All Gins containing: Chamomile

Gin Reviews

nginious! Swiss Blended Gin

nginious-swiss-blended-gin

Distillers Oliver Ullrich and Ralph Villager sought to create a gin which could be known as the Swiss Gin. As Swiss as Cuckoo Clocks. As Swiss as banks and neutrality. As Swiss as the Edelweiss growing in the alps.

The botanicals are distilled in four passes, loosely grouped by their aromatic profile, before being blended to create the final gin. Among the unusual botanicals in this mixture are Black Currant Leaves (a popular herbal tea, particularly in the plant’s northern Europe range), the barberry (a subtropical, very tart and bitter berry, who was repatriated in Northern Europe due to its reputed medicinal qualities) and the Carlina (which looks vaguely like a daisy, and could once be found growing from the Canary Islands all the way across Europe, Northern Africa and Asia).

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Gin Reviews

Ginbrew Jenevieve

We took a closer look at the botanicals in the bag to see what was going into our gin.

This is kind of an odd review, because while we’re reviewing a botanical blend which is used to make gin, we’re not reviewing a gin per se. Let me explain.

We took a closer look at the botanicals in the bag to see what was going into our gin.

Recipes for making your own gin have been circling the internet for nearly a decade. Gin, by definition is an alcoholic spirit which gets its primary flavor from juniper. This means that even spirits in which the juniper has been added after distillation, a.k.a compound gins are still technically gin (for example Crater Lake Gin () and Tru2 ()) Compounded gins often have a different flavor profile, because the juniper [and other botanicals] are not distilled; therefore aromatics which might not come through as strongly during distillation are still present, in addition to all of the essential, and non-distillable oils present in the ingredients.

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Gin Reviews

Stovell’s Wildcrafted Gin

Stovell's WIldcrafted gin

Stovell’s is an award winning restaurant in Chobham, England. and their Wildcrafted Eponymous gin is a partnership of bar manager Geyan Surendran and chefs Kristy and Fernando Stovell.

The concept is simple: local, foraged botanicals. A truly local gin. Nothing is in the gin which cannot and does not grow locally. The only exception to their provenance rule is the juniper, which they source from Croatia due to their concern for the local juniper populations, which are still threatened in the UK.

Among the botanicals, couple standout: both angelica root and seed (toasted) are used, as are red efflorescent clover blossoms.

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Gin Reviews

Monkey 47

monkey-47-bottle

The story of Monkey 47 is attributed to an Indian born British Commander who was stationed in Germany after the second world war. Inspired by the Black Forest through the lens of his family’s heritage he combined British influence, Indian botanicals, and the natural flora of the German forest to create a complex gin he called Schwarzwald Dry Gin, along with the note Max the Monkey. 

You see, this Commander also helped rebuild the world-famous Berlin zoo, and during the course of this he came to support Max, an egret monkey, who lived in the zoo. So it might seem natural that years after the fact in retirement, he retained an affection for the monkey he sponsored, and when he made his gin, he named it after him.

 

On botanicals alone, boasting an ostentatious 47, it might be the most complicated gin on the market, but to throw you one more curveball, it’s also built on a base spirit of molasses.

Tasting Notes

The nose is mentholated juniper, pineapple sage, lemon verbena, lavender, rose, hibiscus and lime. (!) This encyclopedic list merely reflects how incredibly complex and brightly aromatic this gin is.

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Gin Reviews

Touchwood (Oaked Gambit Gin)

touchwood-pinup

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!

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Gin Reviews

Dry Gin 19

19 Flors Dry Gin

When I talk about Spain as the “bold frontier” of gin, you’ve got to understand: I’m not kidding. From the nation that brought you “purple gin” (COOL Gin ), we now have a “green gin.”

The color is usually indicative of flavors added post-distillation. Though, this hue in particular doesn’t seem reminiscent of a bathtub style. It is genuinely odd: a bright, somewhat mint or lime Jolly Rancher shade. I’d guess that whatever was added is only a small portion of the overall list of botanicals: all 19 of them. Only a small list are available: Angelica, Cardamom, florence lily,  Cilantro,  cinchona, star anise, nutmeg,  cinnamon,  cálamos,  Lemon, Black Tea, Chammomile, licorice. A couple possibilities exist but none readily come to mind as to what may have given this its shade.

Tasting Notes:

Firstly, the color: pale mint, somewhat fake lime, dilute food coloring. A washed out grass color. Very hard to place, it probably most resembles the color of broccoli leaves to me.

Nose: Surprisingly, juniper and alcohol. Very straightforward gin nose.

Palate: Rather subtle, not quite overwhelming. Juniper and a touch of citrus early, herbs, and floral notes come on the mid and finish,subtle in the back of the throat and edges of the palate.

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Gin Reviews

Bloom Gin

Bloom-3

Bloom Gin is tall, elegant and distinctly contemporary styled. A bold and striking gin from G&J Greenall who recently celebrated their sestercentennial. With over 250 years of gin making, they currently are the proud distillers of their mainline Greenall’s Gin and the bright herbaceous Berkeley Square Gin. Bloom is distinctive and somewhat unexpected. While it is part of a movement among the gin community to specifically target certain demographics [see Ish Gin], Bloom Gin does so without overtly pandering or compromising the core values of the storied distillery. Simple put, its proof that if you make a good product, the marketing does its own work. Bloom Gin is marketed as a “gin for women.” I prefer to look at Bloom Gin as a “gateway gin,” for people who wouldn’t traditional refer to themselves as gin drinkers, or for people who have been raised on the contemporary style of gins such as Hendrick’s.

Enough of the marketing angle talk, how does it taste?

It smells sweet and floral. Honeysuckle and citrus bright and on the nose. Very inviting and very not traditionally gin like. I’d say that the nose comes across as a floral vodka, but I don’t wan’t to invoke the pejorative sides of that taste description.

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Gin Reviews

Imperial Barrel Aged Gin

roundhouse-imperial-aged-bottle

Hearkening back to the Barrel Aged Gin tasting a few weeks ago, I’ve become acquainted on a rather intimate level with several quite excellent aged gins.

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.

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Gin Reviews

Roundhouse Gin

roundhouse gin

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?

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Gin Reviews

Tanqueray Ten

tanqueray ten

I reviewed Tanqueray’s mainstream offering earlier this week. Now we’re going to take a step up the ladder to their top of the line quadruple-distilled gin, aimed specifically at the martini market.

This is indisputably a step up. Despite the higher proof, the gin is much smoother than its older brother. There’s no longer the vague intimation of fruits but a robust grapefruit and lime citrus tang. There’s still plenty of juniper and hints of coriander in the mix, but the smooth citrus finish is what makes this gin. The higher proof means it stands out more strongly in any drink you decide to make with it, and for the most part the flavor is worth capturing and holding on to.

One thing that has struck me about this gin, is that it pretty much has received universal accolades from the liquor blogging community. Its as if the name “ten” was designed to give reviewers a starting point for the review. “Ten is a ten!!!” Though its a fine gin, I’m struck by its seemingly contradictory nature. It was designed for martini drinkers in the spirit of one of the most traditional and piney London dry gins on the market, but in upscaling it they added a slew of citrus that although fairly balanced, manages to hide the juniper base.

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