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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As part of the “50 States of Gin” weekend we made two special visits to New York City area distillers who have developed their own versions of two variations on gin. The first is “Aged Gin” and we visited with Brad Estabrooke whose hopes to have an aged variation of his flagship Glorious Gin out soon. The second visit was with New York Distillery for a look at Navy Strength Gin.
Legal Department Here, thought we should point out that Gin is different from other spirits in that it is not permitted to talk about “age,” “years” or an “aging” process.
That is quite technically correct. In the strictest sense of the guidelines for gin, “age” is not considered an aspect of the spirit, and therefore how it is handled in terms of bottling, labeling, and selling is subject to a different level of scrutiny. So if anyone asks, when I say “Aged Gin” you tell the lawyers I’m saying “New Oak Flavored Gin.” Back to the show.
Oh and one more note, every gin will also get their own dedicated full review quite soon too.
Roundhouse Gin from Colorado. It was rather smooth, and was perhaps my favorite of the tasting.
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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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