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TallDrinkOfWater

New Generation Gins

370 posts in this topic

"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.

I've not yet gotten my hands on a bottle of The Botanist from their second batch but did write about their first batch when I got some back in January.


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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.citadellegin.com/#/en/spiritueux/gin/citadelle

Has anyone else tried it?

I quite enjoy Citadelle and if you like their gin you should consider the Citadelle Reserve if you can find it. I have a couple of bottles of the 2010 including bottle #2 from the last cask, #29, and it is quite delightful. Not a lot of it around so something to look for. More expensive than the regular Citadelle but surprisingly not that much more (around $28-30 in Atlanta if I recall correctly) and I thought it well worth it. Made by the Cognac Ferrand group and I suppose that is partly what led them to putting a little oak on it. As I understand it the Reserve is a similar but not identical formulation to the standard gin.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Yeah, over here there is a good deal of small-scale distilling going on. That is a very good thing in the long run; I don't think anyone would argue with that. But "small scale" is not automatically synonymous with "craft," just as "large-scale" is not antonymous (why do we never use that word?) to it. I think that's the gist of what Sam and I are saying (oh, and thanks, Sam!). We're far from the only ones--the whiskey writer Chuck Cowdery, for example, has been on about this for some time.

Some of the small-scale producers are making traditional-style London gins, with purchased GNS and the usual botanicals. Their gins taste "normal" and work just fine in the classic gin cocktails. If their prices are within a few bucks of the Tanquerays, Plymouths and Beefeaters of this world, then I don't particularly mind spending a little bit extra to encourage a small local business, but I'm also not going to trumpet the stuff as the greatest thing since juniper met ethanol. If their prices are appreciably higher than that, then I'll pass.

Others still use purchased GNS, but come up with their own, often hasty and random-seeming (although definitely not juniper driven), botanical formulae, wrap the mantle of art around themselves--"we're redefining the category of gin," etc. etc.--and charge people through the nose for the privilege of trying their "hand-crafted" formula. I'm tired of these. I participate in a lot of blind tastings, and they rarely fare well in them.

Yet others actually are hand-crafting their gins: long-time, experienced distillers who are making all or at least a significant part of their base spirit from mash, coming up with either painstakingly-researched historical formulae that enable us to wake up old recipes or patiently developed new formulae that are balanced, clean and delightful. I don't think anybody's arguing against them. Unfortunately, they're in the minority. My hope is that as some of the enterpreneurs and career-changers who populate the first two categories gain experience they're going to step up their games; come out with better or more interesting products. We'll see.

So, umm, I don't suppose, umm, someone, won't mention any names of course, who has a long and noteworthy history of experience in the "spirits world" and perhaps even no ax to grind or hidden association to promote might be willing to suggest a long-time experienced distiller or three who are making new formulae that are balanced, clean and delightful? Could be for gin/botanical spirit/whatever we want to call it today in keeping with this thread or could be on other enchanting new spirits for that matter.

I don't generally have a chance to sit down and experience samplings of a variety of distillers where I can determine for myself what might be well worth a little extra added expense in support of innovative distillers, whether they be large or small, without first spending that $35-$40 or more to buy each bottle myself and find out the hard way. I would like to support said long-time experienced distillers when I can but would welcome help in avoiding those no doubt equally hard working but perhaps slightly less innovative distillers out there. Buying a variety of bottles each time gets a bit spendy when sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. Would like to improve my odds of having it work out!

I do try to read a lot of different reviewers before buying something new but so often the reviews provide little to truly distinguish one spirit from another. They all tend to say the same thing. Usually that this gin/botanical spirit/whatever is pretty good or on occasion that it is truly awful. So I suppose I would also welcome some sites for a few reviewers to try to judge from as I navigate the vast cosmos of the internet cocktail world.

I know individual tastes vary but I guess you gotta start somewhere!

(And yes I made note of the aforementioned Kuchan Peach Brandy and the link to Chuck Cowdery!)


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Have anyone else tried Monkey 47? By far the best gin I've ever tasted, floral and complex. Stands up very nicely in my favourite cocktail, Hanky Panky and is as close to a "sipping gin" as I think it gets. Website


Edited by Lahti (log)

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I didn't care for Nolet's very much. Peach? Raspberry? Damask Rose? :hmmm: Luckily I got to sample it without having to buy a bottle.

I'm a regular drinker of Citadelle, but have yet to get my hands on Citadelle Reserve.

And as much as I love Citadelle for its 19 botanicals, I am equally impressed with Death's Door for achieving its taste with only 3 botanicals--juniper (albeit two varieties), coriander, and fennel. That's it.

Another good one is Tub Gin, a low-juniper gin which is NOT citrus-y as most low-juniper gins tend to be. IMO, the taste of this gin way more refined than their hokey "wild-west" marketing angle would lead you to believe. The price is very, um, refined, as well, to put it politely.

A friend will be bringing me a bottle of Cold River gin tomorrow. It's a new gin made from a traditional recipe on a potato distillate base. He is also bringing with him packs of Fever-Tree and Q-tonic, and together with the unopened bottle of Noilly Prat that I have (not in the same drink, mind!), we can put this gin through its paces. I'll report back with a summary of my research. Has anyone else had it?


Edited by brinza (log)

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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I've been playing with the St. George Dry Rye gin quite a bit lately. It's a bit too bold and malty for me to use as the primary spirit in most cocktails calling for gin, but splitting time with the more traditional gins I would use in a French 75 or Martinez has produced some outstanding results. It's been more successful on its own in place of cognac or whiskey in certain drinks, like the Jimmie Roosevelt or Old Fashioned.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Others still use purchased GNS, but come up with their own, often hasty and random-seeming (although definitely not juniper driven), botanical formulae, wrap the mantle of art around themselves--"we're redefining the category of gin," etc. etc.--and charge people through the nose for the privilege of trying their "hand-crafted" formula.

Not to suggest that that's what Mr. Wondrich had in mind, but this seems like a good description of the $50 Nolet's.

I've been playing with the St. George Dry Rye gin quite a bit lately. It's a bit too bold and malty for me to use as the primary spirit in most cocktails calling for gin, but splitting time with the more traditional gins I would use in a French 75 or Martinez has produced some outstanding results. It's been more successful on its own in place of cognac or whiskey in certain drinks, like the Jimmie Roosevelt or Old Fashioned.

Sounds like this might work where genever is called for, do you think?
Edited by brinza (log)

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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I've been playing with the St. George Dry Rye gin quite a bit lately. It's a bit too bold and malty for me to use as the primary spirit in most cocktails calling for gin, but splitting time with the more traditional gins I would use in a French 75 or Martinez has produced some outstanding results. It's been more successful on its own in place of cognac or whiskey in certain drinks, like the Jimmie Roosevelt or Old Fashioned.

Sounds like this might work where genever is called for, do you think?

Yes and no. It's certainly evocative of genever in the malty character that comes from the rye grain base, but there's a lot more juniper in the Dry Rye than what I associate with most of the genevers I've had. I guess I wouldn't feel a need to be as careful about using it as a straight substitution where genever is called for, but I think some tweaking is probably going to be necessary.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Have anyone else tried Monkey 47? By far the best gin I've ever tasted, floral and complex. Stands up very nicely in my favourite cocktail, Hanky Panky and is as close to a "sipping gin" as I think it gets. Website

This is truly a "sipping gin". It would be criminal to add anything to this lovely elixir. Well worth searching out, and probably easier on the East Coast than West, at least as far as my research goes.

Disclaimer: this stuff could be habit forming. Delicious!


eGullet member #80.

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I've been playing with the St. George Dry Rye gin quite a bit lately. It's a bit too bold and malty for me to use as the primary spirit in most cocktails calling for gin, but splitting time with the more traditional gins I would use in a French 75 or Martinez has produced some outstanding results. It's been more successful on its own in place of cognac or whiskey in certain drinks, like the Jimmie Roosevelt or Old Fashioned.

Sounds like this might work where genever is called for, do you think?

Yes and no. It's certainly evocative of genever in the malty character that comes from the rye grain base, but there's a lot more juniper in the Dry Rye than what I associate with most of the genevers I've had. I guess I wouldn't feel a need to be as careful about using it as a straight substitution where genever is called for, but I think some tweaking is probably going to be necessary.

One gin that I'm fond of is Damrak Amsterdam Gin. It's much more junipery than most genevers, but more geneverish than dry gin. Are you familiar with it? If so, how does it compare to the St. George, if at all? Either way, it sounds like a fascinating spirit with a lot of potential for experimentation.


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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Still mourning the lack of a U.S. distributor for Whitley Neil; to my palette it was a classic London dry with an extra citrus-y spice to it from the African botanicals. How many of the new gins made it into Gaz Regan's Gin Compendium? I, too, would love to see an up to date comparison of new gen gins.


"The thirst for water is a primitive one. Thirst for wine means culture, and thirst for a cocktail is its highest expression."

Pepe Carvalho, The Buenos Aires Quintet by Manuel Vazquez Montalban

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Still mourning the lack of a U.S. distributor for Whitley Neil; to my palette it was a classic London dry with an extra citrus-y spice to it from the African botanicals. How many of the new gins made it into Gaz Regan's Gin Compendium? I, too, would love to see an up to date comparison of new gen gins.

Wasn't aware Whitley Neil no longer had a US distributor. I think I saw some on the shelf at my last visit. Might have to pick up a bottle just out of curiosity.

There are about 50 gins listed in the "Dry Gin" section of the Compendium (of the 75 or so in the book) that include both classic London Dry like Tanq, Beefeater and Bombay and the newer "Western Dry Gin" as the book describes it. Whitley Neill is listed. Perhaps 75% of the 50 or so dry gins are newer gins like Aviation and Bluecoat.

But the book seems a bit limited to me as it has only a few real reviews by the author or other people. Most pages about the various gins are comments from the distiller. I find it less helpful than I thought it might be and if a new edition came out in this format I probably would not seek it out.

YMMV!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Forget to report on the Cold River gin. My friend and I both declared it a hit. This is a very robust and flavorful gin. It has a clean, crisp flavor which made a delicious Martini (freshly opened bottle of Noilly Prat and small dash of orange bitters). Not as much juniper as, say, Gordon's or Junipero, but it's definitely a traditional gin profile with a nice botanical mix that's not overcrowded. Might be ever so slightly heavy on the cardamom though, and whereas many gins use a lemon-and-orange combination for their citrus component, this uses lemon and lime. Perhaps this is one reason that it worked so well in a G&T. We used Q-tonic, and I have to say that these were some of the best G&Ts I've had. The Q-tonic might have had something to do with that, however, since it's so low in sugar--the G&Ts were very crisp and bracing. The Cold River gin stood up admirably to the tonic, and we agreed that this was a successful combination.

Maybe this review doesn't belong in a thread on new generation gins, since Cold River is being marketed as a "traditional gin," but it is a fairly new product and I suppose there is some novelty in the use of a potato distillate base.


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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From their website, it looks like Whitley Neill is distributed in NY by Southern.

Thanks,

Zachary

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Has anyone tried Berry Bros & Rudd's No. #3 London Dry Gin? It has a fantastic aroma, but I am unable to find a good vehicle for it. All those botanicals just don't seem to play well with others. Any suggestions?

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Reporting on the bottle of Perry's Tot Navy Strength gin from New York Distilling Company that I got in the Secret Santa gift exchange.

 

I tried it first in a Martini. I wanted to go with Rafa's recommendation from the Drinks discussion...

 

I had a delicious fiddy-fiddy Martini at Pouring Ribbon's last night with Perry's Tot Navy Strength Gin and Dolin Dry Vermouth, orange bitters and a lemon twist. Dolin is so good. I don't know why I don't stock it more often.

 

... but didn't have any Dolin, so I went with Noilly Prat extra dry. I smelled the Martini and felt that it needed grapefruit rather than orange bitters, so I used that. (The cocktail was not completely clear; from the bitters maybe?)

It was a delightful Martini, with none of the "bite" I was expecting from a high proof gin. The juniper was there but quite subdued. Very aromatic combination.

 

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I also tried the gin neat at room temperature, with Beefeater as a reference point. The nose is extremely flavorful with a sweetness to it. The taste is deceptively smooth with juniper and citrus (grapefruit, lemon), but also a lot of coriander and floral/sweet notes, and a soft finish. I read later that they use a touch of honey in the gin and that makes sense.

 

I just bought a bottle of Dolin, so that means that I will be able to try Pouring Ribbons' version very soon.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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Does anyone have any advice on a somewhat floral, lightly flavored, easy on the juniper gin? I tried making a Bee's Knees variant with Beefeater and sweet lemons (citrus limetta), and the gin just overpowered the juice - which is very delicate, totally unlike lemon juice. To get the flavor the sweet lemon juice to be expressed in the cocktail, I had to use a generous 3/4 oz of it, to a scant 1.5 oz of gin, and even then it wasn't as harmonious as I'd like.

 

Perhaps Bombay Sapphire? Or is there something even lighter?

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You could try G'vine floraison.


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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Does anyone have any advice on a somewhat floral, lightly flavored, easy on the juniper gin? I tried making a Bee's Knees variant with Beefeater and sweet lemons (citrus limetta), and the gin just overpowered the juice - which is very delicate, totally unlike lemon juice. To get the flavor the sweet lemon juice to be expressed in the cocktail, I had to use a generous 3/4 oz of it, to a scant 1.5 oz of gin, and even then it wasn't as harmonious as I'd like.

 

Perhaps Bombay Sapphire? Or is there something even lighter?

 

Dorothy Parker, G'Vine, or Barr Hill, the last of which already features a touch of honey.


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”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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Anybody tried Bloom? I confess I haven't seen Miller's, Parker, G'Vine, or Barr Hill, though I haven't kept too keen an eye out for gins....


Edited by Hassouni (log)

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Haven't tried it, but it does sound like what you're looking for. The Gin Is In likes it, though it does describe it as "bold." 


DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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Not having scouted the quality brick-and-mortar only stores of DC, it seems none of those mentioned are available from the local places with an online presence for less than $40, besides Bloom. That seems a bit much...I wonder if the unaged Bols Genever would work....

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