Articles Tagged: philosophy

Philosophy

…back by popular demand

Gin pentagon

We know we’ve been a little quieter around here, and there’s some good reasons for that [more on that soon!]. But for now we’ve made one major update…

Back by popular request, we’ve added the Gin Flavor Pentagon back to each and every gin review page. Our Philosophy hasn’t changed. But we added back the visualization that so many of you have told us you found helpful.

Cheers!

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Other Thoughts

How I do Gin Reviews

Over the years, a few people have asked me a bit about “how I do my reviews,” so as I prepare to do a review on Bombay Dry Gin, I thought I’d take you on a bit of a tour of what the actual tasting process looks like.

I think it’s exceptionally important to look at every gin from two perspectives: the characteristics that every gin has in itself. This I look at by tasting every gin neat, although I recognize a majority of readers do not prefer their gin neat. Secondly, I look at the way it reacts with ingredients in other cocktails. I do cherry pick a little outside of the few that I always try: Martini, G&T and Negroni. Other cocktails are chosen because I think they might challenge the gin [force it outside its comfort zone a bit] or might really highlight something the distiller was trying to bring out in the gin. Cocktails are important because that is how most gin is drank, but they also are the hardest to accurately describe. I try and keep it at the level of “how does it highlight the gin,” rather than “what notes are given off as part of overall affect.” This is because I’m reviewing the gin, and and because if you and I make an Aviation.

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Other Thoughts

On Reviewing

Dear Readers,

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my reviewing philosophy. But right now this isn’t about ratings or the pentagon rating system. This time it’s about being more up front about where my gins come from.

For a long time I’ve said, “assume all of my gins are samples.” I do get many gins sent to me. Many are from distillers or marketing agencies. Other gins that are sent to me come through my friend and co-author of The Craft of Gin David T. Smith who many of you I think know as the man behind Summer Fruit Cup.

If I tried to break it down, I would say 50% are samples from distillers. about 20-30% are from David [who sometimes get them directly from distillers, but most often since he lives in the UK has access to many European gins I do not, at least not easily] And the remaining percentage I bought myself.

But I’ve had a few readers ask me about my biases. Honestly, I think it’s a fair comment. I started writing when I bought 100% of the gins myself, and my ability to review was limited to my income and how much space and income @theginwife would let me devote to my hobby.

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Philosophy

Experiment: The Gin Flavor Map

Gin Flavor Map 2013

What we have here is a small experiment in trying to categorize the types of gin on a chart which shows their relationship to one another. The top/bottom axis is the classic/contemporary distinction. The left and right tries to distill the ideas of “complexity” and “perceived spiciness” into a continuum.

It’s still a bit of a work in progress, but I welcome your feedback.

I think the relationships are pretty good. I tried to stick to a few classic points of reference that everyone knows, and then use gins that I’ve reviewed in the last two years: so gins which are still somewhat fresh in my mind, and gins for which I have extensive tasting notes as to accurately place them.

Click on the graphic to see the full-size version. 

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