Labeling is a problem. Let me explain. as is the case of Pierdas Almas +9 Botanicals. In the United States, one of the relics of the prohibition era laws written mostly for the ease of regulation than for the benefit of the customer is that “Officially,” a spirit may only be classified as one thing. So it doesn’t quite matter whether that spirit is technically both a Mezcal* and a Gin**. It can only be officially classified, and subsequently labeled as one thing.
All Gins containing: Orris
This limited edition Advent Calendar treat is brought to you through a partnership of the outstanding Southwestern Distillery and the folks at Gin Foundry. This exclusive run of only 250 bottles begins with the same 12 botanicals underlying their Tarquin’s Cornish Gin.
The Hedgerow Gin is a tribute to the 30,000 miles of its namesake which spread across the countryside, and play host to many herbs, flowers and weeds, which are familiar to the gin drinker: thistle? rose? sloes? Hedgerows were often a source of autumn fruit for residents of the British countryside. You can see evidence of this in the long tradition of Sloes [harvested after frost, mind you] and their addition to the world of gin.
Years ago. No, eons ago. We reviewed the Westbourne Strength () variant of Martin Miller’s gin, a spicier, warmer, stronger version of their original. The original has a dear place in my heart. It’s one of the gins that ignited the fire in me for the world of gin. It pushed the boundaries just enough to stand out from everything else behind the bar at that time, but it stayed within familiar confines enough to be clearly and readily identifiable as gin. Martin Miller’s gin is one of the forebearers of today’s contemporary style. Keep in mind, that this gin was on shelves back in 1999.
Not just any orange gin, the Seville Orange is worth a closer look as its not the orange you’re probably thinking of. But this kind of orange often does appear in gin.
Let’s begin: there’s a large class of oranges known as “bitter oranges.” These include the Chinotto [yes, the beverage], the Bergamot, and a famous variety known by its hybrid name which is also the signature orange/citrus flavor of Grand Marnier.
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.
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.
I’ve lived the quintessential East Coast dream on at least a couple of occasions. To point a car West and to to head towards the other coast, stopping at all of the incredible go-between and pass-throughs along America’s state highways, and religiously avoiding the interstate when at all possible. For me, Galena, Illinois holds a unique place for me. Along US 20, it’s the gateway in my mind, that breaking point between the dense urbanity and never-too-far-from civilization feel of the East/Great Lakes and the wide-open expanses of the middle. It’s the beginning of the “everything else.” So each time I’ve driven west, I’ve stopped in Galena’s historic downtown, walked along the Galena river, and Paused.
Galena is home to Blaum Brothers Distilling Company. Located right along the aforementioned US 20, two brothers have been designing spirits from the ground up since 2013. The grains are sourced locally, distilled on their handmade copper still. They have an as-yet-released Rye and Bourbon in the works, but as for now they have vodka, moonshine, and gin out on the market. The gin is based on a small number of botanicals, each distilled individually with their wheat/rye base spirit, before being blended to create the final product.
Gordon’s Gin hasn’t been reviewed yet? The world’s best selling brand of gin? It’s been around since the late 18th century, so the odds are if you consider yourself a good Victorian or American Transcendentalist, Gordon’s was already old enough to be your grandfather.
Odds are you’ve seen it. And if you’ve ever sought out cheap gin, you know it.
But I’ve never reviewed it. So let’s take a look at Gordon’s. Purportedly the best bargain in gin.
Nose/Taste The nose is quieter than I remembered it being. Citrus, primarily lemon and a good deal of juniper. Not quite overwhelming, and not off putting. I think it smells exactly as a London Dry Gin should. Good, solid, strong, traditional. Just the way we like it.
The taste is sharp. There’s a slight acidic tang, and lots and lots of juniper. Bright, spicy, and a citrus note. Less defined than on the nose, almost like coriander here. The palette dances with lots of juniper. Yes, this would be that “pine trees on fire” taste that some find so unlikable. But classic London Dry drinkers won’t find anything with to complain about here.