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njduchess

All About Gin, Generally

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I've found that image can affect gin's flavor almost as much as vodka. I do my best to reserve judgement on "value priced" brands until I know something about their manufacturing process and have had them against "premium" brands in a blind tasting.

I'd say that I'd mostly have to agree. For instance, I think the Gordon's bottle is hideously ugly, but it has a strong flavor that I love, and I tend to drink it instead of lots of "better" gins in my cabinet (i.e. Plymouth, Tanqueray, etc). I've probably tried 90% of the mainstream medium-to-premium gins and I'd almost always prefer the taste of Gordons.

A notable exception in my case was Hendricks. If Gordon's wasn't so darned cheap ($15/1.75L around here) and Hendricks wasn't so expensive, I'd drink it all the time. I tend to prefer stronger flavored gins that hold the juniper flavor up well after mixing.

Besides, I tend to butcher perfectly good premium gins anyway. Don't ask about the time I discovered that mixing Tanqueray Ten and Cherry 7-up makes a passable (slightly white trash-ish) alcoholic version of a cherry limeade. :)

I'd be interested to hear about other lower-priced gins I should take a look at. I've pretty much ignored Barton/Seagrams/Burnetts/etc mainly because..well, I don't know why, actually.

- Jeff

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Don't ask about the time I discovered that mixing Tanqueray Ten and Cherry 7-up makes a passable (slightly white trash-ish) alcoholic version of a cherry limeade. :)

Don't ask me about the time I tried mixing Tanqueray and Squirt in an attempt to make "Gin and Juice" :laugh: -- needless to say, gin and glycerol ester of wood rosin doesn't mix too well... :wacko:

Joe B.

100

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I've found that image can affect gin's flavor almost as much as vodka. I do my best to reserve judgement on "value priced" brands until I know something about their manufacturing process and have had them against "premium" brands in a blind tasting.

I'd say that I'd mostly have to agree. For instance, I think the Gordon's bottle is hideously ugly, but it has a strong flavor that I love, and I tend to drink it instead of lots of "better" gins in my cabinet (i.e. Plymouth, Tanqueray, etc). I've probably tried 90% of the mainstream medium-to-premium gins and I'd almost always prefer the taste of Gordons.

Oh, I don't entirely disagree. I love Gordon's. But I also have observed a bottom limit below which I am unlikely to be interested. I mean, once you get down to eight or nine bucks a liter, you have to start making an awful lot of compromises to keep the cost down.

Congrats on #100, Joe. :smile:

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If you like Hendrick's (which I do but resent paying for it), try Blackwood's gin. Very nice if you can find it.

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Anybody tried Greenall's Original Gin? I noticed it at Sam's recently and the price is right but I can't find a review anywhere. It's an old brand, which is promising, but that may well mean nothing.

I just picked a substantial amount of Bombay at a nice price so I'm hardly in need of gin at present but I saw this thread and thought I'd ask.

Thanks.

Kurt

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I was curious if anyone could recommend an active forum that specializes in gin. I found myself with some questions regarding certain specific gin brands in comparison to eachother and found that I hadn't any forums in my collection that seemed entirely appropriate. Can anyone recommend one?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

There is another forum on eGullet, but in the wrong place, dealing with martinis. It is on the most active list--you might look there. In the meantime give Plymouth gin a try.

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Last night had another gin tasting with friends:

Local (Minnesota) gins: Tattersall, Far North Solveig, Vikre Juniper

English: Hendricks, Liverpool, Dodd's, Bulldog

French: Citadelle

Dutch: Boomsma Jonge Genever

Cheapo: Rear Admiral Joseph's (Trader Joes)

 

Sipped them all, straight, blind to which was which. 

Was quite surprised at the results. Consensus top marks went to Tattersall and Liverpool. The Dodd's is excellent too. At its price point the TJ's gin showed well too. I expected Hendricks and Citadelle to do well, but neither found any champions among us.


Edited by Craig E (log)

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Interesting, Craig.

 

One of our local wine/spirit retailers recently held a tasting of gins from England, Scotland and Spain - Tanqueray Ten, Miller’s Westbourne, Hendrick’s, Blackwoods, The Botanist, Caorunn and Gin Mare.  Their top pick was Gin Mare.  They commented that drinking gin straight, as in a tasting, doesn't really represent a 'real world' scenario for most of us and that it's important to choose the right garnishes and other ingredients when mixing a gin cocktail:

 

For instance Gin Mare makes a bloody good dirty martini, and use grapefruit as a rinse and garnish for Tanqueray 10. The cucumber notes of Hendrick’s makes it an excellent base for a Bloody Mary, and garnish with cucumber if making a good old G'n'T

 

On a personal note, I find my supply of my own gin at an all-time crisis level.  Fortunately I have a suitable quantity of base alcohol; time for a new batch this weekend.

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I was at Anchor in May and went to their newly established "distillery tasting room" (not so much a tour as you never see the stills unfortunately). I noticed the new label and while I did not ask specifically it certainly still tasted the same. So I am guessing it was just a new label. They had also recently released an Old Tom gin to make the third variety of gin they have available. The Junipero and Old Tom labels now look similar although the Genevieve is not changed much if at all  that I noticed.

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Thanks tanstaafl2. It has been one of my favorite gins and I'll be quite disappointed if they have changed it.

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I don't think gin every goes bad like other distilled spirits. It is, however, a drink very much preferred over vodka in some parts of the world. A lot of people don't give gin much thought when making cocktails, but there are a lot of really good ones you can make with a really good bottle. From the basic gin and tonic, martini, to more complex and flavourful ones. 

 

I honestly fancy myself a Gin Sling (Singapore Sling) every now and then. All you need is your go-to trusted brand of dry gin, soda water, lemon juice, cherry brandy and lots of ice. If you want to spoil yourself a little, you can even add a Maraschino cherry for a burst of extra flavour.

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Obviously when tasting a gin on its own it's gonna have in most cases completely different tasting notes then when mixed with a tonic or in a cocktails. Which might be because dilution helps to open up its botanicals so I always pour a bit of water when tasting a gin then I know how it's gonna behave in a cocktails.

 

I found that full bodied gins with a higher strength work very well in a Martini such as Gilpins.Tanqueray 10, Sipsmith. or Broker's. 

And I am not a huge fan of gins which are intended to taste like vodka such as Bombay Samphire but less flavour means better for fruity cocktaills. 

 

 

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We were recently in San Francisco, where a bar focused on gin has opened -  Whitechapel:

 

Quote

 

A celebration of the wonder of gin. Featuring the largest gin selection in North America, and a carefully chosen cocktail menu that celebrates the history and traditions of this amazing spirit. Far from its reputation as a painfully serious spirit, our offerings showcase gin’s versatility and lively approachability with a selection of drinks that are bound to please. So relax, enjoy some fine food and drink, and let us take you back to a time when gin was magic…and drinking gin made you kind of magical, too.

 

 

It was slammed when we were there, so there wasn't much contemplating going on. But it sure was fun.

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 7:17 AM, weinoo said:

We were recently in San Francisco, where a bar focused on gin has opened -  Whitechapel:

 

It was slammed when we were there, so there wasn't much contemplating going on. But it sure was fun.

 

I was there back in May and it was surprisingly quiet. Then again I think it was a Wednesday evening. Enjoyed the cocktails, menu seemed quite varied and the appearance was quite nice. And yet...

 

I need to return and give it another chance I suppose but not sure I will be able to fit it in on my upcoming trip to San Francisco. So much to do!

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Nikka's Coffey Gin came out this summer, so I bought a bottle recently. Gin is not that well known in Japan, so it's a good day when I can find my favorite, The Botanist Islay Dry Gin. The Botanist is very herbal, but I think well balanced, neither rankly green nor with contours blanketed under mounds of sugar.

So, given that The Botanist is definitely the gin for gardeners and hedge witches, I hesitated for a month or two before trying the Nikka gin There's a good review on theginisin.com, and I agree that the hot spirit flavor is well to the fore, with peppery somethings (pepper, or maybe green szechuan pepper berries or leaf, I am not sure). Then comes a whack of traditional Japanese citrus and peels (especially green citrus), and that is surely responsible for the considerable and lasting bitterness. The bitterness is good, and the fresh and I think quite astringent citrus is a better match for the rather hot spirit than more  herbs would be. This whole approach makes me think more of herb/citrus-infused shochu spirits than of other gins...it would be interesting to see how a shochu gin with the same aromatics tasted.

To test that theory, I mixed it with a lot of ice and fresh lemon juice, a la shochu, and also with a little dokudami-infused shochu (dokudami = houttynia cordata) and a drop of lemon. The gin and lemon, but the astringency and the bitterness of the Nikka gin just killed the aromatics of the dokudami, leaving only an extra dose of bitterness. Nup. Dokudami shochu is sometimes a good switchout for vermouth with other gins, but not in this case!

Interesting yes; and maybe overpriced?

 

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