Gin Reviews

New Amsterdam

Ed’s Note: One of my least popular reviews: And to think, I only gave it a 2.5! Here’s the thing: it doesn’t really taste a ton like gin. But in the context of the contemporary distilling movement where there are many non-juniper forward gins out there, it isn’t completely out of place. It’s inoffensive, it’s bland. Although perhaps this rating is a tad higher than I might have given it in 2014, I’m not going to re-review it because I don’t think the formula has changed enough to warrant another look. If you want a citrus forward gin that tastes like gin, look for something like Bluecoat or Pinckney Bend. If you’re looking for something cheap and don’t care if it tastes closer to citrus vodka than gin, this is your answer. -
-Aaron 1-20-14

I don’t want to give the impression that I have a “top shelf” bias. I do drink all gin. This gin was lovingly brought to me by a friend who brought it for a dinner party we had a few months back. Thoughtfully, she brought the 1.75 liter bottle because a lot of us drink gin.

The taste of New Amsterdam is surprisingly clean. It may not be as smooth as some of my favorites like Miller’s, Hendrick’s or G’vine; it is smoother than Beefeater or Tanqueray. It goes perfectly well in a gin and tonic and is complimented nicely with a small amount of lime, owing chiefly to its largely neutral flavor. Gin drinkers might be surprised by New Amsterdam as the juniper is nearly absent in its flavor, and that might be biggest issue with it. It almost doesn’t taste like gin.

I said “almost,” and this is where New Amsterdam’s neutral- the slightest hint of orange or lemon flavor, becomes its biggest strength. It is the perfect party gin as it goes well in nearly anything.  I wouldn’t use it with a high quality mixer, but at at a party, it works well with sour mix to make a decent Tom Collins. With an inexpensive Vermouth, its smoothness makes it a good party martini. New Amsterdam is versatile, inexpensive, and is one of the few gins that you could probably substitute for Vodka in mixed cocktails and not immediately detect the difference.

The overall verdict is that for the price, there’s few gins more well-suited to being on the table at a party.

Price:<$15 for 750ml; 1.75 liters often for under $30
Best consumed: With Tonic in large groups of indiscriminate gin drinkers
Website: http://www.newamsterdamgin.com/
Availability: Everywhere.
Rating: Definitely passable
(2.5/5)

21 thoughts on “New Amsterdam

    Auntie Agent

    Tried it once and never again. It lacks any body and had vanilla notes. Definitely, not something gin should have. Its price continually drops at BevMor.

    daniel

    bought a bottle and poured a chilled bit over a few olives. Sat back, took a sip and spit ip out. Way too much orange for a gin, really just a flavored vodka.

    fsc

    I have to agree with Auntie and daniel. I hated this so-called gin. Recommended at my favorite liquor store as one of the most “drinkable” low-cost gins. It does not taste like gin to me: I could find no juniper, which is an appealing, compelling, necessary aspect of what I expect and cherish in my gin.

    Murray

    I drink a coule of gin and tonic most nights of the week. Sure it has a citrus taste but that’s why we normaly add the lime! I actually love this gin. It’s simple and a little tangy also at a very reasonable price. At my stage in life I can afford to drink any gin I want to but I am also a scots man! And this works for me.

    Mike

    I tried this “gin” a few years ago, too. I failed to detect any juniper at all. If someone had served it to me on the rocks, or mixed with a little bit of club soda, I would have assumed that it orange vodka. Tasty orange vodka. Lousy gin. :-)

    MDubs

    Too sweet, metallic, and lime makes it worse. Will never get it again.

    Spike

    In addition to too much work, 2013 has been a great year in that I have been conducting a lot of “research” about which gins please me. I must say that New Amsterdam was one of my least favorite. In fact, as others have said, it tastes like flavored vodka. What was even worse, at least for me, was that the orange flavor tasted very artificial, almost like cheap hard orange candy. So if I were ordering a lower priced gin, I would look elsewhere.

    Petulant Frenzy

    No juniper at all. It hardly even tastes distilled with actual plant material. Rather it tastes like a vodka that has been artificially flavored with orange essence. And at that, the orange essence tastes synthetic.Thats the nose. The neutral spirit is clean and does not have any off residual flavors of the GMO corn it was probably produced with.

    Ben D

    This was the gin that convinced me that I preferred “traditional” London style dry gin. Awful. Luckily I bought a mini-bottle to sample. Had I paid for the 750ml bottle, even at it’s bargain price, I would’ve been mad at myself. If price is a concern, I’d go with the Gordon’s every time.

    Aaron

    Ben I completely understand. I’d hope you wouldn’t write off non-traditional gin on the basis of just this one. It’s not really a good example of the style, and definitely doesn’t do justice to the distillers who try to create new flavors while keeping juniper in the background. This is a gin for folks who don’t like gin, plain and simple.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

    Aaron

    Spike, thanks for the comment. I think you’re right. It is probably closer to vodka than it is to gin. Among lower priced gins, it’s probably the only one that embraces a note other than juniper-forward, but I don’t think that really justifies it fully. It could be better, and many gins have done well going full-force with the orange note. But not quite here.

    Ethan C.

    Well, let me be the one person who actually likes this gin. It makes a very good martini — though better with a lemon twist than an olive, to complement its citrusy flavor. In my opinion, it’s unbeatable for its price point. And I agree with the review, that it’s more accessible than other cheap gins, which basically just taste like juniper and alcohol and nothing else.

    notgoingtorememberthis

    THAT’S THE POINT! THERE IS BARELY ANY JUNIPER! If we start defining gin by it’s juniper content, then we have become shallow “gin elitists.” Take it for what it is and get over yourselves. If you don’t like it, don’t drink it. But don’t point out the obvious and call it a flaw.

    Dan

    Marvelous; absolutely loved it.

    Marc

    I’ve always liked gin, and tangueray was my go to. I’m 30, somewhat inexperienced with the stuff and new tangueray was decent (as per Snoop Dogg). so, I was low 9 funds one day and saw this New Amsterdam stuff. Is it Tangueray? No. Is it decent, at $20 for 1.75? Hell yeah! Great gin for a non-connoisseur light on funds.

    onsitestudios

    I had to buy a new bottle of Bombay Sapphire for the house. It was $40 for a 1.75 ml bottle and right next to it was New Amsterdam for half the money, so I bought both figuring someone will drink it when we have parties if we didn’t like it.
    My biggest fear before I tasted it was that it would be harsh or “oily”. If anything, I found it a bit “lacking”. It’s fine in a G&T. Yes, I prefer the Bombay or Hendricks (it was $55 for the 1.75 ml bottle).
    I’m going to put some of the New Amsterdam in a container and drop in a few juniper berries from the yard.
    Now all this talk of gin has me hankering for some nice, smokey single malt.

    John

    I’m bummed that I didn’t read these reviews earlier. My G&T tastes like an orange creamsicle:(
    Smells like it too. Has this awful artificial orange smell to it. Wish I hadn’t bought a 1.75l bottle of it. Should have followed my instinct when I read “modern American Gin”.
    Waste of money.
    It will just have to sit in my cupboard until I can pass it off at a party as a “generous” donation.

    Greg Cremer

    Wow! My favorite Gin reviled. I love, love, love Hendricks, and always have a bottle in my “private reserve”. But I find that New Amsterdam is a very refreshing after work gin with my favorite tonic water. I’ve always found it amusing that the “place your beverage, automobile, motorcycle, tourist-trap or what-have-you” snobs always have to try to polarize the rest of the public into thinking that somehow, thou art better than I. Well, if it it makes you feel better, fine, go for it. But snobs are snobs, and it appears that they abound. As a wise sage once said: “Opinions are like ass-holes, everyone has one”. That’s not to say that I found the review overly un-fair. It was a 2.5 out of 5 on the snob scale. But the comments that followed were like a bunch of lemmings headed for their top-shelf gin-induced dive off the snob cliff.
    Cheers!

    Bill

    Thanks for generating such a great discussion.

    I’m fairly new to cocktails and just getting my “feet wet.” I brought home a bottle of New Amsterdam this evening and we’re in the process of our own experimentation.

    The entire debate seems to focus on style. London dry vs. American. Historically I would agree with @Ben D but I’m willing to give New Amsterdam a stab. I’m not expecting Juniper, so we’ll see what happens.

    Cheers!

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