Articles Tagged: 2 stars

Gin Reviews

New Amsterdam

new-amsterdam-bottle

The discussion around it on the internet seems to be alike “gin snobs don’t like it because of its citrus-forward approach. I’d like to dispel that notion first and foremost. The citrus-forward perspective is NOT a reason unto itself. Here at The Gin is IN we’ve prided ourselves in reviewing contemporary style gins as spirits worthy of discussion on their own merits. We don’t penalize spirits for having a different take on gin. Lacking in juniper alone is not grounds for a bad review.

This is a re-write of an earlier review I did of New Amsterdam Gin. I feel like in reading some of my writing from the beginning of the blog I didn’t give the gins as thorough of a treatment as my later ones. Given the enduring popularity of this gin, I’ve been dying to give it a proper review and treatment. The original version of this was written in 2010. So for 2015, I’m going to give New Amsterdam a second chance. A clean slate as you will. I’m going to review this gin as if I had never reviewed it. Without further ado, let’s begin as we begin every other review here.

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Gin Reviews

Seagram’s Lime Twisted Gin

seagram's 2

You’re probably familiar with Seagram’s Gin if you’ve ever bought gin in the states. Its rather ubiquitous. It also is the only gin brand I know of which has its hand in ready made drinks, flavored gins, aged gin and regular gin. Seagram’s Gins are designed to cover a whole range of tastes at a rather inexpensive price point.

This is the first time we’ve had one of their twisted gins in the lab for a taste test. First, I want to note what it says on the front of the bottle: “Extra Dry Gin with Lime Liqueur.” Basically they take their main gin offering, and infuse it with a lime liqueur. Interesting, seeing as how as far as I’ve tasted, there are not many lime spirits out there. Lime and gin go together quite naturally, so let’s see how this spirit brings it all together.

Tasting Notes

Nose is definitely gin like, good deal of citrus and some juniper. Smells a tad sweet, but clearly gin. Tasting it neat it begins with a bit of a gin like edge, citrus, juniper, and angelica. The lime comes in loud and clear about halfway through the tasting.  

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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

Most Wanted Gin

most-wanted-gin-bottle

One of the great parts of trying to review a gin from every state is that there is a little bit of the unexpected at work here. It didn’t take long to realize that distillers everywhere are getting creative in places where you might not have expected it at first glance. From the small city of Atchinson, 11,000 strong, a place best known for its ghost stories and haunted homes, High Plains Distilled Spirits opened and became the first distillery in Kansas since prohibition.

Though High Plains Distilled Spirits are probably best known for their award winning Most Wanted Vodka, which aims to provide a high quality vodka at an affordable price. Most Wanted Gin enters this space relatively unchallenged by other American distillers. While most microdistilled gins enter the space at around $30 for a 750, another writer said he was able to get 1.75 L for $20. Most places I see online list it as about $15 for 750 mL which is among the best deals around. So the price is good, but how does the taste stack up?

Tasting The nose of Most Wanted Gin is a little bit of juniper combined with a distinct alcohol scent.

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Gin Reviews

Corsair Artisan Gin

corsair-gin-bottle

Corsair Gin hails from a part of the United States that you might mistake for “bourbon country.” Corsair Artisan has two distillery locations: Tennessee and Kentucky. It may be that this unexpected location contributes some to the creativity in Corsair Gin. It boasts a rather unexpected array of flavors for a gin and shines in some rather unique ways.

We had the pleasure of tasting Batch 89 of Corsair Gin during our 50 States of Gin tasting. Let’s look a little bit closer.

A closer look, I mean taste. The nose is complex and interesting. The most prominent flavor I get is a deep, broth-like smell that makes me think of the way the kitchen smells when you begin heating up a vegetable stock to make some soup. Hints of citrus and a bit of sweetness strike you early, but not a whole lot of juniper. Interestingly enough, on the nose alone I’m not sure I would pick this out as gin. But that’s not to say it calls to mind comparisons to any other spirit out there, there’s not a vodka or a rum or even bourbon that boasts a similar nose*.

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Gin Reviews

Spirit of the Coquet: Myrtle Gin [10 Years Aged]

coquet aged gin

Today we have something special, something quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And perhaps, simply because it is quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen this gin should be something special and rather exceptional. At a time when aging gin is rapidly catching on, with several distilleries experimenting with their first batches often time aging gin for up to 6 months, but usually less it seems an astonishing find to come across a gin which is aged nearly 20 times longer than what would normally be considered “old age” for an aged gin.

And if this were a whiskey, imagine how much that might cost. if the average age of a good whiskey is 4 years, then to put this into scope, this is the equivalent of an 80 year old bourbon. Truly remarkable, right? And possibly quite expensive.

Except Aged gin hasn’t quite caught in that regard. So despite the length process what we have here is a remarkable oddity in the gin world: unique for its age. But let’s say we took it one step further, if you weren’t buying it for the age and novelty, might you buy it for 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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Gin Reviews

Hoxton Gin

Hoxton-Gin-Bottle

Hoxton Gin, if it were to be personified in a film, would be that kid who was born into a family of car salesman. Great grandfather sold Fords; Grandpa sold Fords; and his father sold his first Mustang a month before he could drive one. Undeterred by the specter of the family business hanging over his head and ten tons of expectations, the kid decides he wants to be a banker, an artist, a poet, or whatever. Its not the what that matters so much as the fact that he does something with his family name (still renowned for their cars) that’s as far from the auto lot as possible. Ladies and Gentleman, meet Mr. Hoxton. Hoxton gin that is.

Its reputation surely precedes it. I knew about this divisive spirit* long before I’d ever had a chance to taste it. There’s been many posts and impromptu twitter conversations that can be summed up in two words: “really? Conconut!?” To be fair, Hoxton doesn’t shy away from this. Their bottle warns you right from the outset. If you don’t like coconut and grapefruit, then you should stay away.

The Nose Bold and perfumed.

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Gin Reviews

Schlichte Gin

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Some gins are the perfect examples of their style. Plymouth is the classic example of Plymouth style gin and Schlichte is the classic example of the Steinhäger style. If you’re curious about the style’s baseline, we covered that a short while ago. This review is just about Schlichte.

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful earthenware bottle. It stands out among the other glass bottles in any gin section where it appears. It seems distinctly “old world” and “throwback” just as itself.

I opened, and the first thing I noticed was nearly nothing. No powerful aromas, just a subtle hint of gin. Its just as cool and throwback as the bottle itself. So far Schlichte has given away precious little of itself. I know that its triple distilled based on neutral wheat spirit and juniper berries, with a recipe dating back to the 15th century. But what else? On to tasting: will you reveal your secrets?

Tasting Sipping it neat reveals a distinctly different and unique among gin quality. Its remarkably smooth and simple. You taste the juniper and that’s about it. Technically that’s exactly what it should taste like too.

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Gin Reviews

Seagram’s Extra Dry

seagram's extra dry

Seagram’s Gin is the best selling gin in America; therefore it warrants a closer look. I know that immediately it embodies one American virtue: thrift. This may be the only gin I review that I can tell you with confidence, “yes, they do sell it at Walmart.” In fact, this gin could be the next entry in my “It came from the Bottom Shelf” series. But although widely available we’re interested if the taste lives up to the hype. Does it warrant being the best selling gin in America.

But first, an Experiment! At a recent party I held a blind taste test for two of my friends. Both are gin drinkers who are familiar with gin and this blog.  I offered them each two plastic party cups. One contained Seagram’s Dry; the other had Oxley. I asked them both “which one do you think was the more expensive gin?” Both chose Seagram’s.

So does that mean that Seagram’s is a better gin than Oxley?!

First Scent If I did not know already the cost of this gin, I likely would have thought based on scent alone that this was a rather good gin.

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