Articles Tagged: Texas

Gin Reviews

Genius Gin (Navy Strength)

Genius Gin Navy Strength Bottle

We were quite a fan of Genius Liquids’ Genius Gin when we tried it last year. We also got a bottle of their Navy Strength variety, so this is a long overdue look at that gin. It shares a lot in common with the 45% variety, so for details on Genius Liquids’ unique process we suggest checking out last summer’s review of Genius Gin ().


Lavender, resiny, woody juniper and a hint of grain grace the nose, which has a distinct, warming impression. It seems slightly less vivid than their 45% offering; however, it shares the same inviting character.

The palate is loud and quite warm, and although this is as a Navy Strength Gin should be, it strikes me as less over-emphasizing the high proof than some other Navy Strength gins do.

Read More ...

Gin Reviews

Waterloo Antique Barrel Reserve Gin


Waterloo Antique is the darkest Barrel Aged Gin we’ve seen yet. It’s dark brown, almost root beer or cola hue sets it apart. (Is this really an aged gin?) Another aspect of Waterloo Antique that is rare among aged gins is both the length of the aging and the methodology. It is composed of a blend of gins, each which have been aged different lengths of time, and in some cases as much as two years.

Tasting Notes

Wow, what a nose on this gin! Sweet, caramel, brown sugar and pecan pie, even a slight touch of dark rum. There’s some citrus and honeysuckle in the background, but this one is a stunner. Unlike any gin I’ve ever nosed before. It presses the buttons of what exactly you think an aged gin can be.

On the palate, it begins a little quiet than expected, with hints of rosemary, grapefruit. There’s a pronounced rich honeysuckle notes in the mids, rich and syrupy before the palate seemingly turns over itself, with a roar of spice and citrus, you’re getting hints of clove, allspice, nutmeg and then some tart lemon rind. The finish is unrepentant with long charred note, smoked cedar and grill, a touch bitter.

Read More ...

Gin Reviews

Genius Gin


Genius Gin is distilled in Austin Texas, which is quickly showing signs of becoming a distilling hotbed, and somewhat surprisingly to me, a hotbed for craft gin.

In our own (<100) words

Built Grain to glass with a local emphasis, Genius Gin is designed in part for the cocktail resurgence, but also with an eye towards a good gin which can be drank neat. Unabashedly contemporary in construction, it uses a “hot and cold” process to bring out the best in its botanicals. Half are infused at room temperature for 3 days, removed, and then that liquid is distilled with the remaining botanicals in a gin basket.

Tasting Notes

Sweet spice on top, a tad malty, grainy and bright, Zesty. Mid notes reveal more traditional gin profile, with lemon zest and just a touch of ethanol.

The palate reveals a pleasant, but never overwhelming warmth. Lime and citrus on top of the palate, but that fades nearly as quickly as it came on. The palate is dominated by sweet spicy notes: subdued rose, juniper, floral qualities, which crystallize more clearly on the finish. Hints of grass, a good deal of caradmom, citrus, lime and lavender.

Read More ...


50 States of Gin: The Winners of Each Round

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.

Read More ...

Gin Reviews

Waterloo Handcrafted Texas Style Gin


I find that “sense of place” is among the most important things that affect the way people perceive something new. Considering that so many new microdistilled gins proudly advertise their place on the label; so many gins proudly source their botanicals locally [Waterloo Gin is no exception there], it makes sense that we’re not just talking about a drink: we’re talking about a drink and a place.

First, a Gin is In informal perception survey conducted on friends™ The other night my friends and I were enjoying some Adult Beverages™ containing everyone’s favorite [my favorite, and perhaps the only liquor that I have in quantities large enough to share at a party] liquor mixed with tonic. Because I’m a gin-geek, I love to ask people what they think of the gin. So, Waterloos and Tonic, all-around. My friends were positive, and they enjoyed it. I asked “where did you think it was from?” No one came up with Texas.

But once I told them it was from Texas, the characterization of the gin’s flavor changed:

G&T sipping friend A: I thought so, it tasted a bit ‘cactus-y’ G&T sipping friend B: I detected notes of ‘BBQ’

Of course this was all in good fun.

Read More ...