Today we have something special, something quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And perhaps, simply because it is quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen this gin should be something special and rather exceptional. At a time when aging gin is rapidly catching on, with several distilleries experimenting with their first batches often time aging gin for up to 6 months, but usually less it seems an astonishing find to come across a gin which is aged nearly 20 times longer than what would normally be considered “old age” for an aged gin.
And if this were a whiskey, imagine how much that might cost. if the average age of a good whiskey is 4 years, then to put this into scope, this is the equivalent of an 80 year old bourbon. Truly remarkable, right? And possibly quite expensive.
Except Aged gin hasn’t quite caught in that regard. So despite the length process what we have here is a remarkable oddity in the gin world: unique for its age. But let’s say we took it one step further, if you weren’t buying it for the age and novelty, might you buy it for the taste?
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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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Way back before this American Dry/London Dry business, there was Dutch Genever. and things were good. Genever is truly a throwback in gins, with Bols’ recipe going back to one created in 1820.
Genever is a legally protected name, so alike real champagne, the origins are certain. As a protected name it implies its origins in Belgium, Netherlands, or a couple provinces of Germany or France. Bols is from the Netherlands where it has operated at the center of the Dutch distilling industry since the early 17th century.
On to the drink. I’ve read many descriptions of Genever, but the one that makes the most sense to me is the comparison of Bols Genever to that of a white whiskey. It is malty, thick, and complex. That complexity is due to the combination of botanicals. Juniper is present but just another flavor. The drink is simultaneously spicy and earthy, the taste has hints of fresh pine forest (or for those of you who haven’t spent time in the woods, maybe a Christmas tree stand and nutmeg.) It feels smoky without that overwhelming dark peat flavor of scotches. This is a tough gin to review, because the closest parallels for reviewing are in the whiskey family.
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