Gin Reviews

Gin 1495: Interpretatio

1495 Interpretatio Bottle

We already talked about the history of the Gin 1495 in our previous entry on the Verbatim recreation of the gin. But now we’re going to try their modern interpretation, the one they designed to appeal to modern sensibilities, including a few more modern botanical additions.

Impressions

Much quieter when compared side-by-side. Minty, menthol notes present, with ginger, nutmeg, grains of paradise and a slight, but present citrus lift with lemon and orange notes.

Bright green juniper present on the palate, with ginger and cinnamon jumping out, hints of cardamom as well, but they are much more restrained. An almost waxy juniper finish, with clove oil coming out again, fading gently with a sharp, warm ginger note.

Loud and contemporary, and clearly related to the first one. You can taste the similarities, but this is the superior gin [not the superior experiment! I'm only talking about the actual thing I'm drinking here].

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Gin Reviews

Gin 1495: Verbatim

1495 Verbatim Bottle

Cocktail Historians [yes that's a thing, apparently] have long been seeking out the origins of the drink we call “gin.”

The criteria for something to be a proto-gin are vague, though it is generally thought to be some combination of the below:

    Distilled Grain-based Recreationally consumed

Distilled is important because gin is a spirit, and it represents a departure from the decoctions and juniper berry flavored beers and wines that were fairly common from the medieval era forward.

Grain based was important because it sought to represent a shift from the brandies, distilled wines, Steinhagers, Schnapps, and other spirits of the time which used juniper in other ways.

And finally, recreational was important because distilled juniper berry waters were once quite common, and although prone to abuse they were designed to be drank as medicine. Yes. people used their medicine for recreation, but the step towards gin was the intentionality of distilled a spirit strictly for enjoyment, with no pretense.

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Gin Reviews

Aria Portland Dry Gin

aria-dry-gin-bottle

Bull Run Distilling Co. has been making spirits since 2010, giving them a bit of seniority on the craft gin scene. The distillery is named for the watershed where the city of Portland, Oregon gets their drinking water, meaning that true to the gin’s name— there is a bit of Portland in this bottle. A mix of 10 botanicals, stated clearly on the bottle, Aria opts for a more traditional spin on Northwest gin, built on a base of 100% grain spirit and bottled at a pleasantly strong 45% ABV.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, pine-fresh juniper, with citrus and coriander playfully occupying supporting roles. There’s even a slight, warm hint of pepper in the low notes. The nose is classic in character, with a bright, nicely balanced freshness. I’d say it’s more Beefeater in its approach than it is Gordon’s (); however, classic and inviting all the same.

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Gin Reviews

Long Table Cucumber Dry Gin

Canada - Long Table Cucumber Gin

Long Table’s cucumber gin sources local vegetables, even rounding out the botanical mixture with two peppers in addition to their BC cucumbers. It shares the same high quality base spirit and attention to detail that their other spirits do; however, it differentiates itself with its bright, and decidedly cucumber-forward approach.

Impressions

Bright, crisp cucumber on the nose. Clearly vegetal with melon/honeydew undertones. There’s a hint of acidic lemon, green juniper and coriander as well.

Where I think it rises above the pre-conceived notions of cucumber flavored gin, or perhaps even the expectations set by some of the ways that cucumber has been used as a botanical as of late, is when it hits the palate. Crisp English cucumber hits at first, but the mid-palate is rife with many traditional juniper touches. Plenty of baking spice, earthy depth, a peak of coriander, and a green— but evolving into a more herbaceous/pine-like juniper note.

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Cocktails

Cooking in the Kitchen with Gin – Gin Whipped Cream

Heaven.

Gin Whipped Cream – So much more than you’d think.

After making the Gin Vanilla, it occurred to me that I could use this mixture in place of regular vanilla…for anything! Cookies, pancakes, sauces, ice cream, etc. And then, couldn’t I use just regular gin in place of vanilla?

Enter the Gin Whipped Cream. This is really lovely and different from the Cool Whip you buy from the freezer and spoon into your mouth on a hot August Sunday. (Ahem.) It’s rich, creamy, and scented with the notes of the gin. There’s no cooking, so much of the flavor and nose is preserved in sugary-cream form.

This is a rather simple recipe:

12 oz heavy whipping cream

4 Tbls Sugar

1/2 oz Gin, or Gin Vanilla

Whip all of this together with a mixer in a metal bowl, until soft peaks form.

Voila. It’s good with everything – berries, ice cream, itself.

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