Labeling is a problem. Let me explain. as is the case of Pierdas Almas +9 Botanicals. In the United States, one of the relics of the prohibition era laws written mostly for the ease of regulation than for the benefit of the customer is that “Officially,” a spirit may only be classified as one thing. So it doesn’t quite matter whether that spirit is technically both a Mezcal* and a Gin**. It can only be officially classified, and subsequently labeled as one thing.
All Gins containing: Anise
In <100 Words
On July 17th, 1947 the following events occurred:
A passenger ship sank off the coast of Mumbai India.
6’11” Serbian Center Žarko Knežević was born.
The Philadelphia Athletics Pummeled the St. Louis Browns 16-2 led by 5 runs from Barney McCoskey.
The Recipe for Pickering’s Gin was written
….and it was held secret for 66 years until Pickering’s Gin was launched in 2013. Juniper + 8 other botanicals, including coriander, cardamom, angelica, fennel, anise, lemon, lime and cloves.
On December 31st, 2014 I tasted Pickering’s Gin and the following things occurred:
The nose has a slight emphasis on coriander.
also Herbaceous Juniper, and a slight touch of citrus on the edges.
The palate begins with fresh pine forest and lemon zest.
Juniper is really the most striking thing about the palate.
There’s a lot of depth and complexity in the background notes
These notes include hints of violet, lemon, black peppercorn and fennel.
The finish is dry, with still plenty of juniper.
The residual notes of the palate include fennel seed and clover oil.
…and I thought it was quite an exquisite classic style gin. Really good on its own, but also with great promise for mixing.
Lucky Bastard Distillers’ combine a pin-up girl aesthetic with puns about “wood” [wood, as in what’s its aged in!] for all of their barrel aged spirits. But they’re not just about the bawdy jokes. Acute attention to detail and local character set their spirits apart and give them a distinctly “Saskatchewan” character. Their spirits are small batch, the ingredients are local and organic. The spirits have appreciable depth of character. Their aged gin uses their contemporary Gambit Gin as a base spirit [which features Saskatoon Berries, more on that in a moment], and then rest it in oak.
Saskatoon Berries? In the states, these small, blueberry shaped berries are known as “Juneberries,” and even before that they were known as Pigeon berries. Often a feature of prairie underbrush, these small (<20 ft tall) bushes grow across the prairies of the Northern United States and along the Rockies all the way through the Yukon up into Alaska. These small “wild” tasting fruits weren’t able to be grown commercially until only a few years ago. Demand is high, in part due to their prominence in local heritage cuisine such as Pemmican, jams, and even beers, but also due to their positioning by growers as the latest “superfruit.” Watch out pomegranate and acai!
wheel·house / ˈ(h)wēlˌhous, noun: wheelhouse; plural noun: wheelhouses
1. a part of a boat or ship serving as a shelter for the person at the wheel.
2. the part of a batter’s strike zone most likely to produce a home run.
“Oakland’s closer Street left a fastball in Bonds’ wheelhouse with two outs”
3. a place or situation in which one is advantageously at ease.
Officially it’s definition 1, but I suggest there’s a little a bit of definition 3 here in as well.
In our own <100 Words
Straight from Sacramento City, California, Wheel House Gin is Gold River Distillery’s tribute to the culture of the city and region during prohibition. Enterprising sons and daughters of Gold miners from the Gold Rush weren’t having any of this prohibition business. Taking advantage of the city’s geography, bootleggers used river boats to bring the contraband to the speakeasies of the city. Those brave souls steered their ships from the Wheelhouse, or definition 1. It’s a “grain-to-glass” gin, base from distilled red winter wheat and white wheat on a column still before being distilled with the botanicals.
There’s a warm grainy quality noticeable immediately on the nose.
As with New York Distilling Company’s other gin offerings [Dorothy Parker, Chief Gowanus] a history lesson is necessary to get the reference:
Matthew Perry was a Commodore in the U.S. Navy. He rose in the ranks of the Navy in part due to his efforts in the War of 1812, where he nearly died when a shot caused a cannon to burst. He later was stationed in Key West, and in the mid 1830’s in the New York Navy Yard. His accomplishments in his later life including being an outspoken advocate for modernizing the navy (hail Steam!) and his work in helping Japan open to the West.
He died in 1858 of Rheumatism, and complications caused by [gulp] alcoholism. So gin fans, let’s enjoy Perry’s Tot responsibly, alright? For Perry?
Now on to the Gin
As a reminder, this is Navy Strength. 114 Proof. So expect a punch on the nose and on the palate.
The nose has a nice gin like stability, juniper, orange and a hint of cinnamon. Believe it or not, it does not have a strong nose in the way that other Navy strength gin often have.
Ahhh, Port of Dragons! We meet again!
The mere mention of your brand name makes me feel as if I should be sipping a G&T in Qarth. Or King’s Landing. Have I been reading too much Game of Thrones lately? Perhaps. But let me drop these cultural references and get down to the gin. Does it actually invoke the stark landscapes of Essos or the well traveled paths outside Winterfell? Or Maybe Spain, seeing as that the place it hails from is very real and very much on the cutting edge of innovative gins.
[No this is not a re-post. You are correct that a short while ago we reviewed 100% floral’s companion gin 100% Pure]
The Nose of the Dragon It smells a bit vegetal. Hints of cucumber, and even shrubs. An ambiguous “greenery” smell. Hints of rose emerge from the mix give it a slight “summery” character. I’m picking up a bit of juniper around the edges, but overall it has a contemporary character. But like the Pure, the nose isn’t quite doing it for me.
We get a bit more into the taste. It has a smooth character, with heat slowly building along with the taste.
Hailing from the watershed. Which is known as Catoctin Creek. Its waters are known to drain To the bay called Chesapeke.
And the distillers call Loudon County, VA their home Released a few years back a gin of their very own!
So they built their gin from scratch Up on a base of Rye! and the label says its organic! for which it is genuinely certified!
So what say you Aaron? what do you think of this gin? At 100 proof it brings its heat what kind of cocktails will you mix it in?
Enough with the Rhymes/Its drinking time! We’ll hang up our poetry hat for a moment and get down to business right here. The nose is a tad strawlike, notes or carraway and pepper, but with a hint of something a bit jam-like in there, giving off hints of hibiscus and blueberry. Very subtly floral, but predominantly grainy. It doesn’t quite have a white whiskey nose, but you can tell you might be in the neighborhood.
At 100 proof,you might be expecting it to a bit harsher than it is. True, while it brings a noticeable heat, it is still rather smooth.
Thirteenth Colony Distillers unsurprisingly hails from the United States’ thirteenth colony, and the nations’ fourth state. The gin is called Southern Gin and it comes from a land probably best known for its peaches and pecans. I will say that, and just to dispel the notion that just because a distiller is so proud of their heritage that their distillery is named after the place it comes from; their gin is named for the region they come from, but its not so literal as that its pecans and peaches all the way.
Instead, Southern Gin is refreshing classic styled gin. Bottle and name pays tribute to the self, but the drink itself pays tribute to something even further back in Georgia’s history, that is the place that Georgia’s founder James Oglethorpe was born: Merry Olde England.
Tasting and the Nose The nose is sweet and inviting. A fair amount of juniper. It smells mild and pleasant, with nary a trace of alcoholic burn on the nose.
The taste actually is remarkably true to the nose too. The profile is affable, sweet juniper which fades into warm citrus. Lemon up front but hints of other citrus as well, intimations of grapefruit.
Roundhouse Spirits of Colorado has created a barrel aged version of their mainline Roundhouse Gin. It has a gorgeous golden brown color, similar to a nice mead, and crystal clear. Imperial comes in at 94 proof [47%] and a message on the front of the bottle says aged in new oak barrels for at least 6 months.” So we know that we have here is an aged gin which is longer aged than most other aged gins out there.
Tasting The nose is a bit sweet, but overall rather heavy on alcohol. A little bit of caramel, candied orange rinds, and a bit of burn.
Upon tasting neat though it begins rather sweet. Similar to Roundhouse Gin, there’s a floral character here. Primarily chamomile, but a little bit of violet too. The floral rolls kindly into a wave of rich spice. Spicy notes of cloves and nutmeg, hints of roasted allspice and quiet cinnamon. There’s a deep rich earthiness here, a but the oak is rather less prominent than it is in some other gins, which have even been aged less.
Some gins are immediately striking for a variety of reasons. Some gins bring to mind a place in vivid detail: from the bottle design, to the botanical choice, to the smell. Yet other gins bring to mind a place a time: Hendrick’s Gin reminds me of Friday nights in college at just a waft of the rose and cucumber bouquet. And yet other gins remind me of a thing: River Rose Gin reminds me of cookies. What about Roundhouse Gin? Well it reminds me of a warm cup of tea in the winter.
You might say: Aaron, why be so literal? Sure, I get it, chamomile is a botanical in Roundhouse Gin, so why not go somewhere outside the box?
I might reply: Well, I go that direction because from the first nose to the last sparks along the palette a distant thirty second after you’ve swallowed, that chamomile is there. And the accompanying botanicals bring to mind all the best parts of the chamomile tea experience. So hold tight, and give me a moment. If you’re not convinced merely by reading my elegant prose, why not sit down with a snifter of neat Roundhouse Gin, a warm cup of Chamomile tea and challenge me otherwise?