If I told you that in terms of volume, 1/7th of your bottle of Cream Gin is actually cream, you might say I’m crazy. After all, there’s no hint as to where thick white color of cream might be.
Cream gin is the result of cold distillation with the cream as an actual botanical. And it’s cold, so the cream is never heated and therefore never denatures or does whatever weird flavor things that burnt milk is wont to do. A throwback to the Victorian Era, Master of Malt tells us.
Suffice to say, the folks at Master of Malt have been experimenting left and right in the last year or so, releasing gin after gin.
Although I’m lactose-intolerant [I don’t think there’s any lactose sneaking through…is there? should I be packing some dairy pills?] I’m rather excited about Cream Gin. Let’s get down to business.
So how about this meck*?
The nose is a bit vanilla, with hints of citrus, juniper, and alcohol. Not very hot in terms of the alcohol, but it gives off a certain rubbing alcohol smell. The vanilla/cream odor dominates, but nowhere near as loud as you might expect it to be.
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Infusion gins have a sometimes unfair reputation. Talk to someone who’s been around spirits for a long time and the notion of an “infused gin” probably conjures up to the notion of an inexpensive “store brand” gin that has been infused with artificial flavors after distillation.
Fortunately this reputation is on the wane and the bar has been raised. For example, Tru2 Organic Gin has a golden hue from fourteen botanicals that been infused to create a bold, herbal, gin. Distilleries like Bendistillery really raised the bar for infusion gins with their excellent Crater Lake Gin. I’ve rambled about this reputation in the past, so I won’t continue here. But along comes the Professor Cornelius Ampleforth line of gins from Master of Malt which in the tradition of “Bathtub Gins”, continues to elevate the notion of what a compound gin can be.
The nose isn’t as strong in terms of alcohol as other Navy Strength Gins. Don’t get me wrong, you can tell its perhaps a bit overproof but on nose alone I wouldn’t be saying “57%” on guess alone. Lots of citrus, orange is strong. Cinnamon is the next botanical that is rather obvious on the nose.
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Considering the sheer mass and quality of gins that came out in 2011, 2012 has a nearly impossible standard to live up to. That being said, though I think there were fewer super-high-profile launches in 2012, there’s been several quite good ones. So to celebrate the end of the year that was in gin 2012, we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest, best, and more important launches of this past year.
American Dry Gin
Reviewed April 2nd
If you thought the New York distillery scene couldn’t support another gin, you would have been wrong. Though perhaps I’m biased because I live in New York, this was one of the higher profile names that came out this past year. Their cold temperature vacuum distilling and bright contemporary flavor set it apart and helped the gin earn its keep among the crowded craft gin shelves of New York city.
New Columbia Distillers
Green Hat Gin
Another one of the fairly high profile launches this past year was the first distillery in Washington D.C. since prohibition. The gin blogosphere was buzzing weeks before the launch with the information that we’d soon be seeing this gin on shelves.
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Terroir. Surely you’ve heard the term before. And if you haven’t, then surely I can’t have explained it any better than the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on the topic can. At the heart, the experiment that under pins the entire line of Origin Gins is “does the provenance of a botanical alter its manifestation in the final spirit product?”
And I for one think this is an excellent and under-noticed question. First, a digression as to why I think the experiment is timely, then we’ll get back to the Origin line of gins.
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