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TallDrinkOfWater

New Generation Gins

370 posts in this topic

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.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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.


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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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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Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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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.


Tim

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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.

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!


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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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.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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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 (log)

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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. . . .

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).

. . . .

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


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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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....


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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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.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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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....

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


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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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.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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....


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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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....

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.

-Andy


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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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 (log)

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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gallery_27569_3448_49602.jpg

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.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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.

gethin

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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).

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.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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

http://bunnyhugs.org/2008/05/29/sketches-f...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.

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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.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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


"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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