- Sylvius London Dry Gin Schiedam, Holland, 45% abv. $60.99 700 ml
Franciscus Dele Boë Sylvius wasn't the first person to distill juniper berries; however in 1650 he was the first one to register this distillate and coin it "Genevre". A mere 8 years later, the Steffelaer family started selling and making various genevers at their Onder de Boompjes Distillery. Still operational (pun not intended but welcomed), it is the oldest independent distillery in the Netherlands. Wheat base. Recipe: Juniper, Angelica Root, Coriander Seed, Lavender, Whole Lemons, Orange Zests, Alba Ceylon Cinnamon, Star Anise, Licorice Root, Caraway seeds. Distillery Notes: Upon tasting you will find hints of anise, cinnamon on a sturdy basis of proper gin.
- Broker’s Premium London Dry Gin 40% abv. $29.99 750 ml
Broker’s Gin distillery is located near Birmingham, England and is over 200 years old. There had previously been a brewery on the site, but this was converted to a distillery at a time when gin-making became more profitable than beer-making. The recipe for this gin is as old as the distillery. The distillers pride themselves on maintaining a traditional style of gin; from their website promo: “Broker’s Gin does not follow the modern trend of using weird and wonderful spirits and botanicals. There are no oddball ingredients in Broker’s Gin.” English wheat base. Recipe: Coriander, Juniper, Orris Root, Nutmeg, Cassia Bark, Cinnamon, Licorice, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Angelica Root. Tasting Notes (courtesy the folks at The Gin Foundry): juniper center stage, citrus (lemon and orange peel) is vibrant; peppery finish (from cassia, cinnamon and angelica). Nutmeg combines with cinnamon to add a cheeky nip.
- Eau Claire Parlour Gin, Turner Valley, Alberta 43.1% abv. $37.99 750 ml.
Turner Valley is an idyllic town nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. The site was chosen to be close to the ingredients, harvested from Alberta homestead farms. The foothills location means drawing water from the Canadian Rockies to influence flavours. Its location on the “cowboy trail”- a highway route full of Albertan historical and visitor attractions – is an ideal place for a distillery. The distillery is Certified Craft – the spirits are certified as ‘craft’ by the American Craft Distilling Institute, which means they are handcrafted in small batches in a single distillery. Because they source their grain according to terroir, each batch will have slight differences. Grain base, predominantly barley. Recipe: Juniper, Rosehip, Saskatoon Berry, Coriander, Lemon, Orange, Mint, ‘Spice’ (not specified). Distillery Notes: A medium gin, it is dry with a smooth, harmonious texture and little harshness. Infused with a selection of special botanicals that give its unique flavour notes.
- Hendrick`s Gin, Bellshill, Scotland 44% abv. $55.99 750 ml.
Hendrick’s Gin was conceived in 1999, and launched in 2001 as a premium gin by William Grant & Sons, whose distilling history predates Hendrick’s by a good number of decades. Working with their famed Malt Master David Stewart and Lesley Gracey (who distills Hendrick’s Gin to this day), they developed a flavour profile for a gin inspired by eating cucumber sandwiches: very British. The apothecary style bottle suggests comparison to Genevers and a time when gin was imbibed as medicine. Hendrick’s is unique; infusing cucumber and Bulgarian rose petal in the final stages of production. Grain base. Recipe: Juniper, Coriander, angelica Root, Orris Root, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Cubeb Berries, Grains of Paradise, Caraway Seeds, Elderflower, Yarrow, Chamomile. Distiller`s Notes: No other gin tastes like Hendrick's because no other gin is made like Hendrick's. Tasting Notes (courtesy the folks at The Gin Is In): Nose: juniper, hint of rose, sweet orange, lime zest, hint of elderflower. Palate: classic gin: angelica, coriander, juniper and orris root, slight licorice, black pepper. Fairly long finish with juniper backed astringency.
- Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin, Dijon, France, 40% abv. $47.99 700ml.
The story of the House of Gabriel Boudier is primarily one of passion, commitment and of certain key events that have established its good name and reputation today. It is also a story of a place, Dijon, which gave its name to the "Crème de Cassis de Dijon" recognised all over the world. Saffron Gin comes from a recipe rediscovered in the Boudier archives. It is the result of an alliance between Great Britain for its London Dry Gin, India for its spice used extensively in cooking and in religious ceremonies, and French know-how developed by Gabriel Boudier. Recipe: Juniper, Coriander, Orange Peel, Angelica Seeds, Iris, Fennel, Lemon, Saffron (of course). Tasting Notes (courtesy Johannes Lindblom, Whiskeyrant): Nose: Juniper and coriander, citrus and spices, saffron notes subdued. Palate: classic gin taste with some spicy character; the effect of saffron is evident. Smooth and buttery with warming spices.
- St. George Terroir Gin Alameda, California 45% abv. $56.99 750 ml.
Jörg Rupf is a living legend. In the craft spirits world, he is respected as both “a genius distiller” (Spirit Journal) and “a maverick” (San Francisco Chronicle). When Jörg founded St. George Spirits in 1982, he laid the groundwork for the modern American artisan distillation movement. Inspired by the quality of fruit growing in California orchards, Jörg began making eaus de vie from pears, raspberries, cherries, and even kiwi fruit on a single, 65-gallon Holstein pot still. St. George continues that tradition to this day, but the facility has expanded both portfolio (gin, whisky, liqueurs) and location to Alameda in a re-purposed, cavernous WW2 airplane hangar. Terroir Gin expresses local flora; particularly Douglas fir, California bay laurel, and coastal sage. Recipe: Douglas Fir, California Bay laurel, Coastal Sage, Roasted Coriander Seeds, Fennel, Orris Root, Angelica, Juniper. Distiller’s Notes: Terroir is a forest in your glass—with ultra woodsy notes of Douglas fir, California bay laurel, sage, and a hint of citrus.
- Cotswolds London Dry Gin, England, 46% abv. $79.99 700 ml.
Cotswolds Distillery is the brainchild of former hedge fund investor Daniel Szor. Szor, who moved to London with his British wife in 2006, bought a weekend home in Shipston-on-Stour and fell hard in love with the Cotswolds. It wasn’t until 2012, though, that he decided to open up a distillery in the area, but the distillery has quickly established itself as one of the leading craft distilleries in the UK. Wheat base. Recipe: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root, Cotswolds Lavender, Bay Leaf, Grapefruit, Lime, Black pepper, Cardamom Seed. Distiller’s Notes: Nose: grapefruit, coriander, sweet juniper, black pepper, hint of Cotswolds lavender. Palate: clean, pine juniper spice, grapefruit, coriander seed. Dryness from the angelica root, eucalyptus notes from bay leaf. Subtle lime and lavender. Finish: Clean, balanced. Juniper, citrus and some cooling notes from bay leaf and cardamom.
- Ungava Premium Canadian Gin, Quebec, 43.1% abv. $35.99 750 ml.
The first thing you notice about this gin is the color: no, not that! Rather, think deep marigold. The color is from the infusion of the six arctic plants that make up Ungava’s unique botanical bill (get the full explanation of the botanicals at ungava-gin.com). Domaine Pinnacle president Charles Crawford set out to craft a ‘pre-colonial’ gin; one with botanicals sourced solely from the arctic. Although there has been controversy over its use of Inuit imagery (the company has since apologized), it has quickly gained a global following and has become one of the top selling Canadian distilled gins and has won a bunch of awards. Corn base. Recipe: Wild Rose Hips, Labrador tea, Cloudberry (aka Bakeapple), Arctic Blend, Nordic Juniper. Tasting Notes (courtesy the folks at The Gin Is In): Color: almost otherwordly shade of sun-kissed yellow. Nose: rather traditional: citrusy lemon, a touch of floral, a good deal of juniper. Palate: distinct note of coriander, hints of fresh cranberry, preserved lemon and green/pine juniper. Earthiness, green tea leaves, flower imbued tea blend and tart berry. Cloudberry?
- Tanqueray Rangpur, Great Britain, 41.3% abv. $35.99 750 ml.
This, from the U.S. Tanqueray website: “Tanqueray Rangpur Gin unveils the best kept secret of the British-Indian tradition. The rare Rangpur lime, traditionally used to smooth down the gin, brings an exotic bold flavour to the already perfect combination of juniper, coriander, bay leaves and ginger.” For the sake of clarification, the Rangpur Lime is not a lime, nor is it a lemon. Discuss amongst yourselves. In fact, it is a hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Originating in India, the lime seems to have a different name in each country where it is grown, and it is becoming increasingly popular in Florida as a decorative potted plant. Recipe: (exact list a bit hard to come by) Juniper, Rangpur Lime, Bay Leaves, Ginger, Coriander. Tasting Notes (courtesy Dug, at Juniper Diaries U.K.): Nose: fresh, yet mellow, lime aroma. Gin signature, but the lime is greater than the juniper. Palate: neat: a pattern; there was an almost overwhelming, yet still mellow, taste of lime underpinned by juniper. The juniper blends very well with taste of the Rangpur; almost too well, in that it combines and almost gets lost under the velvet-gloved lime-avalanche.
- Zuidam Dutch Courage 88 Aged Gin, Baarle Nassau, The Netherlands, 44% abv. $68.99 700 ml.
Zuidam Distillers was founded back in 1975 by Fred van Zuidam. He started with a small distillery of 300 square meters with 1 small copper still and 1 small production line. Today, sons Patrick and Gilbert run the much larger distillery under the watchful eyes of their parents, with Patrick caring for the distillery and production and Gilbert looking after the customers. Dutch Courage Aged Dry Gin is made according to the exact same recipe as Zuidam’s normal Dutch Courage Dry Gin, using fresh citrus fruit and small batch distillations. The difference is that this dry gin is aged in new 200liter American oak casks. This adds a layer of vanilla and spice to the still fresh and fruity gin. Recipe: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Oranges, Lemons, Licorice Root, Cardamom Pods, Vanilla, Iris Root. Distiller’s Notes: The nose is soft and mellow. Balanced fresh citrus and juniper notes and slightly sweet, soft and gentle vanilla and spices. The flavour is completely dry and fresh with a wonderful softness.