All Gins containing: Liquorice

Gin Reviews

Colonel Fox’s London Dry Gin


First thing you notice is the charming, dapper, gentleman on the bottle. Colonel Fox has quite a back story, dating back to the 19th century he traveled the globe, hobnobbed with royalty and happened across a gin recipe, the one that you’re tasting here. The gin you taste here is based on that story and was launched in the UK in 2012.


Oily, unctuous nose rife with chiefly classic gin aromas: bitter orange zest, piney, thick, juniper with a forested character about it. Hint of angelica and earthy depth a bit lower. But very, very, very classic.

The palate is surprisingly mundane, however. Quiet and exceptionally hot for its 40% ABV. Juniper holds court throughout the palate, with orange coming on mid-palate just as the roaring din of the spirit overpowers. A pleasant, slightly warm, spiced aftertaste with cassia and juniper. The finish is more on the short end of things, with the heat being the last thing to fade.

It’s certainly a warming gin, and one who has some loud moments in the taste. Classic gin lovers will probably find its to be a good mixer, but also one that might be closer to that guest who is a little bit too loud when telling a joke at a party.

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Gin Reviews

Letherbee Gin

letherbee gin bottle

Letherbee Gin has been created to be the “anti craft, craft gin,” says its distillers aiming to provide an affordable, high quality gin that’s main use is to be poured at bars, to become the main pour at restaurants. It’s not about the bottle, the bottle is an afterthought: its minimal appearance and cryptic tagline “Gin for wellness” are probably not enough to stand out on what is now a really crowded shelf. They want to stand out as a gin, as a local affordable well gin [made in Chicago], not as a package on a shelf of gin.

Commendable, as I judge a spirit not by its wrapper [though some are very nice], but by what’s inside.

Tasting Notes

Strong nose, juniper, fennel, cubeb and a bit of pepper. Gin like, with a bit of an edge. The taste is very loud, even by gin standards. Juniper begins early, some lemon peel, citrus rind, and coriander. The spices begin to shine in the middle before coming out quite loudly in the finish. Fennel and licorice, with a finale that really brings a bit of heat. Long fennel seed note on the finish.

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Gin Reviews

Jodhpur Gin

Jodhpur Gin

Jodhpur Gin in the Bottle.

Jodhpur gin is an interesting specimen.  It is made in the UK, most likely at Langley according to my friend David. Secondly, the inspiration for the gin was the city in India. And finally, it’s a gin made for the Spanish market [at least if the entirely in Spanish twitter, facebook and the Gin Tonica focused instagram site is any indication].

But so what if it’s an India inspired, UK distilled gin for the Spanish market. How does it taste?

The (Old) Taste of India 

No, not the song, the city. Frankly, when I hear a gin is inspired by a city in India, I begin to think literally: cardamom, coriander, exotic pungent spices. But what often is forgotten in these literal recollections is that classic London Dry gin was often enjoyed in India. So rather than India being an inspiration for modern contemporary style gins, India conversely can be used as an inspiration for classic traditional styles. Just if you take that inspiration a different way….

The gin has a nice nose, gentle juniper and a touch of citrus. Warm, freshly ground coriander on the edges too.

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Gin Reviews

Bombay Sapphire

bombay sapphire bottle

Perhaps the single frequently requested gin review is this little number right here. I’ve mostly stayed clear of it out of respect. I know its a great gateway gin, and I give it a lot of credit for helping to show a generation of gin drinkers that gin can be more complex and have notes that are other than just juniper. If someone I meet says “yeah I drink gin,” odds are this gin is among their favorites. I’ve never really felt the need to critique or laud a gin who clearly doesn’t need me to waste type on them. This is the second most widely drank gin in the world today.

But here I am, giving into the call. I’m reviewing that gin which has turned I would guess millions on to gin, and a gin which I honestly will admit to being the first gin behind a bar that I recognized a decade ago as a gin that I could and would want to be seen drinking.


This is a Bombay Gin so of course the botanicals are clearly labeled on the bottle. This is another one of the revolutions in gin to which we owe Bombay some credit.

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Gin Reviews

Broker’s Gin

Broker's Gin Bottle

Firstly and foremost folks, this is the first review I’m doing custom for this new layout. What do you think of the bigger, higher-res images? Or do you prefer the tighter more focused bottle photos? Let me know in the comments what you think.

Now on to the gin. A classic that you’ve probably seen. It’s won a lot of awards, it’s an enduring name on the gin scene, and damn if that hat isn’t the classiest bottle top I’ve ever seen.

Tasting Notes

Very flavorful and very bright. Sweet bright citrus on the nose, and a bright dose of juniper as well. Possibly a hint of spice and florals around the edges, but it maintains a straightforward classical character.

The palette is hot and spicy juniper. A good deal of heat and warmth. 94 proof, enough to keep you toasty on a winter’s eve. Starts with a hint of juniper before the citrus aromas absolutely flourish. Nicely balanced with a slight sweetness akin to violet coming out, but it’s only slight. The fruit note here is well tempered and squarely in the sweet citrus camp. Juniper comes back for a second burst, this time bringing with it a hefty dose of heat and power.

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Gin Reviews

Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin


Some gins you have a really abstract name and you don’t quite know what you’re getting into. Abstract concepts, animals, words, geography. All good names in and of themselves, but they tell you little to nothing about the spirit. A lot of times that’s where I come in.

Knockeen Hills’ Elderflower Gin. You don’t need a gin expert to tell you that there’s elderflower in this gin. It says right on the bottle. I will assure you. There’s truth in titles.

Tasting Notes: Nose: bright summer elderflower, surprisingly prominent juniper. And a bit of heat. Coming in at a respectable 47.3% ABV that note doesn’t seem out of place.

Palate: Licorice out of nowhere. It’s of the ilk of black jellybeans. I went back to check the nose. Not a whole lot not to indicate where this was coming from. Licorice notes fade, and you get a mid palate floral note without the usual sweetness of most elderflower spirits. Juniper, sharp stabbing in the middle. The finish is with a distinctive faintly citrusy spiciness [coriander likely] and a bit more licorice and flowers. The finish is enduring and a bit hot.

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Gin Reviews

Port of Dragons 100% Floral


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.

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Gin Reviews

Southern Gin


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

Port of Dragons 100% Pure


It’s been said that if you want to really be on the forefront of innovations in gin that you don’t need to look to the UK nor the US, but instead to the Mediterranean Sea. There’s probably more types of Tonic Water (esp: Tónica) being made there than anywhere else in the world. And there’s at least as many new gins (esp: Ginebras) per capita coming out of Spain as the United States. So in saying this, the fact I haven’t reviewed any Spanish Gins as of late is a grievous omission on my behalf; but simultaneously a reflection of how few of these gins have made made it to stores in the United States, and how difficult it is to get these gins period. For example, Master of Malt (who stocks a couple Spanish Gins and ships to the US) shipping is another thirty dollars on top of the actual cost of the gin. Difficulties aside, you’re probably here to hear more about the actual gin.

Denominación de Origen All of the botanicals in Port of Dragons are of “certified origin,” which basically indicates that they come from a specific place and are of a certain quality.

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Gin Reviews

Ridge Distillery Silvertip American Dry Gin

ridge distillery

Kalispell, Montana.

I visited Kalispell just a couple of summers on my cross-country voyage. The scenery, the place, those mountains and that sky. They’re inseparable in my head. So when I hear the word “Kalispell” I immediately think of these things. And when I think of Ridge Distillery Silvertip American Dry gin, I think of northern Montana.

On Perceptions So like I said, I’m looking for glacial coolness. Mountain air. Fresh mountain flowers, and spry juniper. That sounds like a review already, right? I like to try and do these reviews in isolation. I don’t want to read what my colleagues have said. I try to ignore what the Beverage Testing Institute, Spirits Competitions, etc say. But they’re almost inescapable. A lot of times those lists are one of the ways I discover or learn about some of the great new gins that are out there. So let me say one thing that I found striking was the review written by the above mention Beverage Tasting Institute when they were faced with the gin in their 2011 tasting competition:

Aromas of red licorice, citrus cheese pastry and buttery peanut praline with a soft, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a zesty licorice and clove gum finish.

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