Proclaimed on the bottle as the “best of both worlds, east and west,” Bobby’s Gin is based on a recipe of Jacobus, better known as Bobby, Alfons. Eight botanicals are each distilled on their own before being blended together to create his namesake gin.
But Jacobus’s story is an interesting one. An immigrant, he was born in Indonesia. Raised on the vibrant spices which once drove the Dutch to the Indies during the 17th and 18th century spice trade, he fell in love with Genever and began playing around with infusions, pairing the spices of his youth with Dutch spirits, just as the Dutch did long ago.
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Aaron’s Note: This was a very early batch of Death’s Door Gin. Some have told me that the formula since these early batches has changed significantly. This review is based on the bottle I bought back in early 2010 and reflects the product and batch I had at the time.
The Botanical Gin revolution is alive and well. I applaud it. Anything that gets people out and talking about gin, or better yet— experimenting boldly with gin is a good thing. Generally, I think a lot of good things have come out of these experiments. There are more delectable varieties of gin out today than I’ve ever seen before. But every now and then, I taste a gin that doesn’t work.
Death’s Door is another gin from the United States, made in Washington Island, Wisconsin (map here, because I didn’t know where that was either) entirely from native botanicals grown on the Island. The gin also fits into a larger picture of local farmers working to promote keep the agricultural community going and to show off the flavors of the great lakes region. This is all great stuff, and really exciting stuff.
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I mentioned at a party over the weekend that I had bought Saffron infused gin, and the reaction was an assortment of “really?!”, “I don’t think that goes together,” and “I’m skeptical but I’ll try it anyway.”
I’m on board with all three reactions to an extent.
First up is the color. It looks something like a children’s drink resembling Pedialyte or those orange hugs. I had the same sort of cognitive dissonance when drinking the Tru gin. If my Gin and Tonic isn’t crystal clear, it doesn’t feel like a gin and tonic.
As for the taste it goes surprisingly well in a gin and tonic, but prepare not to fully experience the saffron. In a gin and tonic, the saffron and fennel come through, but in a balanced manner. There’s a strange sweet taste- not bad, just strange, almost as if there was already simple syrup in the gin. Despite the sweet undertone, this gin does not go well in a Tom Collins, Martini nor in any other drink that has a strong sweet or sour component. The flavors seem to clash with one another. Dare I say, I found the perfect gin for a Churchhill Martini, or even to be sipped on the rocks.
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