovers in Dallas. And I've been going nuts with it. It works well with a Bennett Cocktail and most other things citrus-forward, a 2:1 NP martini, and this 3:2:1 Lavender Sour I've been fiddling with:

1 1/2 oz gin

1 oz Lillet

1/2 oz lavender honey syrup

Read more about lavender honey syrup here.

Not surprisingly, it's wasted in Negronis and other baritone cocktails that don't favor its high notes.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Just thought I'd toss out there for those in the DFW area that I saw Plymouth for $16.99 this weekend at the Goody Goody in Little Elm, TX. It was on special, but still, I haven't seen it that reasonably priced in well over a year.

That's pretty much the price I have always been paying for it at Goody Goody in Addison. Picked up a bottle of it for about that price (maybe $1 more??) a few weekends ago. I don't think I've ever paid more than $20 for it.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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  • 1 month later...

FYI, for those of you in Los Angeles, Wine House in West LA has liters of Plymouth for $21.99. Great price, especially considering that I can't find it anywhere else in town for less than $26.99 for a fifth.

"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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  • 3 weeks later...
Has anyone tried the Kensington aged Gin? I'm intrigued by it. In The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks Embury breaks Gin into two classes -- White and Yellow, and professes that is favorite, at least for Martinis, is one of the Yellows, House of Lords. Kensington seems to be a Yellow Gin, so I'd like to try it. I haven't seen it anywhere in my travels, however. Apart from Kensington, Seagram's seems to be the only aged Gin on the market. I haven't picked up a bottle of the 100 proof yet, but I'll definately be trying it soon.

I am a fan of Citadelle but it doesn't work in everything. I'll echo what everyone else is saying -- Plymouth is great, it mixes with everything. And makes a pretty nice Martini to boot.

i just got a bottle of aged citadelle gin. its kind of interesting and really similar to the seagrams distillers reserve. they both have the same mature mellowed juniper character but the citadelle has more orange aroma and a color that shows more evidence of the barrel.

anyone doing anything notable with it?

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just mixed up my first Pegu Club thanks to this thread, and I just have to say: Thank you! I've been experimenting with Monopolowa gin, made by the same folks that make the quite good potato-based vodka that sells for peanuts at Trader Joes. It's a bit light on the botanicals, but very clean and light.

I went with the 4:1:1 ratio, with Grand Marnier, Bitter Truth aromatic bitters subbed for the Angostura, and Regan's OB. What a civilized, eminently drinkable cocktail!

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there is a promotion around the Atlanta area of the 50 ml bottles of Plymouth gin which has them priced at $0.99 which, if my math is correct, translates to about $15.00 for a standard 750 btl.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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Went gin shopping this weekend to replace my bottle of Beefeater's...(tried again as concensus from this thread)

wanted to again try something new from the lower price points as I often keep multiple gins in my home cabinet...

I picked up "Juniper Green Orgainic" at $22/750 it was only $3 more than Beefeater's or Bombay, and have to say i was pleasaantly suprised. Yes, it has up front Juniper, but i thought it to be quite smooth and not so biting as the beefeaters. Some of the other herbals not so detectable, but there was some other subtle flavors present...(my palate not yet refined enough to tel you what tho...)

I wanted to ask what others thought of Bombay (non-sapphire) as its been quite a while since i've had it....

and also if anyone has tried Greylock Gin from the berkshire's in massachusetts..?

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Went gin shopping this weekend to replace my bottle of Beefeater's...(tried again as concensus from this thread)

wanted to again try something new from the lower price points as I often keep multiple gins in my home cabinet...

I picked up "Juniper Green Orgainic" at $22/750 it was only $3 more than Beefeater's or Bombay, and have to say i was pleasaantly suprised. Yes, it has up front Juniper, but i thought it to be quite smooth and not so biting as the beefeaters. Some of the other herbals not so detectable, but there was some other subtle flavors present...(my palate not yet refined enough to tel you what tho...)

I wanted to ask what others thought of Bombay (non-sapphire) as its been quite a while since i've had it....

and also if anyone has tried Greylock Gin from the berkshire's in massachusetts..?

My $.02 is that I don't buy Bombay Dry (or Sapphire for that matter) but I wouldn't turn it down if offered. I find that is has some peculiar note (Coriander?) that makes it less versatile than other offerings, though that same note makes for a good combo with Green Chartreuse and Regan's OB, so I guess the cocktail I recommend with it would be a Bijou: equal parts gin, Chartreuse, and red vermouth with a dash or two of orange bitters, strained up with a twist. Makes for a richer style aperitif or lighter style digestif.

Someone once said that once you break through the $15 or so range in gin, there really aren't any bad ones; it all comes down to preference. While the rising cost of spirits (particularly grain-based) may have changed the price threshold, I think the notion of it still stands.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Someone once said that once you break through the $15 or so range in gin, there really aren't any bad ones; it all comes down to preference. While the rising cost of spirits (particularly grain-based) may have changed the price threshold, I think the notion of it still stands.

While I'm in general concurrence, I have a bottle of Cascade Mountain gin that at every tasting session, each of my friends has independently panned as nothing more than swill; unfortunately, I'm inclined to agree. What's interesting is that I have yet to read even a marginal review of the stuff, which leads me to think I merely picked up a bad bottle/batch, though I certainly won't be ponying up the $24+ to find out.

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Someone once said that once you break through the $15 or so range in gin, there really aren't any bad ones; it all comes down to preference. While the rising cost of spirits (particularly grain-based) may have changed the price threshold, I think the notion of it still stands.

While I'm in general concurrence, I have a bottle of Cascade Mountain gin that at every tasting session, each of my friends has independently panned as nothing more than swill; unfortunately, I'm inclined to agree. What's interesting is that I have yet to read even a marginal review of the stuff, which leads me to think I merely picked up a bad bottle/batch, though I certainly won't be ponying up the $24+ to find out.

Yeah, it happens. I guess it was really referring to the traditional English brands; Tanqueray, Boodles, Bombay, Beefeater, Plymouth, etc. As far as the new ones go, all bets are off, since it seems sometimes the pricing is not an indicator of quality, but merely a signal to the buyer that they are in the "super-premium" category. My notable exception would have to be Citadelle, which I think is 'meh' at best, and unmixable at worst (I know there are those who disagree). I'm just glad I got the bottle I tried on clearance, but I swear, I could barely make drinkable Tom Collinses with that stuff.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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While I'm in general concurrence, I have a bottle of Cascade Mountain gin that at every tasting session, each of my friends has independently panned as nothing more than swill;  unfortunately, I'm inclined to agree.  What's interesting is that I have yet to read even a marginal review of the stuff, which leads me to think I merely picked up a bad bottle/batch, though I certainly won't be ponying up the $24+ to find out.

I believe this has been covered before, but the Bendistillery products, Desert Juniper and Cascade Mountain, are not distilled gins.

They are just Juniper berries (and maybe some other spices) macerated in Grain Neutral Spirits, filtered, diluted, and bottled.

As such, they are likely prone to some sort of flavor change or evolution post bottling, not to mention flavor differences between batches.

I've never done an extensive tasting of them, but when I've had cocktails with them, I have to say I haven't found them particularly enjoyable.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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My notable exception would have to be Citadelle, which I think is 'meh' at best, and unmixable at worst (I know there are those who disagree). I'm just glad I got the bottle I tried on clearance, but I swear, I could barely make drinkable Tom Collinses with that stuff.

I'm fond of Citadelle's restrained botanical interplay when sipped neat; but you're quite right, it can never rest upon the shelf of versatile mixing gins. It simply doesn't get too many classic gin recipes (or vice versa). Citadelle is, in a way, the Hideki Okajima or Damaso Marte of gins: fine in its own right, and great for particular situations, but you'll never see it in the rotation.

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I believe this has been covered before, but the Bendistillery products, Desert Juniper and Cascade Mountain, are not distilled gins.

They are just Juniper berries (and maybe some other spices) macerated in Grain Neutral Spirits, filtered, diluted, and bottled.

Interesting. I have a hard time even thinking of these products as "gin." Perhaps I'm wrong from a historical perspective, but I think of redistillation as intrinsic to gin.

--

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I believe this has been covered before, but the Bendistillery products, Desert Juniper and Cascade Mountain, are not distilled gins.

They are just Juniper berries (and maybe some other spices) macerated in Grain Neutral Spirits, filtered, diluted, and bottled.

Interesting. I have a hard time even thinking of these products as "gin." Perhaps I'm wrong from a historical perspective, but I think of redistillation as intrinsic to gin.

Super-premium bathtub gin! I'll pass. Another odd gin is New Amsterdam. I had a chance to taste it back in November and I'd have to think that putting it in the traditional gin recipes is likely to give unexpected results. It's probably mixable in some way, but you'd have to reformulate a recipe to accommodate it.

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

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Well as my first post I would second all the Plymouth and Juniper Green recommendations for a general bar gin.

If you wanted to get fancy, the best gin I ever had was Cap Rock Organic Gin made by a small craft distillers called Peak Spirirts in Colorado . The base spirit is made from apples (similar to a eau de vie de pomme) rather than the usual grain. It worked surprisingly well in several tried cocktails. Its got lovely fruit notes to it and is one of the only gins that I would happily drink neat all day long. I've been trying to order a case of it from the states, too bad now I have found a place in California that would package and send to Scotland the dollar is around 1.37 to the pound! If anyone is in CO and could pick some up to send me I would happily trade some Scottish products. I've seen Lagavulin 16 year old here for around 30 pounds a bottle..

For local Scottish gins I don't think you can beat Old Raj, its saffron notes are particularly good in a g and t. Blackwoods is another great one from Shetland, although I think its changed its botanical make-up lately as I think they went out of business and were bought over by a big company.

Well that's my 2p anyway..

edit - Also for those of you that are interested in these things, I think the Cap Rock is the only organically produced gin in the whole of USA..

Edited by camerasforeyes (log)
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For local Scottish gins I don't think you can beat Old Raj, its saffron notes are particularly good in a g and t.

also makes an interestingly good Martini, was turned on to this gin in 1999 at Gramercy Tavern(NYC), and I've kept a bottle in my cabinet since (not the same one mind you)..

So i'll put in a second on this one, but it is in the super-premium price range ($60/750ml) here in the states, and be warned is a very high proofed gin...

they do make a lower proofed version, but i have not seen it available in my area...and dont know what the price difference would is...

sb

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For local Scottish gins I don't think you can beat Old Raj, its saffron notes are particularly good in a g and t.

also makes an interestingly good Martini, was turned on to this gin in 1999 at Gramercy Tavern(NYC), and I've kept a bottle in my cabinet since (not the same one mind you)..

So i'll put in a second on this one, but it is in the super-premium price range ($60/750ml) here in the states, and be warned is a very high proofed gin...

they do make a lower proofed version, but i have not seen it available in my area...and dont know what the price difference would is...

sb

Its just shy of 20 pounds a bottle here in Edinburgh for the 46% lower proof version (which is still quite strong). The colour has always taken people aback. Due to actual saffron being added to each batch it looks a pale yellow. When I've gifted a bottle sometimes I am asked whether its gone off or not! Its the real deal though, not like other less reputable gins that are too orange from saffron flavour/colouring been added.

Edited by camerasforeyes (log)
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Its just shy of 20 pounds a bottle here in Edinburgh for the 46% lower proof version (which is still quite strong). The colour has always taken people aback. Due to actual saffron being added to each batch it looks a pale yellow. When I've gifted a bottle sometimes I am asked whether its gone off or not! Its the real deal though, not like other less reputable gins that are too orange from saffron flavour/colouring been added.

the uniqueness of the color is something that fascinated me and attracted me to the Old Raj...

i'd put it as my favorite gin, i keep it as my personal "top shelf" but keep one mid-shelf and one well in the cabinet at home..(Juniper green, beefeaters, bombay...Junipero)

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  • 1 year later...

Today I obtained from Drink Up NY a bottle of Greylock Gin produced by Berkshire Mountain Distillers and just fixed a martini (4 to 1) with Dolin Vermouth and and dash of Regans' No 6 to try it out. Magnificent! This is truly an exceptional gin. Amazingly balanced and smooth. Typically I go for a more straightforward gin such as Junipero, but the botanicals in Greylock are nicely balanced. This is a true London gin, I think, and not designed to seduce vodka drinkers, but it's lightness, smoothness, and flavor profile do make it unique.

Edited by Vieux Carré (log)
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Oxley is a very mildly flavored Gin.

One person put it to me like this: It tastes like Gin on its own, but disappears completely when you mix with it.

Whether that is good or bad, I guess depends on how you feel about the flavor of Gin.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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