Tru2 Gin is a bold gin. It shares a lot in common with herbal liqueurs. It has a complex and very strong taste, capable of overwhelming nearly any cocktail ingredients. So how did it fare against the strongest of strong ingredients in one of the strongest of gin cocktails?
Fairly well is the answer. Although I was not crazy about this gin as a standard gin because it didn’t work well w/ Tonic, it didn’t work at all in a Tom Collins, and didn’t play nice in an Aviation (you see where I’m going with this). But the strong bouquet of herbs in here, actually works well with Vermouth and can go toe-to-toe with Campari and not back down. I think what’s really interesting about this choice in gin is that it transforms the cocktail almost as much as you can without swapping out one of the ingredients in a straight-up substitution. The Campari balances the strong notes of Coriander and I think the fennel notes really come through and shine here. The clove which is almost overpowering when sipped straight plays nicely and almost adds a sweetness to the drink.
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It’s Miller Time. No, not the Miller that advertises during football games, nor am I talking about Sabres starting goalie Ryan Miller. It’s Miller’s Gin Time.
Let me begin by getting this out of the way. This is my favorite gin. Hands down. The Miller’s regular strength (80 proof) is a solid choice, somewhat more inexpensive ($31-35 for 1 L) and while it still has all of the outstanding features, they’re just a little less pronounced, and a bit more subtle.
Miller’s gin balances a crisp clean Juniper flavor with a hint of Citrus sweetness. These two flavors are in such perfect harmony, that Miller’s is the epitome of versatility in gin. Whereas some gins are decidedly Citrus (Bluecoat) and others are about the Juniper (Tanqueray), this gin walks the line and is a good choice for whatever you drink of choice is. Despite the strength of the Westbourne (90 proof) it is remarkably smooth, and very drinkable straight.
As for other London Dry Gins I’ve reviewed, this one strays the least from the classic flavor profile. Miller’s Gin contains some faint hints of other herbs and spices, but nothing like Tru2 or Gabriel Boudier’s.
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The review of the gin I made following the recipe I discussed in part 1 can be summed up thusly. When sitting on a table next to New Amsterdam Gin, Tru2 Organic Gin, and Gabriel Boudier’s Saffron Gin -my friends drank my homemade gin.
The taste of Juniper was overpoweringly strong. There were softer notes from the cinammon and dried citrus that would come through towards the end. It began with juniper, and ended with juniper. The fact that I used Svedka Vodka as a base was undetectable. Svedka was a relatively smooth vodka for the price (~13 dollars / 750mL), but some tasters remarked that it was “harsh” and despite the good flavor it didn’t compare to the smoothness of finer liquors. Next time, I might look for a better base vodka. Considering that the flavor came out spectacularly in just over one week of soaking.
The gin went well in tonic, and the strong juniper overpowered even the cheapest tonic. It was too strong and herbal, closest in aromatic profile to Tru2 and therefore not well suited for more strongly flavored or citrusy drinks. It would have had a compelling bouquet suitable for a martini, if it was smooth enough to be drank straight.
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Loftily billed as the first “100 % Organic Gin,” Tru2 doesn’t look like your average gin. It has a brownish color that looks more like watered down whiskey. The scent is only vaguely gin like. Drinking it straight it reminds me of Chartreuse: Overwhelmed by a blend of herbs, some of them very pungent. As I poured myself a drink I wondered “is there any juniper in here?”
In Gin and Tonic, the herbal combination overwhelms the tonic water. The Quinine doesn’t quite compliment Tru2 gin properly, though it is somewhat more palatable when mixed with ample fresh lime. But, because the herbs are center stage in Tru2, this gin does not lend itself well to mixed drinks. Unless you’ve felt your Tom Collins or Gin Fizz was missing the strong aroma of constituent spices, I’d recommend drinking it straight as a Martini.
But this gin is not for everyone. It may not even be for your usual gin drinkers. I highly recommend it for those who like a strong herbal component to their gin. To use an analogy: this is not the subtle rose in Hendrick’s, this is the Grapes in g’vine.
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