Articles Tagged: Steinhager

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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Gin Reviews

Schlichte Gin

schichte

Some gins are the perfect examples of their style. Plymouth is the classic example of Plymouth style gin and Schlichte is the classic example of the Steinhäger style. If you’re curious about the style’s baseline, we covered that a short while ago. This review is just about Schlichte.

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful earthenware bottle. It stands out among the other glass bottles in any gin section where it appears. It seems distinctly “old world” and “throwback” just as itself.

I opened, and the first thing I noticed was nearly nothing. No powerful aromas, just a subtle hint of gin. Its just as cool and throwback as the bottle itself. So far Schlichte has given away precious little of itself. I know that its triple distilled based on neutral wheat spirit and juniper berries, with a recipe dating back to the 15th century. But what else? On to tasting: will you reveal your secrets?

Tasting Sipping it neat reveals a distinctly different and unique among gin quality. Its remarkably smooth and simple. You taste the juniper and that’s about it. Technically that’s exactly what it should taste like too.

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Other Thoughts

Types of Gin: Steinhäger

The name Steinhäger is somewhat special among gin types. Among wines, there are many protected regional names such as Champagne, in which only Champagnes produced in the Champagne region of France can legally be called Champagne. This type of gin is also a European Union Protected Regional Name. Only gins distilled near the city of Steinhagen, Germany can be legally called Steinhäger gins.

This type of gin was relatively popular in the 19th century, but today only two distilleries in this region still make gin. Only one of these distillers makes a gin which is available in the United States.

Location of Steinhagen in Germany, via Google Maps

Flavor Profile of Steinhäger Gins The ingredients of this style are rather simple: Juniper. Nothing else. The distilled base is made from grains. It has a peculiar almost sweet taste. I’d say it differs strongly from the London Dry typical heavy juniper flavor. While I would say those are a little more “prickly” and “sharp,” the juniper in Steinhäger is  somewhat “muted” and “smoother.” Its an interesting parallel. Key to gin drinkers is that there is no citrus. The base is completely neutral.

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Cocktails

Cocktails for Christmas: The Douglas Fir Gimlet

I recently reviewed Clear Creek’s Douglas Fir Eau De Vie, and declared it “a perfect drink for the holidays.” So for Christmas 2011, we’re going to look at a few ways that other mixologists have put this liqueur to work.  Today’s Christmas cocktail is the Douglas Fir Gimlet as featured in the New York Times, as created by Audrey Sanders of New York’s Pegu Club.

The original recipe:

Douglas Fir Gimlet

1½ ounces Tanqueray gin ½ ounces Clear Creek Douglas Fir eau de vie ¾ ounces Fresh lime juice ½ ounces Simple syrup ½ ounces Homemade grapefruit syrup

Now this is a good recipe, but I made a few modifications. Firstly, the Grapefruit syrup is a necessity, but two kinds of simple syrup? Seems redundant to me. Secondly, Tanqueray is a fine gin, but I didn’t have it in stock. So I chose to make perhaps an unorthodox substitution and use Schlichte’s Steinhager style gin. Steinhager is all juniper and nothing else. I thought it would make a good supporting gin to emphasize the pine notes in this cocktail.

The Gin is In’s Douglas Fir Gimlet

1½ ounces Schlichte Steinhager style gin ½ ounces Clear Creek Douglas Fir eau de vie ¾ ounces Fresh lime juice 1 ounce Grapefruit Simple syrup*

My tasting Notes: Phenomenal cocktail.

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