Naturally, when there’s 30+ gins to be tasted it cannot be done all at once. As much as we’d like to try, to do a proper tasting our livers and mental capacities just couldn’t take it. So in order to give every gin a proper tasting and a fair shot, we spread it out into 6 mini tastings over the course of a long day. So as promised, here’s a recap of what we tasted side by side and with what– and I’ll share with you my top two from each heat.
For full gin reviews of every gin covered in the 50 States of Gin tasting, you’ll have to stay tuned to the Gin is In this fall. If my first post was the 10 miles high overview, this is the one from 50,000 feet. The full reviews will be on the ground: up close and personal.
Heat #1 ///
The Participants: Dogfish Head Jin from Delaware [the nation’s first state, I’m sure you see where we’re going with this], Pennsylvania’s Bluecoat Gin, Southern Gin from Georgia, Gale Force Gin from Masscahussetts and finally, New Hampshire’s Karner Blue gin.
Overall a strong opening.
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Again, the cocktail show hit the road for the weekend. My friend happened to pick up a new Tonic Syrup that I had not yet had the pleasure of tasting.
There’s a great story about who Jack Rudy was. I won’t ruin it for you, but suffice to say that you can’t help but smile a bit while reading it. Probably not the character behind the syrup that I might have expected, but the syrup really does stand on its own.
Interestingly enough, I found it to be a stark contrast from some of the other tonic syrups I had. The flavor is mild, more herbal. There isn’t that strong bitter note on the palette that other tonic syrups might have. There was a warm lemongrass and citrus flavor that reminded me a little bit of the notes in Fentiman’s Tonic Water. What is rather unique, especially among tonic syrups, is that Jack Rudy’s syrup has a layer of sweetness. I felt that it was a bit out of place when sipping the syrup straight (as I do, I take my tasting it quite seriously). I wanted a little bit more of the emphasis on the quinine and a little bit more bitterness.
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We took our cocktail tasting show to the road this past week for our friends’ wedding. While my wife did the things required of a member of the bridal party, my friend and I put the time to good use. We brought a selection of high quality cocktail ingredients nearly 600 miles so that in a Rodeway Inn in Wooster, Ohio we could see once and for all which ingredient we felt worked best in the Corpse Reviver No. 2: Cocchi Americano or Lillet.
The Debate Rages On
I’ve entertained this debate on my blog before, and plenty of other writers have weighed in on this similarly:
OhGo.sh did a similar study about 3 years ago, The New York times weighed in on Cocchi’s emergence in 2010, Serious Eats and the Tasting Table have also weighed in. In fact, I’ve speculated on this before as well.
I want the TL;DR version
Okay, if you don’t want to read the posts and articles above, here’s the background. Kina Lillet is no longer made, some say it was more bitter, while the Brand holds that today’s is nearly identical, simply more “palatable.
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