Articles Tagged: Canada

Gin Reviews

Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22

Dillons-Unfiltered-Gin-Bottle

We’ve talked a bit about Dillon’s work before, reviewing a few months ago their quite excellent Cherry Gin (). Whereas their Cherry Gin [among a couple others from their lineup] use a Rye base, their Unfiltered 22 is something of a change-up, an ode to the Niagara Peninsula where grapes and wine are among the regions’ specialty. Using a local grape base, gives this gin a bit more of a French touch, and puts it among some pretty lofty company with gins like G’vine Floraison (), Seneca Drums (), who also hail from famous wine regions and who use the local grapes.

The team vapor distill their gin and do not filter it, so that it retains more of the essential oils from the botanicals.

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Gin Reviews

Long Table Bourbon Barrel Aged Gin

Canada - Long Table Aged Gin

The distillers at Long Table Distillery [among Vancouver’s first btw] take their classic London Dry Gin and age it in 30L oak barrels, formerly used to hold Bourbon. Their Bourbon Barrel Aged Gin is a limited edition spirit, with a pleasing goldenrod hue to it. It. Alike their other gins, this one rests on a foundation of botanicals from wild and other sources around the world, and has been distilled on their 300 L copper pot still.

Impressions

Lemon and white grapefruit zest on the nose, with buttery, wood laden notes just underneath. Cinnamon toast notes of butter, cinnamon sugar and even caramel. Really melds some of the olfactory character of both bourbon and gin. A lot to like here.

The spirit itself has a nice viscosity, and the aromatic character evolves steadily and gently on the palate. There’s also a heaviness to it that’s quite nice. Twisted lemon zests, crisp oak, flaky pastry and silky vanilla notes. Pine-laden juniper comes on toward the finish along with a touch of fennel. The finish is medium in length with a nice warmth, accompanied by a late hint of mintiness and anethole.

Quite nice on its own, it shows a lot of promise as a mixer.

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Gin Reviews

Okanagan Gin

okanagan-gin-bottle

Okanagan Spirits Distillery’s flagship gin is distilled from 100% British Colombia grown fruit, not grain on their copper pot still. Using local spring water they cut the spirit before re-distilling with coriander, spruce, rose and of course juniper. They do a wide array of spirits in addition to gin. including Aquavit, Brandy, Absinthe and Vodka.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, spruce buds, musky rose, grain, some green juniper, and coriander. There’s a grainy/fruit brandy background note present as well. Not quite over the top enough to signal that this is obviously using a fruit base rather than grain, but it does add something to the nose creates a warm aura around the spirit.

The spirit is smooth and warming, though the spirit itself does feel a bit thin as it passes over the tongue. Whisper quiet at first, spruce shoots, orris, violets turn rose-like a bit later. Piney juniper evolves to be a bit more resinous on the finish. Tree sap, lemon, and a scintilla of caraway usher in a finish with grain and a faint touch of fennel stalk. Relatively short finish.

Spruce seems to be the dominant pine character of this gin, lending it a boreal forest freshness, however, the juniper is very much in the background and something you have to look closely for.

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Gin Reviews

Endeavour Gin

endeavor-gin-sample-bottle

From the distilling hotbed of the Pacific Northwest, Endeavour Gin comes from the Liberty Distillery on Granville Island in Vancouver. Founded in 2010, it took four long years before the still was running and the spirits were pouring. Their gin is built on a base of local wheat, completely triple distilled on site on their copper stills and diluted with local water. Keeping with the spirit of local, their gin uses vapor infusion and twelve carefully selected botanicals on that same copper pot still.

The folks at the Liberty Distillery have been quite experimental with gin since their opening. They also have an Old Tom and a West Coast riff on traditional gin featuring 25 local botanicals. Hopefully we can get our hands on one of those soon, but for now here’s our impressions of their primary gin offering.

Impressions

The nose is warm, slightly floral with a some grassy, wheat lined underpinnings. Floral strawberry and lemon notes on the nose, honeysuckle, spring pollen, and a hint of licorice. The palate is rich, with red grapefruit,  black peppercorns, and a licorice. Juniper comes on strongly mid-palate with still a bit more citrus.

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Gin Reviews

Touchwood (Oaked Gambit Gin)

touchwood-pinup

Lucky Bastard Distillers’ combine a pin-up girl aesthetic with puns about “wood” [wood, as in what’s its aged in!] for all of their barrel aged spirits. But they’re not just about the bawdy jokes. Acute attention to detail and local character set their spirits apart and give them a distinctly “Saskatchewan” character. Their spirits are small batch, the ingredients are local and organic. The spirits have appreciable depth of character. Their aged gin uses their contemporary Gambit Gin as a base spirit [which features Saskatoon Berries, more on that in a moment], and then rest it in oak.

Saskatoon Berries? In the states, these small, blueberry shaped berries are known as “Juneberries,” and even before that they were known as Pigeon berries. Often a feature of prairie underbrush, these small (<20 ft tall) bushes grow across the prairies of the Northern United States and along the Rockies all the way through the Yukon up into Alaska. These small “wild” tasting fruits weren’t able to be grown commercially until only a few years ago. Demand is high, in part due to their prominence in local heritage cuisine such as Pemmican, jams, and even beers, but also due to their positioning by growers as the latest “superfruit.” Watch out pomegranate and acai!

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Gin Reviews

Shiver Gin

shiver-gin-bottle

We return to the great white North, strong and free! for yet another gin that we found while on our Canadian vacation. Though from the same distributor [and distillery as far as we can verify], Shiver Gin is markedly different than Iceberg Gin, in both presentation [a simple bottle] and flavor [well, you’ll see].

In our own <100 words

Shiver’s minimalist appearance tells it all. Shiver gin is about being environmentally friendly [recyclable bottle] and keeps the focus squarely on the gin. The water is pure [highlighting Newfoundland and Labrador’s greatest resources] and it factors prominently in the literature on the product. The vodka underneath this gin is quadruple distilled. But other than that there’s not a lot of story on this product. It’s just an inexpensive gin in a plastic bottle. Or is it?

Tasting Notes

The nose is pine, juniper, angelica with some lemon and orange notes. The low notes also lean towards the citrus with a slightly floral tweak. Pleasant notes of baking spice. Bright and fresh. Upon first nosing, it dispels the notion that the bottle defines its contents. Its nose is much more complex and inviting than you’d expect based on the graphics, labeling, and bottler material alone [don’t judge a book by it’s cover].

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Gin Reviews

Iceberg Gin

Oh Canada!(ian) Gin. Today we head back to the things we tried on our vacation to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. This gin isn’t from PEI or NS, but it is found readily in both provinces. This is the first of two spirits we have that are distilled by the Newfoundland and Labrador liquor corporation, both managed through Rock Spirits [which also makes the somewhat more famous Crystal Head Vodka, Dan Akroyd’s brand which has garnered a fair amount of recognition over the years].

In our Own <100 Words

If you buy the hype that water makes a difference, Iceberg Gin is completely predicated on this fact alone. Ed Kean [in a story covered by the Wall Street Journal] goes out and hunts down icebergs. And then he melts them. And sells them to companies like those who make Iceberg Gin. The evidence for claims of purity might not be front and center, but certainly the romance is.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, it’s clear and somewhat flat. Probing a little bit more, we get a touch of rose water and sweet berry pie. Very subtle, with juniper lying even further down in the mix.

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Other Thoughts

International Gin: Canada Edition

Hello friends.

It’s the gin wife, here today to speak about a recent vacation to Canada, and the gin-inspered fervor it inspired. (In Aaron, that is, I was more interested in all the flavors of chips and saying “Washroom” instead of “Restroom”.) We visited Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island – you should as well, reader! They are fun places.

Poutine is delicious.

But it was on that trip that I realized the Gin Never Sleeps. The urge to seek out the locally made gins runs deep – so deep that I’m fairly certain in a week and a half we visited 6 liquor stores. (You are welcome, the tax gatherers of Canada. We support you.) We obtained five Canadian gins, which Aaron will be discussing in detail in the coming days: Ungava (which he has apparently already reviewed in the past, but now he has his very own big bottle), Prince Edward Island Gin, Shiver Gin, Lemon Gin, and Iceberg Gin.

There is no rest for the gin taster.

Until Aaron can fill you in on the details, I will give you a brief set of opinions on the gin from my very own, supertaster palette regarding the last three gins in the list.

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Gin Reviews

Strait Gin

strait gin bottle

For today’s we review we look to our [my] Northern neighbor, Canada. It too has seen a surge in microdistilling and craft spirits in the past decade. The Myriad View Artisan Distillery has been in operation since 2006 and was Atlantic Canada’s first gin distillery. Their gin is based off of the triple distilled Strait Gin with a series of international botanicals added to a fourth distillation in their copper pot still.

The bottle proudly says “London Dry Gin” with a picture of London bridge in the background. So I’m expecting something classic right from the get go. Let’s open it up and see….

Taste A nice bit of spice on the nose, a good deal of juniper. Juniper, lemon, as well as notes of cinnamon and sweet baking spices. Nice, but not straight forward classic.

The taste has a bit of heat, bottled at 51%, this is not surprising. But the flavor is nice and well balanced: Lemon and baking spices at first on the tip of the tongue, a rising bit of heat. Pleasant and warming but nicely balanced. The flavors are clear but not too loud. Juniper is most clearly characterized here in the mid notes, and the finish begins with heat fading, a warm hint of vanilla and almond, creamy spice on the close.

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Cocktails

What do I drink for? Canada Day

Well we here at The Gin is In celebrate craft distilling and gin in general. And lately we’ve been super focused on the United States. Partly because that’s where our offices our located: sunny New York City!

But if we hearken back to my childhood, you might be surprised to know that I could see Canada from my porch*

So considering when I was younger that as teenagers [young teenagers, if I recall correctly] we could just walk over the bridges, spend an evening in Clifton Hill and come back. I’d go to concerts in Toronto several times a year. All of the people in Buffalo who have vacation home [Buffalonian “Cottage”] had them up in Canada. Crystal Beach, Point Colborne, Wasaga Beach and so on. When we went to the beach, we went to Canada. [all in those wonderful pre 9/11 days, now Canada is seriously treated like another country] I remember walking over the bridge to see the Tea Party at the Friendship Festival, a celebration that commemorates our nations’ friendships and the fact that our national holidays come the same weekend. So since I paid tribute and offered drink suggestions for Independence Day this year, today my close friend to the North.

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