Articles Tagged: 4 stars

Gin Reviews

The Gin Wife Reviews: Audemus Pink Pepper Gin

Hello friends, the Gin Wife here to talk to you today about a gin I happen to like very much! (Musical Flourish)

May I introduce Pink Pepper Gin, from Audemus Spirits out of France? Audemus states that there are Spanish pink peppercorns, juniper, and a variety of other spices in their gin. They suggest it served straight, or in cocktails.

First off – I love pepper. I put it on everything – salads, strawberries, meats, vegetables, etc. If it’s a food, I’ve probably tried to put pepper on it before. We own at least three or four pepper grinders, I sniff at pre-packaged peppers, and I’m aware that there are black, red, pink, and other varieties of peppercorns out there. I would get a tattoo dedicated to that wonderful, biting flavor if I could. So I felt like I was predisposed to enjoy this gin.

The first sip of gin had strong, but delicate, notes of peppercorn. (N.B.- pink peppercorns are not actually, well, peppercorns, but dried berries that resemble peppercorns in taste and appearance.) Juniper dawdled behind the peppery note, and it finished overall with some light hints of citrus.

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Gin Reviews

Tanqueray Malacca

malacca bottle wide

Sometimes I get so caught in this craft thing that I miss – well not quite miss- but fall behind on reviewing the gin that is the Zeitgeist. The gin de la moment. Tanqueray Malacca was hot news in late 2012-early 2013. Tanqueray brought back from the dead a gin which sold like ice to Eskimos a decade back. But I suppose now, as a gin drinking public, we’re more open minded to the idea that a gin- even a gin from a big name like Tanqueray- can lead with notes other than juniper.

Tasting Notes

Citrus on the nose at first. This certainly can’t be from Tanqueray, can it? Definitely doesn’t echo any of the other trademarks of the Tanqueray brand. Not a lot of juniper. Zesty, citrusy and bright. Lime and grapefruit predominantly.

The taste is robust but smooth. Citrus up front again, a tad bit of acidic tang. Lemon, and Grapefruit. The middle we get some baking spices, Cinnamon in the middle. The finish is perhaps the shining moment for this gin, you get a tad bit of juniper and a long creamy finish with notes of creme anglaise, specifically warm creamy vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

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Gin Reviews

Rob’s MTN Gin

rob's mountain gin

Rob as in Rob’s MTN Gin and Rob Masters a.k.a. the head distiller over at Spring 44 [whose gins have been reviewed on this blog before]. Rob has had his hands on more than a couple gins and has been a mainstay on the Colorado Distilling scene for nearly a decade now.

Of course I’m not the one to introduce you to Rob. His story has been covered, so if you want to get to know the man behind the name of Rob’s MTN gin check out this piece from Denver Off the Wagon.

Now that you know the name. Let’s get down to the spirit, because in his own words on his very own website, “it’s all about what’s in the bottle.”

TSTNG the MTN: Bright juniper on the nose, mild alcohol nose. Citrus. Very balanced with an almost single scent nose. A homogeneous balanced blend of botanicals. Very nice, very inviting. I’m excited to taste the gin based on the nose alone.

The palate is bright and nice. Plenty of juniper, but well balanced within the context of other flavors and notes.

Walking you through the taste:

    subtle bright, juniper begins.

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Gin Reviews

Dancing Pines Gin

dancing-pines-bottle

Another stop on our Spring tour-de-Colorado distillery tour, Dancing Pines Distillery makes a wide array of spirits. Some of which if I were not a narrowly focused gin writer I would love to talk about. [The Black Walnut Bourbon Liqueur? guilty pleasure city….]

Dancing Pines distinguishes itself with a refreshingly narrow list of 6 botanicals.

Dancing with Dancing Pines Gin: A nice bright nose, juniper and lemon along with a tinge of sweet but pronounced alcohol. The lemon borders on super sweet towards the end of the nose [although still very subtle], almost going in an Uncle Val’s sort of direction. Very bright, and aromatic. Interesting balance, not quite sure if the nose belies a contemporary or classic style gin.

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Gin Reviews

Golden Moon Gin

golden-moon-gin-bottle

Our next stop on the Colorado Gin Trail is Golden Moon Distillery, located in the foothills of  the Rockies.

Normally I like to keep it about the gin. But to understand this gin we have to briefly talk about the distillery’s founder, Stephen Gould. Stephen has immersed himself in centuries worth of distilling experience. For some of his other products, they are the result of years worth of research into old recipes and his interpretations. So when we take a look at Golden Moon Gin, we can first observe the perspective and foundation of the distiller and the distillery*.

On to the Gin Indeed** The nose is somewhat malty, warm and grainy with a slightly floral note augmenting a powerful dose of mint. The floral note is a tad like lavender, and it adds some color to this warm, malty, and almost earthy touch that it has upon first inhale.

The taste actually begins somewhat more classically styled than the nose might otherwise hint at. Juniper and lemon nip at the corners of the mouth at first, but you feel a menthol coolness slowly starting to rise. That’s going to be the mint which is going to dominate the mid palate character of the drink.

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Gin Reviews

Nolet Reserve

nolet-reserve

Special thanks to David over at Summer Fruit Cup who obtained me this sample of this rather rare, expensive, and unique gin. Without him, I’m not sure my travels would have ever taken me across this gin.So thanks again David!

The Story This is the “private reserve,” not to be confused with Nolet’s Silver offering, a rather floral, bright, and somewhat expensive [~$50/750mL] contemporary style gin. This gin is slightly golden and is the result of a myriad of botanicals, each separately distilled or macerated [depending on the ingredient] and then mixed together by hand, and personally tested by Carolus Nolet Sr. to ensure it being of the highest quality. Among the disclosed botanicals are  Verbena and Saffron [likely the source of the golden hue].

I only had a small tasting. So of course in this one case, I’m not going to be able to talk about cocktails. But when you spend $700 on a gin, this is surely a gin designed to be tasted neat and not mixed. So please forgive the omission in this one instance.

Tasting Rose Petals, honeysuckle and bright pungent floral aromas on the nose. A hint of juniper in the background, a touch of alcohol [104 proof, so not unexpected].

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Gin Reviews

Denver Dry Gin

denver-dry-gin

Often when we get talking about craft gin in the United States we inevitably get to talking about “contemporary” gin. Those “crazy,” “new western,” “new American,” “out there,” “not your grandpa’s gin,” and other such descriptors. Perish those terms from your mind now. Denver Dry Gin is none of those and a whole lot more. This is truly a craft gin for those who were raised on classic London Dry gins who might now be looking for a craft alternative.

Neat: Nose is bright, full of juniper, soft citrus and a touch of coriander. Nice, immediately recognizable as gin, and classic at that. Taste is remarkably smooth, quiet building juniper, a touch of earthy notes with bright spicy coriander and hints of lime. Finish is slightly warm, but never burning, smooth. Medium length juniper and citrus finish. Nicely balanced.

Mixing: Juniper comes out brightly and dominant in classics such as a gin and tonic. Highly recommend this for summer G&T’s for lovers of classic style gins. I was equally as impressed with its presentation in several other drinks. Makes for a very smooth, very pleasant martini. The bright citrus and coriander notes stand out, and is very easy to drink.

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Gin Reviews

Sipsmith Smoked Gin

Introduction [to the tune of “Stars of Track and Field”] Occasionally when you’re a gin reviewer such as myself you have the distinct pleasure of getting to try things which are not available. And may never be available. My good friend David over at Summer Fruit Cup, as many of you who follow me on Twitter know is my “hook up” so to speak for U.K. Gins which we can’t get over here.

Last summer, Sipsmith Smoked Gin was part of a package he sent me. I enjoyed the taste, but never quite got around to reviewing it. Lately I’ve had a renewed interest in smoked gins, I thought this Saturday night, listening to Belle and Sebastian it might be a good time to take a look at what exactly a smoked Gin can be.

Nose/Taste [To the tune of “Me and the Major”] Striking to me immediately is how the nose does not seem incredibly smoky. There’s a faint hint of something woody, but mostly a bright floral bouquet, revealing a gentle subtle juniper note. Cooked lemon and a hint of cardamom on the close. While I haven’t properly reviewed a Sipsmith gin, I can say with virtual certainty that the base for this must be their London Dry Gin.

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Gin Reviews

Gin Mare

gin-mare

If you asked me, “what is the hottest place for innovation in the gin spirit category,” I would obviously reply “The United States.” But suppose you asked me, “what would be the next hottest place for innovation in gin?” I wouldn’t even hesitate to say it is definitely Spain.

The contemporary gin movement is not limited to the states. It is alive and well on the Iberian peninsula, and as we’ll see with Gin Mare, this Mediterranean gin is wholly unlike anything I think I’ve had thus far.

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Gin Reviews

Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin

catoctin creek gin

Hailing from the watershed. Which is known as Catoctin Creek. Its waters are known to drain To the bay called Chesapeke.

And the distillers call Loudon County, VA their home Released a few years back a gin of their very own!

So they built their gin from scratch Up on a base of Rye! and the label says its organic! for which it is genuinely certified!

So what say you Aaron? what do you think of this gin? At 100 proof it brings its heat what kind of cocktails will you mix it in?

Enough with the Rhymes/Its drinking time! We’ll hang up our poetry hat for a moment and get down to business right here. The nose is a tad strawlike, notes or carraway and pepper, but with a hint of something a bit jam-like in there, giving off hints of hibiscus and blueberry. Very subtly floral, but predominantly grainy. It doesn’t quite have a white whiskey nose, but you can tell you might be in the neighborhood.

At 100 proof,you might be expecting it to a bit harsher than it is. True, while it brings a noticeable heat, it is still rather smooth.

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