All Gins containing: Cloves

Gin Reviews

Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin

Bobby's-Dry-Gin

Proclaimed on the bottle as the “best of both worlds, east and west,” Bobby’s Gin is based on a recipe of Jacobus, better known as Bobby, Alfons. Eight botanicals are each distilled on their own before being blended together to create his namesake gin.

But Jacobus’s story is an interesting one. An immigrant, he was born in Indonesia. Raised on the vibrant spices which once drove the Dutch to the Indies during the 17th and 18th century spice trade, he fell in love with Genever and began playing around with infusions, pairing the spices of his youth with Dutch spirits, just as the Dutch did long ago.

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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

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]. There might be ⅓ the amount of ginger in here when compared to the first one, but that’s a good thing. It gives a rounder, more balanced approach. It shows you just what this gin could be.

In short, I’m not sure I would go out and buy this gin if it were on the shelf.

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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.

The 1495 Story in < 100 Words

Buried in the Sloane Manuscripts, Phillip Duff discovered the recipe calling for a mixture of several exotic spices and the word gorsbeyn, which depending on your translation could mean “frog” or it could be a corruption of the word for “juniper.” Assuming this is a correct reading of the word on the page, there’s no mistaking based on context that this wasn’t a medicine.

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Gin Reviews

Pickering’s Gin

pickerings-gin-bottle

In <100 Words

On July 17th, 1947 the following events occurred:

….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.

Impressions

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.

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Gin Reviews

Southern Gin

southern-gin-bottle

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.

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Gin Reviews

Knickerbocker Gin

knickerbocker

Knickerbocker hails from Holland, Michigan (just on the shores of Lake Michigan) and the bottle proudly looks backwards to those who looked forward. “Knickerbocker” was the name attributed to Dutch settlers of the American continent. As the Dutch founded New York née New Amsterdam (hence the New York Knicks), so did the Dutch found Holland, Michigan and hence the name of New Holland Brewing Company’s Knickerbocker Gin. History aside, I think this is a rather apt name for the gin. But first, the tasting.

The nose is rather clean. Warm notes of lemon rind, sharp juniper and a little bit of alcohol are present. You can tell that this gin is going to have a little bit of harshness to it. But you can also tell that this gin is going to put on a traditional dry profile. There’s a faint sweetness present, but overall you would think this in the Classic style and you would be correct.

The taste opens with warm juniper on the front of your tongue, giving way to a little bit of alcoholic heat (again, at 85 proof I found that a bit surprising. It tastes a bit stronger than it is).

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Gin Reviews

Cardinal Gin

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cardinal gin hails from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and from a small city which could once boast as being on the cutting edge of prohibition. Kings Mountain was one of the first places to officially declare itself a “dry city,” and yet they now find themselves on the cutting edge of craft distillation.

Southern Artisan Spirits proudly talks about their inclusion of “fresh” and “organic” botanicals. Though Southern Artisan Spirits does not make their list of botanicals available, we can make some good guesses as to what is in here as a couple stand out boldly.

Tasting Notes On the nose is a warm whiff of juniper and a few complimentary floral notes. Hints of warm spice in the background which betray more of themselves on the tasting. The taste begins with a potent, but smooth burst of alcoholic with a hint of burn. Warm notes of complimentary juniper start to shine. The floral and spice which are present but not individually discernible on the nose reveal themselves, slowly unfolding. There’s a warm perhaps christmas-like combination of spice. Perhaps some cinnamon and nutmeg, but predominantly clove like. There’s a hint of citrus in there, before the juniper then begins to fade into the background giving way to an intense note of mint.

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Gin Reviews

Tru2 Organic Gin

tru2 gin

Loftily billed as the first “100 % Organic Gin,” Tru2 doesn’t look like your average gin. It has a brownish color that looks more like watered down whiskey. The scent is only vaguely gin like. Drinking it straight it reminds me of Chartreuse: Overwhelmed by a blend of herbs, some of them very pungent. As I poured myself a drink I wondered “is there any juniper in here?”

In Gin and Tonic, the herbal combination overwhelms the tonic water. The Quinine doesn’t quite compliment Tru2 gin properly, though it is somewhat more palatable when mixed with ample fresh lime. But, because the herbs are center stage in Tru2, this gin does not lend itself well to mixed drinks. Unless you’ve felt your Tom Collins or Gin Fizz was missing the strong aroma of constituent spices, I’d recommend drinking it straight as a Martini.

But this gin is not for everyone. It may not even be for your usual gin drinkers. I highly recommend it for those who like a strong herbal component to their gin. To use an analogy: this is not the subtle rose in Hendrick’s, this is the Grapes in g’vine.

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