Gin Distilling Workshop, Ginposium and Craft Distilling Debate

Gin Workshop at the Bermondsey Distillery

Wednesday 11th May 2016 – 10:00-15:30 with Dr. Anne Brock and David T Smith.

DTSAB1After its popularity during the last two London Cocktail Weeks, we are once again running our one-day workshop exploring designing and distilling your own gin. As well as instruction on the practical aspects of gin, the workshop will allow attendees to discuss the more nuanced aspects of bringing a spirit to market. Topics covered include: production methods, “making the cuts”, working with botanicals, and filtration.

10:00-15:30, Bermondsey Distillery, 55 Stanworth St, London SE1 3NY.

£234 (lunch included). Tickets available here.


Special Offer: Buy a ticket for the Gin Guild Ginposium and receive 20% off the ticket price for the Gin Workshop.

Places are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Wednesday 11th – Thursday 12th May promises to be a little hub of distilling events in London with the Distilling Workshop (11th), the Gin Guild Ginposium at the London Transport Museum (12th), and the Worshipful Company of Distillers’ Annual City Drinks Debate on Craft Distilling (12th).

Cocktails with… Crossbill 200

Terroir – the idea of capturing part of the essence of a gin distillery surroundings in the flavour of the spirit – has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more producers using locally sourced botanicals.Another trend is an increased interest in juniper, the key ingredient in gin; from how it is used to where it is sourced from.

Small British brands such as the Moorland Spirits Company (Hepple Gin), Crossbill Distillery (Crossbill Gin), and Becketts Gin all use at least some British-grown juniper; Crossbill is made using 100% British-grown juniper.

A few years back, Master of Malt’s Ben Ellefsen started his Origin project, where he placed a bounty on any source of juniper that could be traced to a specific geographic location. This resulted in seven single-estate, cold-distilled gins that he made with juniper from Italy, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Netherlands, Bulgaria, and Albania.

But what if you took terroir to a micro-level – rather than a single location, just one corner of a field, or even a single bush…

This is exactly what Jonathan Engels of Crossbill did for his new gin, Crossbill 200. The juniper is exclusively harvested from a single, 200-year-old juniper bush in the Cairngorms. The rosehips (Crossbill’s only other botanical) are harvested from around the bush.

Crossbill200.jpg

On its own
Nose: Strong and resinous upfront, with just a hint of salinity, then a light, leafy, creamy vanilla and a hint of wood.
Taste: A symphony of juniper flavours: from green, resinous pine notes, then some floral spruce, before a little sweetness and a more jammy juniper note mixed with woody vanilla. Some florality then opens up from the rosehip, with hints of raisin and a touch of nuttiness.

Gin & Tonic
This has a very light louche. Upfront, there is some sweet anise, then creamy vanilla and light oak notes, before green, resinous pine and juicy, jammy juniper. This is an intensely flavoured gin that should stand up well to any tonic; excellent refreshment.

Martini
Thick and oily, with light, woody vanilla notes of young juniper and then a deep cedar note. The lighter juniper notes work really well with the slight tartness of the vermouth and its complex herbal flavours.

Negroni
This is full of very leafy, green flavours with a hint of vegetal bitterness. It’s an exceptionally intense Negroni with fresh juniper and resinous woody notes, before a clean, earthy bitterness. The higher ABV adds intensity, but no heat.

Gin Soda
A drink with a really luscious, slightly oily, texture. It’s smooth and refreshing, and more exciting than your average Gin Soda, even without a garnish. A lovely way to appreciate the subtleties of the gin in a long drink.

Gin Old Fashioned
The bitters work well with the creamy, woody elements of the gin, and the sweetness works well with the rosehip notes, balancing out the dry juniper.

French ‘75
Another fantastic drink: complex, full of rich juniper notes, a touch of spice, and a little florality from the rosehip. It’s a bit like a 3D – or even 4D – French ’75, transcending time….

In Conclusion
I think that the idea and concept behind Crossbill 200 is superb; it’s fascinating and I’ve been keen to try it since I heard about it. With such high expectations, the spirit had a lot to live up to and – thankfully – I wasn’t disappointed.

My favourite drink was the French ‘75 – sublime!

Cocktails with a variety of American Gins

Pinnacle Gin (40.0% ABV)

Pinnacle Gin FINALPinnacle Gin is made by a company best known for its neutral and flavoured vodkas. The bottle says the gin is imported and implies it is made in the UK, but I couldn’t find out much more information. I picked up a 200ml bottle in the US for $6.

On its own
Nose: Pure alcohol.
Taste: Very simple and spirituous to taste, followed by a single dimension of juniper. The finish burns the throat. Decidedly below average, this seems unlikely to have been designed for drinking and I certainly wouldn’t.

Gin & Tonic
Rather dull; with a whiff of juniper and citrus, it is only slightly refreshing and rather cloying on the finish. There are far better drinks out there, but it is an improvement on drinking the gin straight. With a fresh wedge of lime squeezed in the drink, it becomes just about acceptable.

Martini
Again, this is very basic, with a little juniper coming through, but most of the flavour comes from the vermouth. A boring Martini – usually such a rare creature. I don’t think I’d drink this, even in a pinch.

Negroni
Simple and a bit flat in terms of flavour, although it improves with a slice of orange to add a touch of zing. It could do with a little more bitterness, but, on balance, an average drink.

Of those that I tried, my favourite drink with Pinnacle Gin was the Negroni.

Skol Gin (40.0% ABV)

SkolGinA London Dry Gin with a history dating back to 1849, Skol Gin is currently part of Barton brands (who also own Fleischmann’s Gin and Mr. Boston Gin). I purchased a 200ml bottle in the US for $5.00.

On its own
Nose: Rather “quiet”, with a faint whisper of pine and vanilla notes.
Taste: Not bad, with a relatively light character of juniper, angelica, coriander, and citrus. There is also a raisin-like note in the middle and a rather dry finish.

Gin & Tonic
Dry and rather cloying, this Gin & Tonic has a conspicuous lack of character. Below average and one to avoid.

Martini
Skol Gin produces a very straight-forward Martini, with notes of pine, citrus, and nutmeg. It’s not bad, but greatly improved with the addition of a fresh fruit garnish – a twist of grapefruit peel is particularly good.

Negroni
An average Negroni. The gin’s raisin character really comes through in this cocktail, as well as some notes of white wine. Juicy, with a fair amount of sweetness and then a rather intense bitterness. Not bad, but it won’t blow you away.

My favourite drink with Skol Gin was the Martini.

McCormick Extra Dry Distilled London Dry Gin (40.0% ABV)

McCormick Gin FINALDistilled from American grain in Weston, Missouri, I purchased 200ml of McCormick Extra Dry Distilled London Dry Gin for $4.50.

On its own
Nose: Juniper, coriander, and the sticky-sweetness of figs.
Taste: Surprisingly smooth, with a sweet fig silkiness to it and some fragrant spice, before notes of bitter pine. Unfortunately, the flavour then collapses into an unpleasant void – there is no finish.

Gin & Tonic
With steady notes of juniper and citrus, this is rather average, but thankfully not too cloying. A standard drink, but reasonable enough when caught short.

Martini
This gin produces a well-rounded and refreshing Martini with a nice interplay between its spice and juniper notes and a dry finish. A good garnish and chilled glass could make this drink very good.

Negroni
I found this Negroni to be rather off-balance; there is a lack of flavour and the cocktail’s signature bittersweet character is missing. Dull.

My favourite drink with McCormick Extra Dry Gin was the Martini.
New Amsterdam Gin (40.0% ABV)

AmsterdamGinOn its own
Nose: Subtle, with just a little sweet citrus.
Taste: Again, quite sweet, with a sherbet-like citrus flavour and fruity notes reminiscent of the “Fruit Salad” chewy sweets. Very light on the juniper.

Gin & Tonic
Dominant notes of vanilla and citrus. As it develops, you can make out a touch of grapefruit, more vanilla, and notes of chocolate and dry pine at the end. Overall, pretty good.

Martini
This Martini is, sadly, distinctly lacking in juniper, has too much sweet citrus to taste, and lots of alcohol on the nose. It is okay as a drink, but, even for the most liberal of contemporary gin drinkers, this may well stray too far to be called a Gin Martini.

Negroni
In sharp contrast to the Martini, this is rich and fruity, with plenty of notes of orange, herbs, and an earthy bitterness. Full-bodied, rounded, and smooth. The overall intensity of bitterness is good and ensures that this is a pretty tasty cocktail.

In Conclusion
Overall, I’m left feeling that this gin is a bit hit and miss. It makes a disappointing Martini but the gin and tonic was quite acceptable. Where it worked best was the super-smooth Negroni.

 

 

Smuggler’s Notch (44.0% ABV)

Smugglers NotchSmuggler’s Notch distillery is in Jeffersonville, Vermont.

On its own
Nose: Light and refined, with hints of biscuit, coriander, cassia, and floral blossom.
Taste: Dry, with notes of citrus and cilantro upfront, followed by a fair dose of spice. Then there is some ultra-dry citrus flavours and a little warm tingle on the finish.

Gin & Tonic
A rather savoury Gin & Tonic with a little salinity and spice notes such as cumin. Smooth with a dry finish, this is easy to drink.

Martini
Light and crisp, with subtle hints of vanilla and lemon, before peppery notes, juniper, and angelica on the finish.

Negroni
A clean and smooth Negroni; not too intense and quite accessible, this nonetheless works even better with a slightly higher ratio of gin.

In Conclusion
A very light, clean gin, although I would have enjoyed a little more botanical intensity. My favourite drink was the Martini.

Smuggler’s Notch Hopped Gin (45.0% ABV)

Made by vapour infusing Vermont Cascade Hop and Organic Juniper.

On its own
Nose: Quiet, with an air of spice.
Taste: This gin has a pleasant texture, but the spirit itself is light on character. With a little time, however, flavours of chocolate and spice emerge.

Gin & Tonic
This has some light hop notes that add complexity to the drink, plus a touch of bitterness and a hint of citrus. A smooth and crisp drink.

Martini
A soft Martini with the creamy smoothness of a vodka Martini, this has a little residual juniper, before some angelica on the finish.

Negroni
This is a more complex version of the Negroni made with the original Smuggler’s Notch Gin. It has floral citrus notes and an appealing bitterness thanks to the mix of hops and Campari.

In Conclusion
Smuggler’s Notch Hopped Gin is gin light on character when sipped neat and, although a nice spirit, it works best in mixed drinks. I liked the Negroni best.

Oola Gin

Oola GinMade at one of the many distilleries in Seattle, Washington State. Oola distillery also make an aged gin, flavoured vodka and bourbon.

On its own
Nose: A very rich and creamy vanilla nose with a touch of citrus.
Taste: Oily on the palate, with notes of liquorice, a little creamy vanilla, and dry juniper. It’s slightly spirituous on the finish with a leafy zing to it.

Gin & Tonic
Creamy on the nose, with hints of caramel panna cotta. It’s also creamy to taste, with sweet caramel and vanilla upfront, before a more typical dry gin character of earthy pine and citrus.

Martini
Very fruity and creamy – great for those who like a slightly sweeter Martini. This is a better choice for post-dinner, rather than pre-dinner cocktail.

Negroni
Sweet and creamy, with a bitterness level much lower than most Negroni drinkers would expect. Packed full of sweet spice and vanilla, with a just a spot of earthy bitterness.

In Conclusion
Oola is very much of a sweeter style then a dry gin with a good level of flavour and a pleasant texture. My favourite drink was the Gin Tonic.

A Celebration of Colorado Gin (A Mega-Post)

Followers of SummerFruitCup might have noticed a recent uptick in the number of gin reviews posted on the website; this is in a New Year endeavour to clear some of our backlog of gin reviews.

Colorado Gin FINAL

Today’s mega-post has a theme: Colorado. Colorado is one of the top US states in terms of number of distilleries, along with Washington state, California, and New York. Should you ever be visiting the state, be sure to check out some of these great distilleries.

Cap Rock Gin (41.0% ABV)

Cap Rock Gin FINALCap Rock Gin is made by Peak Spirits in western Colorado. It uses a base spirit made from local apples and a mix of 12 botanicals, including juniper, rose, and lavender.

On its own
Nose: Fruity, rich and full. Distinctive notes of floral angelica and fresh-cut green apples.
Taste: Smooth, with a fair amount of lemon balm and citrus, followed by fragrant and crisp green apple notes that linger and zing on the palate. There’s also a little dry angelica on the finish.

Gin & Tonic
Very unusual and rather fruity, with the jammy notes of apple sauce coming through, before moving onto more dry apple notes. A vibrant and delicious drink.

Martini
Bright and crisp, with a mix of dry apple and pear flavours, before some juniper at the end. There is also a pinch of sweet spice, which adds balance. I’d recommend garnishing this Martini with a wafer-thin apple slice.

Negroni
This is a great take on the classic drink; the gin adds another dimension with its luscious fruit notes, adding to the cocktails typical bitter-sweet character; the sweet works well with the vermouth, whilst the bitter works well with the Campari. A very well-integrated cocktail and a drink I’ll likely return to.

In Conclusion
Cap Rock is a fun gin – great for those who want to try something a bit different, it is also a great example of how a non-NGS base spirit can work wonders in gin. My favourite drink was the Negroni, but all that I tried were very good.
Colorado Fog Gin (40.0% ABV)

Colorado Fog Gin FINALProduced at the Mystic Mountain Distillery at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Larkspur, Colorado.

On its own
Nose: Soft and vodka-like; a bit of vanilla, but not much else.
Taste: Very smooth and clean. The grain base is apparent, but there is almost nothing else there. The vaguest whiff of juniper does start to come through, or perhaps I just imagined it. Almost void of flavour, this has a finish that is very dry, sucking the moisture from the mouth. Adding a little water, a faint orange character emerges.

Gin & Tonic
This is an unfortunately cloying drink, although not without a refreshing quality. The gin’s flavour needs to be emboldened to allow the spirit to stand up to tonic. I use British Schweppes, so I imagine that it would be utterly lost against a HFCS-based tonic.

Martini
If this was a vodka Martini, it would be excellent: clean and smooth, with a good texture and a tiny hint of lemon citrus. But as a gin Martini, this sadly falls short; it has a dry finish, but no discernable juniper.

Negroni
This is a clean and somewhat refreshing drink, but the gin is totally lost to the other ingredients.

In Conclusion
There are some definite good points about Colorado Fog Gin: the base is of good quality in terms of texture and background character and the spirit has little burn or unpleasant stewed flavours. Unfortunately, it really lacks any discernible botanical character and as such I struggle to consider it as a gin. The best way to drink it was in a Martini – especially if you like vodka Martinis.

Colorado Gold Gin (40.0 % ABV)

Colorado Gold Gin FINALProduced by the Colorado Gold Distillery in Cedaredge, Colorado, the distillers of this gin use local grains to produce their spirit base in addition to local water.

On its own
Nose: Sweet grain, beer, and coriander.
Taste: The sweet base comes through again on the palate: it’s quite bready, with herbal notes such as fennel and anise before dry juniper and a fresh finish of sweet citrus.

Gin & Tonic
A drink with a strong nose of pecans and pear. The taste begins with a little malt and hops, which transforms into notes of pecan and almond, before some sweet marmalade citrus. The finish is nutty and very dry. Certainly an unusual Gin & Tonic, but nonetheless refreshing.

Martini
This is almost like a white whiskey Martini, full of grainy, bready notes. It’s dry and clean, with fine notes of juniper and coriander, plus a stem, plant-like quality on the finish.

Negroni
Colorado Gold Gin makes a mellow Negroni that, thanks to the base spirit, has a character reminiscent of geneva. There are some particularly bitter, dry, tannin notes, plus some herbal elements. An unusual, but cosy cocktail with a curbed bitterness and lingering sweetness of anise and fennel.

In Conclusion
Colorado Gold is certainly a very contemporary gin; with a lot of its base spirit coming through, the slightly sweet spice may well be too much for some traditionalists, but I enjoyed it. My favourite drink was the Negroni.
Denver Dry Gin (40.0% ABV)

Denver dry Gin FINALA product of Mile High Spirits in the city of Denver, this gin is produced in a large glass still. It is made using botanicals that include: juniper, citrus, coriander, and Grains of Paradise.

On its own
Nose: Clean, with a generous dose of juniper, plus citrus and earthy notes.
Taste: A classic style of gin, but with a modest sweetness, this has plenty of juniper, as well as a pleasant mix of lemon and lime, all followed by some earthy notes. This is an excellent gin with both good texture and flavour.

Gin & Tonic
The drink has a light louche to it, plus a strong nose of pine. To sip, it is an extremely crisp, crystal-clean drink: there is refreshing juniper and citrus, plus the the earthy, floral flavours of angelica. A really good drink that ticks all the boxes.

Martini
Very oily and, again, the drink louches slightly. Nonetheless, it is easy to drink and has a wide variety of signature classic gin flavours, all rounded off with a sweet spicy lift at the end of the finish.

Negroni
This is a Negroni with a fine interplay between bitter and sweet. There are notes of zesty citrus, plus the dryness of cedar and pine, before, once again, the drink is brought to a close with the gin’s signature spicy flourish.

In Conclusion
Denver Dry Gin is a first-class example of a truly classic London Dry Gin and is probably the best I have encountered that is produced outside of the UK. All of the drinks were excellent, but my favourite was the Gin & Tonic.
Dancing Pines (40.0% ABV)

Dancing Pines Gin FINALDancing Pines Distillery is in Loveland, Colorado, a little north of Denver. Their gin recipe uses just six botanicals.

Nose: A nice bright nose of juniper and lemon, along with a tinge of sweet, but pronounced alcohol.
Taste: Nice balance. Quiet upfront, building to a moderate level of juniper with an anise and fennel seed mid-note. The finish closes with a tinge of lemon, which is long and lingering. It has the character of a mild, but quite flavourful gin.

Gin & Tonic
Very crisp, clean. There’s a reasonable balance of flavour, with some citrus notes, and a particularly dry finish. An okay Gin & Tonic, but not great.

Martini
A cocktail with a spicy and savoury element on the nose. To drink, this is a very smooth Martini, with silky notes of fennel/anise coming through, accompanied by dry pine and a citrus finish. Very nice.

Negroni
Dancing Pines makes a soft and clean Negroni with good spice and citrus notes, as well as hints of floral and vanilla. It is less intense than some other Negronis, but nevertheless has a good, if subtle flavour. Very easy to drink.

In Conclusion
Dancing Pines is a subtle gin that makes good use of its botanical flavours. My favourite drink was the Martini.
Rob’s Mountain Gin (44.0% ABV)

Today’s review looks at the first of two gins from Spring 44 Distillery in Loveland, Colorado. Rob’s Mountain Gin is a limited edition spirit; each edition has a different formula, this was Formula #44.

On its own
Nose: Zesty, with notes of coriander, lemon, and lime, as well as a hint of black rubber.
Taste: Smooth and very creamy, with herbal notes and a silky note of citrus vanilla. The finish is lovely and dry, with lots of juniper notes. This gin has great balance; a splendid sipper.

Gin & Tonic
A drink with a spicy, complex nose, this Gin & Tonic has plenty of juniper upfront, which gradually gives way to sweet spice and more herbal notes.

Martini
Thick and full of flavour; there are plenty of herbal and spiced notes, as well as some citrus, fennel, and anise, and more of a sweet note towards the end. Sophisticated and flavoursome, this is a delight to drink.

Negroni
Excellent – well-rounded and full-bodied, with a rich, slightly jammy, but bitter finish. The finish has a real, long-lingering bitterness that is complemented by the cocktail’s herbal character and tangy citrus.

In Conclusion
Rob’s Mountain Gin is a truly first-class spirit that is delicious either on its own or when mixed. My favourite drink was the Martini.
Spring 44 (44.0% ABV)

Botanicals: Juniper, Coriander, Nutmeg, Agave Nectar

On its own
Nose: Lemon, rose, and spicy coriander.
Taste: This gin has a thick, mouth-filling texture and is absolutely packed full of luscious juniper: fruity and jammy, with a lovely freshness. The finish has more zesty notes of coriander, plus spice and pepper.

Gin & Tonic
Lively, with plenty of citrus notes, plus hints of lemongrass and coriander. Light, bright, and very thirst-quenching.

Martini
Another satisfying cocktail that is clean and crisp, with an icy shard of juniper, coriander, and citrus flavours. A Martini with a booming character, this is superb. Textbook.

Negroni
A good, intense Negroni with a solid bitter-sweetness, as well as notes of citrus, juniper, and an array of earthy botanicals. Very good and definitely one that will please Negroni traditionalists.

In Conclusion
Overall, Spring 44 is a well-made gin with a good character and flavour-integration. My favourite drink was the Martini.
Spirit Hound (40.0% ABV)

SpiritHound FINALSpirit Hound Gin is made by Spirit Hound Distillers in Lyons, Colorado. Their juniper is sourced from the local area by patrons of their bar, where one bag of juniper berries = a free drink. As such, the varieties used vary, but will likely include both Juniperus Communis and Juniperus Scopulorum. Spirit Hound distill their botanicals using a vapour basket and their mix includes: juniper, cinnamon, anise, cardamom, and clove.

On its own
Nose: Juniper that’s accompanied by fruity notes such as watermelon and cantaloupe. There is also some cucumber notes. Exceptionally fresh.
Taste: Initial citrus flavours lead onto those of sweet spices such as cassia, nutmeg, and cardamom. The piney, juniper finish lasts for a good while and contributes to what is generally a good, thick texture.

Gin & Tonic
Spice and nutty notes come through: sweet anise and fennel, as well as cinnamon, a hint of nutmeg and cardamom, as well as a hint of sassafras. The spice notes are warm, but the drink is still refreshing, especially with a citrus wedge as garnish.

Martini
Strong notes of liquorice, anise, cinnamon, fennel, and cardamom came through well. This is a slightly sweet and very spicy Martini. I think a lemon twist would be the best garnish. Very smooth and well-rounded.

Negroni
A full-flavoured drink with warm spice in the middle and an intense bitterness at the end. Clean, fresh, and revitalising.

In Conclusion
A refreshing gin with a complex character. My favourite drink was the Martini, although all of the drinks were excellent.
Woods Treeline Gin (40.0% ABV)

Wood High Mountain Distillery make a range of spirits from their site in Salida, Colorado, including single malt and rye whiskies, elderflower liqueurs, and both aged and unaged gins.

On its own
Nose: Juniper, cassia, cinnamon, and some salty fennel.
Taste: This has a smooth texture to start, with more spicy pepper towards the end. There are, however, some spicy notes to start with: nutmeg, cinnamon, and fennel. This is a pretty spicy gin, with a dash of sweetness, but is nevertheless very smooth. It has many of the flavours that I would associate with an aged gin: the sweetness, the spice.

Gin & Tonic
Zesty citrus to start, followed by warm vanilla. This is a spicy Gin & Tonic with a little sweetness in the middle, before a dry finish of refreshing pine.

Martini
A Martini with a silky mouthfeel, this is well-rounded with juniper and spiced notes of fennel, anise, and nutmeg. It’s a splendid drink and an excellent example of a more contemporary Gin Martini made with an American Craft Gin.

Negroni
Plenty of sweet anise upfront, but with lots of other flavours, too, such as citrus and spice. The drink almost tastes as if the glass has had an absinthe rinse. It has a great flavour profile and a superb bitter-dry finish.

In Conclusion
Woods Treeline Gin is a lovely, complex gin that makes some cracking cocktails; my favourite was the Negroni.

Cocktails with… Fremont Mischief Gin from Seattle

One of the few places that I have visited more than once in the US is the north-west city of Seattle; in fact, I once visited it twice in as many months. The city is a hub of distilling and some superb distilleries are located there. Examples include: Copperworks, Sun Liquor, Sound Spirits, and, of course, who could forget the fantastic Captive Spirits, producers of BIG Gin.

Fremont Mischief Distillery is located in Canal Street, where they make a range of spirits, from vodka to whiskey and, of course, gin. Fremont Mischief Gin is bottled at 40.0% ABV.

Fremont Mischief Gin - FINAL

On its own
Nose: Zesty citrus and fresh, aromatic spice: coriander, nutmeg, and cassia.
Taste: Vibrant, with more spice upfront, then piney juniper that leads onto bright citrus. Hints of violet precede a dry, slightly bitter, finish.

Gin & Tonic
A brilliant drink with a charming interplay between juniper-jelly and spice. There are vibrant cassia, luscious citrus, and wonderful cardamom notes, too. Fantastic!

Martini
Silky smooth – a luxurious texture – with a variety of spice: cardamom, cassia, & nutmeg. Bright pine needle notes follow, making this a really lovely drink.

Negroni
Fremont Mischief Gin makes a particularly spicy Negroni, with the sweeter notes of the gin and vermouth neatly balanced by the bitterness of Campari.

In Conclusion
As is evident from the tasting notes, I think that Fremont Mischief is a pretty fantastic gin. It is full of flavour and has a variety of botanical nuances: citrus, herbs, spice. The result is a sippable and very mixable gin. My favourite drink was the Gin & Tonic.

Cocktails with… Dancing Trees Gin – from Ohio

Dancing Trees Gin is made by the Dancing Trees Distillery (now know as Fifth Elements Distillery) in Meigs County, Ohio. The distillery was founded by Kelly Sauber in 2011, who started off twenty years earlier as a home-brewer. They currently make a gin, two vodkas (one grain-based, one grape-based), and a coffee liqueur, and they are passionate about using local ingredients.

The gin is made using Spicebush Berries and Organic Rosehip as part of its botanical mix, has a grain spirit base, and is bottled at 40%ABV.

Dancing Tree Distillery

The Taste

On its own
Nose: Grain notes, as well a hint of grape and pear. There’s also a vanilla sweetness, followed by dry pine.
Taste: Smooth and thick, with a silky mouthfeel, notes of dry almond and apple/pear come through, mixed in with a restrained sweetness. There’s a hint of coriander accompanying the juniper notes, before a long finish that fluctuates between sweet and dry apple notes and some nuttiness. All-in-all, complex and engaging.

Gin & Tonic
Very dry, with notes of almond, pear, and pine. Despite the dryness, there is a confectionery aspect to the drink, somewhat reminiscent of a pear and almond tart, but it isn’t too sweet. Rather unusual, but nonetheless clean and refreshing.

Martini
Herbal coriander comes through on the nose. To taste, there are flavours of juniper and dry apples (like Calvados), plus a little coriander and fennel, and a dark, sweet treacle note, which results in the cocktail being slightly reminiscent of dark naval rum. The finish is long and bitter.

Negroni
Great – not too sweet and not too bitter, with pine notes accompanied by chocolate and a light nuttiness. All of the flavours are well-balanced, making it a real treat to drink. There’s little more to say, except that I am impressed and this is a sound drink.

In Conclusion
Dancing Trees Gin is a dry gin with a good deal of fruitiness to it that brings some different and unexpected flavours to familiar cocktails. My favourite drink was the Negroni.

Cocktail with… Isfjord Gin from Greenland!

On my “World of Gin” map, the majority of the countries north of the 50th parallel has now been coloured in, which indicates that I have tasted a gin from that nation. One vast area that had remained for a while, however, was Greenland.

Isfjord Premium Arctic Gin is made in Hulissat and was first released in 2007. Distilled using water from icebergs, it is bottled at 44% ABV and is made using twelve botanicals, including: juniper, angelica, lemongrass, and cardamom.

ISFJORD GIN FINAL

On its own
Nose: Spicy, with hints of cassia and chopped nut, plus the floral, slightly citrus note of coriander.
Taste: This gin has an intense flavour and a silky texture with a little warmth at the end. There are initial flavours of menthol and fresh, green pine needles, followed by some sweet, creamy spice – vanilla and cassia – and then some crisp citrus, coriander, and verbena. The finish is of freshly chopped cucumber and celery.

Gin & Tonic
The gin adds an earthy, dry, piney character with a touch of bitterness. This is definitely one for those gin aficionados that feel that some modern Gin & Tonics are just too sweet and, too often, chock-full of a fruit salad garnish. I would really like to try this with a fresh pine spruce garnish.

Martini
A very classic Martini that’s packed full of the juniper crispness that makes the cocktail synonymous with the term “Silver Bullet”. Herbaceous with a little citrus, it is very clean, but nonetheless with a strong flavour profile that’s delicious.

Negroni
The herbal elements of the gin are an excellent companion to the aromatics of the red vermouth and the bitter elements of the Campari. It is a clean and flavourful Negroni, where the bitterness is slightly curbed, making it a good introduction to the drink.

In Conclusion
Isfjord Gin is a relatively classic gin with hints of herbal and vegetal notes that really flourish in certain drinks. My favourite was the Martini.