All Gins containing: Lemongrass

Gin Reviews

Gordon’s Distillers Cut Gin

Gordon's-Distillers-Cut-2004

Before there was Bombay Sapphire East (and actually around the same time as Tanqueray Malacca), another big name in gin was experimenting with Asian botanicals to expand the category. It adds lemongrass and ginger to the usual Gordon’s formula.

Launched in 2004, Gordon’s Distillers Cut would have been on the vanguard of the contemporary gin revolution; however, tastes hadn’t quite caught up. It was discontinued unceremoniously due to poor sales in 2009, and now bottles can be found on the collector’s market for upwards of a $100.

Tasting Notes

Some classic Gordon’s character on the nose: angelica, green juniper, and spiced ginger loaf, with perhaps a lemongrass icing. Interesting with a bit of Gordon’s and a bit of unexpected.

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Gin Reviews

Green Hat Navy Strength

Green-Hat-Navy-Strength-Gin

In intention, Green Hat’s year round Navy Strength gin packs a punch with not just Green Hat’s signature blend of botanicals, but some added juniper. Bottles at 114 proof, it’s designed to be your go-to cocktail gin. Like the other products from Michael Lowe and John Uselton’s New Columbia Distillers, the gin begins as Red Winter Wheat, mashed, fermented, and distilled on their traditional copper pot still, vapor infused with botanicals ranging from the traditional like lemon and juniper, to the less traditional like celery seed and grapefruit.

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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

Ivy City Gin

Ivy-City-Bottle

I’d say more distillers are willing to be highly transparent about their botanical bill than their grain bill. The team at One Eight Distilling doesn’t publicly disclose much of their botanicals, but they will be even more specific than you might expect about their grains. This is interesting, as one of the major contentions of the Craft Spirits movement is that “grain to glass” is the only thing which should qualify as craft*.

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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

Austin Reserve Gin

austin-reserve-gin-bottle-final

Revolution Spirits you say? Yes, the revolution is certainly in the glass here. Only six botanicals are present: juniper, rosemary, lemongrass, grapefruit, lavender and pink peppercorn, built on a base spirit of Missouri corn and bottled at an assertive, but not overdone 100 proof, Austin Reserve Gin is confident, refined, and like the name might indicate, pushing the envelope just a tad.

Revolution Spirits is just one name in a burgeoning Austin, Texas Gin distilling scene, which already includes Genius Gin () and Treaty Oak Distilling whose Waterloo () and Waterloo Antique () have already set a high bar for Texas Gin.

Tasting Notes

While the Rosemary is the first thing you pick up on the nose, there’s more in the background to reward the careful noser/sniffer/soon-to-be-sipper. Lavender and grapefruit zest hover on the fringes as well, with a resiny juniper note a little further back.

The palate is clear and crisp juniper at first dancing with fresh garden picked juniper. There’s a floral hint in the background as well where orris meets lavender, and tart citrus rinds make themselves known as well— imparting a slight pithy bitterness which lingers through the medium long finish rife with resiny juniper, dried rosemary, and basil/sage notes as well.

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Gin Reviews

White Tiger Gin

white-tiger-gin-bottle

I was six when the Buffalo Zoo announced that through an arrangement with the Cincinnati Zoo, Buffalo would soon be home to a cross-eyed white tiger who was mother to almost one fifth of the world’s known population of white tigers. Sumita arrived in Buffalo in June 1989 and was something of a celebrity. Or at least so it seemed to a six-year-old me who lived within walking distance of the zoo. I remember the excitement of my mother [who at this point, I had only seen her as enthusiastic at this when the zoo brought in a Koala the summer prior] as we went to the bustling zoo, to sneak between the crowds and catch a glimpse of the mutant Bengal Tiger [technical term, continuing…]

Sumita passed away in Buffalo in the summer of 1990 and was quickly replaced by a male named Mota later that year. I can recall my younger sister and I each having a stuffed tiger. Hers was the white one and was named Sumita; mine was a traditional orange and black tiger, but owing to the attractive power of the spectacle that was the white tiger in the zoo that summer, I named mine Mota.

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Gin Reviews

Farmer’s Botanical Organic Gin

farmers-bottle

“Organic,” for a while I thought was going to be the next BIG thing in spirits. It seemed all at once that vodkas and gins were appearing on the shelf at my local liquor store advertising that the botanicals, the base, everything was organic. So slowly, it seemed an inevitability that the USDA label would start appearing on liquor bottles, proclaiming (legally) that at least 95% of this beverage’s components were produced in accordance with USDA’s guidelines for calling something organic.

Well, I won’t turn this into a referendum on the “organic” label, nor on the USDA’s guidelines. Let’s get to the gin. Straight out of Minnesota, brought to use from the same people that make Crop Vodka [side note, better known as the folks who make the cucumber and the tomato vodka], we have Farmer’s Botanical Organic Gin.

Getting down to business The scent is a little bit juniper and the faintest bit floral, with more than a little bit of alcohol burn. We are dealing with  93.4 proof gin here, so this is to be expected.

The tasting is where the array of flavors in Farmer’s gin begin to reveal themselves.

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Gin Reviews

Gale Force Gin

gale force gin

Gale Force is Triple Eight Distillery’s flagship gin. Although Triple Eight Distillery is a microdistillery in the United States, its founding predates many others in the distilling hotbed of New England. Founded in 1997 on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, it was the first microdistillery in the region. Though Triple Eight Distillery is probably best known in the region for its flagship self-titled vodka, Gale Force Gin is a worthy addition to their line that could make more waves (get it?!) with gin’s rising popularity. Bad puns aside, let’s get on to the gin.

Gale Force Gin is a throwback of sorts. In a world where most gins register at 80 proof, Gale Force clocks in at 44.4% (or 88.8 proof for those of you doing math) and therefore packs slightly more punch than some of its peers. This slight difference may not seem like much, but when mixing cocktails I assure you the difference between 90 proof and 80 proof can be like night and day.

The nose is a gentle juniper with hints of coriander and other spices. It smells clean but somewhat refreshing. The tasting is where you really begin to appreciate the full depth of this gin.

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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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