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TallDrinkOfWater

New Generation Gins

370 posts in this topic

Thanks for the writeup of No. 209.  I've been wondering about that one!  Sounds like it will make it to the buy list.

I did finally try a No. 209 Martini a few weeks ago at the Orbit Room.

While I think the floral and herbaceous character of this gin is interesting, it didn't immediately catapault to the top of my list, at least for very dry Martinis. Also, while the Martini could have been colder, the base alcohol still seemed a little harsh, at least compared to the Plymouth I usually drink.

I just had some more out of my 209 bottle the other night -- still good, but yes, maybe not the best for a dry martini.

I have some tasting notes to post on several other gins -- Indigo by Larios, Van Gogh, Plymouth [sadly, not Navy Strength], Kensington, Old Raj, and at the opposite end of the price spectrum, my inexpensive-but-quite-good "well" gin, Bellringer (the introduction to which I owe to Murray at Zig Zag). Been meaning to do that forever, but something -- maybe cocktail hour?? -- always seems to get in the way...


-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

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Interesting. Distilled by Blackwood Distillers in Shetland, Scotland. Some interesting local botanicals include angelica root, wild water mint and sea pink flowers. There are apparently two bottlings of gin by Blackwood: Blackwood's Vintage Dry Gin, their regular bottling, and Blackwood's Vintage 60, a limited edition gin made with hand-gathered Summer botanicals from the Shetland Islands.

Audrey, have you tasted their gin? What's it like.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Blackwood's Gin....coming soon to a theatre near you.

The Blackwood's 60 is particularly good. Try it neat, as an after dinner alternative to a brandy or an eau de vie or as a "trou" .

Gethin

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Interesting.  Distilled by Blackwood Distillers in Shetland, Scotland.  Some interesting local botanicals include angelica root, wild water mint and sea pink flowers.  There are apparently two bottlings of gin by Blackwood: Blackwood's Vintage Dry Gin, their regular bottling, and Blackwood's Vintage 60, a limited edition gin made with hand-gathered Summer botanicals from the Shetland Islands.

I asked around a bit and was told the Vintage Dry will be launched at the Whiskies of the World Expo in San Francisco on March 25th.

Also, "it will be available in major markets across the US and by mail order from places such as Binny's in Chicago". (This emailed to me from Riannon Walsh)


-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

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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.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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:


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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)?


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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.

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 (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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.

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.

Cheers

Ian


Vist Barbore to see the Scottish scene.

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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:

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?

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

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

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

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"

"Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters-it is vulgarly called bittered sling and is supposed to be an exellent electioneering potion..."

- Balance and Columbian Repository. May 13, 1806

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

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.


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

the best cat ever.

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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 (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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 (log)

-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

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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!

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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.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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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.

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 (log)

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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

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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

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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:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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