All Gins containing: Orris Root

Gin Reviews

Candy Manor Gin

Candy-Manor-Gin

Price:  $31 / 750 mLABV: 40%Origin: Iceland Distiller:  Painted Stave DistillingAvailability: Delaware/Washington DC Rating: Heavy with the florals, it’s a bright contemporary styled gin rife with violet, lavender and spring meadow. Though some might be looking for a bit more juniper, it acquits itself well in summer staples like the Gin and Tonic or Gin Fizz, and is recommended to those looking for a floral summer gin.   (3/5)

The pinup model on the bottle calls to mind an intriguing tale of Prohibition era Smyrna. This one is probably best to just quote:

Story aside, Candy Manor gin is unabashedly contemporary style, proudly proclaiming their strong, and less traditional profile, distilled on a base from grain. But the distillers at Painted Stave are far from traditional. I’d suggest that they might be best known for their Scrapple Vodka; however.

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Gin Reviews

Lord Astor Gin

Astor-Gin

When I first picked this up last year, I naively, despite the name, didn’t realize this was the house brand at a Astor Place Wine and Spirits in New York City. Those of you who follow me on social media know that it’s one of my favorite liquor stores in the city and that I do often go there and I’ve extolled their virtues before. Little is shared about the details behind the gin. It’s 100% Grain neutral spirits [says the label], it’s distilled in England [says the label] in a copper still [says the website].

Designed to be of good quality at an affordable price, the appearance is simple enough, but how does it taste?

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Gin Reviews

East London Liquor Company, Premium Gin: Batch 2

East-London-Dry-Gin

As if a pioneer organism, the East London Liquor Company has brought distilling back to London’s East End for the first time in over a hundred years. The re-purposed glue factory that they call home is where they distill their rum, vodka and line of gins, which number three at the moment. They have their entry level gin and two premium gins. One features tea and the other (the subject of this review) takes a more herbal forward approach featuring bay, sage, fennel and the unusual winter savory. Closely related to the summer savory, it played yin to summer’s yang.

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Gin Reviews

Pinckney Bend Cask Finished Gin

Pinckney-Bend-Aged-Gin

Pinckney Bend Gin is designed around the concept that if each botanical is distilled and crafted individually, a distiller can bring out the best in it. Basket and vapor infusion? Maceration and high heat distillation? It’s all about what best expresses the ingredient they’re working with. This gin starts as their American Dry Gin before being rested inside used, white oak barrels.

Tasting Notes

The gin is a gorgeous goldenrod hue, shimmering with a bright, almost translucent golden color. Inside the bottle, it’s certainly one of the most attractive barrel aged gins I’ve scene.

The nose shimmers as well, with spice, coriander, hints of vanilla, orange rind, and white peppercorn cracked over creme anglaise sauce.

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Gin Reviews

Lee Spirits Co. Dry Gin

Lee-Spirits-Dry-Gin-Bottle

Lee Spirits Co. was founded in 2013, and their flagship gin is distilled on a hand-assembled stainless steel still; the botanicals are macerated for ten hours before being distilled. The botanical blend was perfected over 31 test runs, and while it doesn’t pull any surprised using seven of the eight most popular botanicals (Juniper, Coriander, Cardamom, Orange, Lemon, Angelica, and Orris Root), the range within every botanical can be immense. So never assume that the same botanical in the hands of a new distiller might taste like something you’ve had by ingredients alone.

Tasting Notes

The nose is quite lovely. Punchy citrus and orange, juniper with some piney notes forward, and a gentle green cardamom pod, freshly broken open, pushing forth a gentle Chai tea and vanilla cake note underneath it.

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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

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

St. George Botanivore

st-george-botanivore-gin

From a distillery that’s been in operation since the 1980’s, formally known for their Eau De Vie, the team of Jörg Rupf, Lance Winters and Dave Smith have helped propel the same distillery the frontline of the gin world, making a line of gins that is as well-respected as it is imaginative: the Dry Rye which wears the Rye base on its sleeve, the legendary Faultline Gin, and their “it tastes like Redwood trees, but in a good way” Terroir Gin.

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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

Spy Hop Distilled Gin

Spy Hop Gin Bottle

With extremely limited distribution, Spy Hop Distilled Gin, and the rest of the line which includes several other spins on the local fauna of the San Juan Islands are pretty much only available there. And by design too. By keeping their distribution radius small, they cultivate a local following, but also are able to experiment in ways, and on scales that a large scale distiller wouldn’t be able to.

Spy Hop gin is a study in the terroir of the San Juan Islands mashed up with a traditional, global, assortment of ingredients. Cardamom meet local lavender. Local barks meet lemon, orris root meet wild roses and so on.

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