All Gins containing: Vanilla

Gin Reviews

Buss No. 509 Raspberry Gin

Buss No 509 Raspberry

We’ve reviewed some Gins from Buss Spirits before. This past June we took a look at their White Rain Gin (), but the Raspberry was the flagship entry in their Author Collection. Founder Serge Buss, best known for founding Bar Bounce in Antwerp, has since expanded the product range to include the aforementioned White Rain, but also a Peach variation as well. Bottled at a relatively low 37.5 ABV, first impressions have me thinking to expect a spirit with some liqueur like sweetness. The color is vivid, dark rose, with red hues that evoke the simultaneously the notions of fruit punch, but also [and unsurprisingly] raspberries. Let’s get past this book’s cover and get down to bussiness (ha! get it?)

Impressions

Tart berry, cucumber, and faint intimations of banana as well in the background.

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Gin Reviews

Buss No. 509 White Rain Gin

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Hailing from Antwerp, the folks at Buss Spirits began somewhat backwards as far as gin might go. They started with their Raspberry version and only later released their White Rain variation, which is herbal and more traditional with an emphasis on Belgian botanicals. In short, these guys specialize in flavored gin. Their base spirit is 100% grain and this gin contains juniper, coriander, licorice, angelica, vanilla, cardamom, iris, citrus, lemon verbena, and Marjoram. Yep, Marjoram. While indigenous to the Middle East, it’s been a part of European food culture for centuries. And gin culture since at least last summer when White Rain was released.

Impressions

On the nose, lovely rich classic gin aroma. I’m enamored with it, especially because just underneath the fresh herbal juniper and slightly citrus and heady coriander lift, there’s some green notes and rich spice in the under-story. Cardamom surely comes to mind at first but hints of iris and nutty vanilla as well, and leafy green, herbaceous intimations even below that.  Quite nice. It gets more contemporary as it warms, unraveling the complexities therein. Quite nice.

On the palate, it is most definitely contemporary in character.

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Gin Reviews

Hernö Juniper Cask Gin

Hernö Juniper Cask Gin

Every now and then, we see a gin which does something so crazy, it absolutely blows our mind.  Before we even get it into our glass.

When I hear about Herno distillery’s intention to age gin in a cask made out of juniper wood, I was absolutely boggled. Firstly, and pardon this preconception held by those of us who mostly encounter these small little garden variety junipers, with scraggly winding branches that peel and flake. All in all, I didn’t think you could do anything with the bark whatsoever.

The peoples of Europe have long used juniper; however, it wasn’t quite valued as a wood product. Juniper wood has issues with the way it knots, the type of grain, and its has only come back into vogue as a source of lumber due to technology which can mitigate some of these defects. Let me quote from sawmill which specializes in juniper some of the reasons why juniper isn’t usually used for casks, and can be cost-prohibitive to do so:

“The answer is to accept juniper for what it is.  It is beautiful, local and challenging.  It is not easy, normal or boring. 

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Gin Reviews

Hernö Navy Strength Gin

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This is the second gin from Hernö brenneri and the northernmost distillery gin distillery up in Dala, Sweden. We previously reviewed their 41% Swedish Excellence Gin.

Northernmost Navy What?

Q. If there was a Navy, let’s say hypothetically, would they be operating anything other than icebreakers?

A. Well, let’s dispel this notion. In theory, the nearest large city to Dala, Härnösand is known as a Harbor city, and its climate, while cool, is similar to Buffalo, NY. While this is the northermost gin distillery, it’s not so northern that a Navy – in theory – couldn’t operate out of the town where it is distilled. So dispel the notion that this is a spatial anachronism of sorts. On to the drink!

Tasting Notes on the World’s Northermost Navy Strength Gin The nose is a bit different than the lower proof batch. A little bit more emphasis on the floral, and a decidedly pronounced bit of heat. You can tell that this is going to pack some strength just from the scent.

The palette emphasizes some different notes as well. Up front, quiet on the lips. Takes half a second for the intensity to build.

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Gin Reviews

Hernö Swedish Excellence Gin

herno-swedish-gin

My love for the great white north of any continent has left me with a somewhat peculiar fascination for the “as far north as you can go” concept. I’ve spent hours pouring over sites such as the “Route de la Baie James” site counting the mile markers of the Transtaiga Highway through other people’s photographs.

So of course when a gin says it is made at the world’s northernmost distillery, you’ve caught my sense of fantasy.  Hernö gin is made in Dala, just outside the city of Härnösand, Sweden. Coat of arms right below.

Unusual Botanical Alert! Two botanicals not often seen in gin appear in Hernö gin.

Meadowsweet: Has a subtle. pleasant aroma, sort of similar to almond. Used in wines, jams and potpourri, but most pertinent to the gin Meadowsweet is traditional component of Scandinavian Meads. Lingonberries: also known as Cowberry in the states, this tart, currant-like berry is probably best known as the red jam sold in every Ikea everywhere.

Tasting Notes: a hint of juniper and an astringent berry-like flavor. Sweet smelling, not too intense. The taste is complex with an emphasis on fruity notes.

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Gin Reviews

Port of Dragons 100% Floral

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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

Port of Dragons 100% Pure

portofdragons100-pure-bottle

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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