Cocktails with.. Greyling Gin

Greyling Gin Header

I like gin from Michigan; mostly because I’ve never had a bad one and so, now, whenever I see a mention of the Great Lakes state on a bottle, as  with Two Bird Artisan Spirit’s Greyling Gin, my expectations are raised.

That said, I soon discovered that this particular gin is currently being made by experienced distillers Yahara Bay in Madison, Wisconsin. They also make Yahara Bay Gin and used to make Death’s Door. I’m sure that, if all goes well, like with Death’s Door, Greyling may fly the roost and set up shop on their own.

For clarity’s sake, I think that it’s great that there is such a range of variety options for people who want to make good quality gin. The tens of thousands of dollars (or pounds) of investment, not to mention the time, needed makes making spirits from scratch out of the reach of many individuals. As always, the most important point is that you design/produce a product that tastes great.

Greyling Modern Dry Gin c/o TheGinIsIn.com

Greyling Modern Dry Gin c/o TheGinIsIn.com

The Taste

On its own
Nose: Classic and straightforward: bright, green, sappy juniper to start, which then softens to a less sharp citrus – lemon and grapefruit mainly, with a hint of lemon pith in particular.
Taste: Pretty classic, rather vibrant, some spicy coriander notes upfront as well as anise or maybe fennel. A citrus (grapefruit, orange) and coriander middle and the a dry juniper finish. Some sweetness throughout almost reminiscent of a fine orange liqueur. Most sippable.

Gin & Tonic
Greyling makes a crisp, citrusy and flavourful Gin & Tonic. There’s also a little vanilla, combined with notes of lemon curd, as well as some dry pine. Overall, this is a very accessible and tasty drink and exceptionally refreshing.

Martini
Great – another clean and crisp drink, with clean, pine-y juniper followed by some lovely rounded-out notes of sweet rose, somewhat reminiscent of Turkish Delight. Classic, but with a twist – very good, indeed. This cocktail also has a lovely texture and is something that I would happily drink again.

Negroni
A fine Negroni if ever there was one; a great bitter-sweet balance and quite a thick texture, as well as juniper and citrus notes. Nothing outrageous or out-of-the-box; just a good, solid drink.

 

Greyling Gin is available for around $28  for 750ml from InternetWines.com

Cocktails with… Dodd’s Gin – Distilled in London

Dodd'sGinTitle

A little while back I review the London Distillery Company’s Testbed Gin selection and I also mentioned my visit there for the WSET’s Gin Ramble. SO it was with anticipation that I tried their first flagship products, Dodd’s Gin.

But who was Dodd?

Ralph Dodd is described as a serial entrepreneur, but, more importantly, he was the founder of the Intended London Distillery Company in 1807, whose aim was to “manufacture Genuine British Spirits and Compounds”. Although many preparations were made for the business, no distillation took place and, by 1812, the company had been disbanded. That was, until 2011, when Darren Rook resurrected the company at its new home in Battersea.

Dodd'sGin

At least three of the botanicals being used are unique, to my knowledge at the time of writing* (I have a record of the botanical make-up of about 200 gins), which is very exciting. That said, they don’t stand out as gimmicks; they all make perfect sense.

I quizzed distiller, Andrew MacLeod Smith, about his use of cardamom and he said that he simply likes the taste of green cardamom (I, too, am particularly fond of the flavour) and that the black cardamom seeds add a menthol note. I can also confirm this, having tried a black cardamom distillate from Sacred’s Ian Hart on the Gin Ramble back in February. The London honey comes from bees kept in the city and is added to the pot pre-distillation to primarily enhance the mouthfeel of the spirit.

dODDS gIN bOTANICALS

The Taste

Own

Nose: Some interesting salty notes meet my nose to start, as well as some smoky elements, making this particularly unusual. There are some green cardamom notes, too.

Taste: This is a good, smooth spirit with plenty of spice, with the green cardamom in the middle and the menthol of the black cardamom towards the end, which is mixed with dry, piney juniper and a spiciness reminiscent of freshly cracked black pepper. This is a spicy and savoury gin and is, truly, something very different; no-one is doing anything like this in London or even the UK.

On a second sip, more of the classic gin notes emerge, with coriander and citrus upfront. I also note that the spirit is 49.9% ABV and, although the flavours are strong and bold (carried by the higher proof), the texture is smooth until the spicy finish. This is potentially due to the impact of the London honey.

I can see how this gin builds upon the work of the Testbed range and it truly is a Anglo-American or Trans-atlantic/Cary Grant Gin**, starting off classic in flavour and becoming contemporary.

Gin & Tonic

Just superb; very fruity, with some jammy berry notes. It’s exceptionally smooth, with a little creamy sweetness in the middle that then gives way to some spice from the cardamom, as well as a leafy note. Some coriander is in there, too, all concluded with a dry, juniper finish. All in all, this is a complex and engrossing drink and a spin on the classic flavour profile of a Gin & Tonic, whilst remaining wonderfully accessible.

Martini

Sweet and spicy with a real pow of flavour thanks to the high ABV. Very smooth nevertheless with an exceptionally balance, I’d suggest no garnish for this so that you can really enjoy the full impact of the flavours.

Negroni

A good Negroni, with lots of bitterness and deep spice notes, as well as some hints of cocoa and coffee. As such, describing it as dark and intense seems fitting. A long juniper finish is paired with an earthy bitterness. Drinking this, you sit up and take notice; but, at the same time, there is a nonchalance to the drink, which makes it a bit of an enigma!

In Conclusion

Dodd’s really is something different and I’m sure it will appeal to the palate of both traditionalist and revolutionaries of the gin world; if you like cardamom, you will love this. We’ve had a bit of a wait to finally get to try Dodd’s, but, boy, was it worth it.

* A few gin distillers add honey after distillation, but not before like Dodd’s.

** A mix between Classic (UK) and contemporary (US) styles of gin – named after the British-American hybrid accent of actors of the golden era of Hollywood such as Cary Grant.

Cocktails with.. Hunters Cheshire Gin

HuntersGin

I think that rumours that the gin boom has ended are something of an over-exaggeration. It has yet to “jump the shark”, or so to speak; in fact, as far as I can tell, there have been more gins launched in the first months of 2013 than in any other period that I can recall; definitely during the last five years that I have been following and commentating on the industry, at least.

These new gins come from a mixture of new distilleries and the big three, third-party distillers in the UK: Thames, Greenalls and Langley. It is the last distillery (run by Alcohols Ltd.) that today’s feature gin hails from.

Bottled at 43.3% ABV, Hunters Cheshire Gin was the brainchild of drinks industry veterans Jon Jones and Ian Cass and is made using the London Dry Gin method, although, notably, this term does not make an appearance on the bottle  actually the term is on the back of the bottle. The botanical mix includes: juniper, coriander, orange and lemon.

HuntersGin Bottle

On its own
Nose: Very classic, with plenty of juniper, followed by some angelica and citrus. Bold and sprightly.
Taste: Very smooth, with a little sweetness and some bold flavours: plenty of juniper, angelica and some floral notes such as orris. These are followed by some fruity citrus notes and a long, crisp finish that’s slightly reminiscent of freshly cut apple. Bold and fresh.

Gin & Tonic
Classic and so crisp; lots of fresh and zesty citrus, but still the bold and traditional juniper and angelica flavours, too. This Gin & Tonic is particularly easy to drink and accessible – a drink that will pretty much please anyone. Lovely.

Martini
Greta another classic, works well with the vermouth; coriander and the dry juniper as well as sweet zesty citrus which gives the drink a  lovely crisp edge. A good standard.

Negroni
Hunters makes a classic version of the drink that’s exceptionally smooth, with a good balance between sweet/bitter and dry. The citrus notes of the gin also complement the other notes in the drink nicely. Very good, indeed.

In Conclusion

I’m very impressed with Hunters Gin; I like its bold and crisp flavour, which makes it a little more citrusy then many classic gins, although it is not as far out as, say, the Philadelphian Bluecoat (which I also rather like). This is also a really great Gin & Tonic gin, even with a simple tonic like Schweppes; this was easily my favourite way to enjoy Hunters.

Hunter’s Premium Cheshire Gin is available for around £30 for 70cl from Master of Malt.

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Cocktails with Chase Single Botanical Gin or is Juniper Vodka?

ChaseSingleBotanicalGinTitle

Some folks of the Twitter-set may have seen Anonymous Artist’s recent ThirstyChat (Twitter’s leading drinks debate platform) on the subject of London Dry / Botanical Vodka*, so I was amused and delighted to receive a surprise package from the Chase Distillery containing a single botanical gin; or (as the accompanying letter suggests) is it a juniper vodka?

This product comes at a time when people are thinking about the flavours of individual types of juniper more than ever. Cascade Mountain (now Crater Lake Gin) kicked things off a few years ago** and this was followed last year by Master of Malt’s Origin series, which focused on using juniper from specific geographic locations.

WilliamsChaseSingleGin

My bottle from Chase came with an accompanying letter informing me that this is one of only 1,000 bottles of this spirit and that the aim of the product was to highlight the importance of the base spirit in the production of gin and that Chase is somewhat different in that they make their own.

It is unusual for a British gin to make their base spirit from scratch; other than Chase, the English Spirit Distillery and Adnams are the two notable others. In the USA, however, it is far more common for distillers to make their own vodka from scratch to use as the base spirit for their gin.

By using their own base spirit, it is almost as if the distiller can adjust the flavour in a third dimension; the spirit adds a further variable and can act like a botanical in its own right.

ChaseJuniperVodka

Bottled at 40%ABV Chase Single Botanical Vodka uses Chase’s potato vodka spirit as a base. This is the same base as their excellent Chase Extra Dry Gin.

#1) On its own
Nose: Superb – big and full, with green pine, a hint of sap, a touch of citrus (almost like coriander) and vanilla. Rich and compelling.
Taste: Thick and full in flavour, with strong notes of pine needles, followed by hints of bitter wood.

#2) Gin & Tonic
Another great drink, crisp refreshing and vibrant the flavours seems to “pop” out of the glass. In addition to the piney juniper I do get some hints of anise and a touch of vanilla just showing the depth of flavour that a juniper spirit has.

#3) Martini
Very clean with a pleasant crispness and whilst keen focus on juniper there are some other spicy elements in there; hint of ginger and cinnamon making the drink a little more interesting than you might expect. I don’t think it needs a garnish but I would side with using a lemon twist over an olive.

#4) Negroni
This makes a simple, but flavourful Negroni. The juniper bounds through and holds up against the sweet vermouth and Campari with ease. Classic in style, and one for the big fans of this classic gin drink.

In Conclusion
I think that Chase Single Botanical Gin is an excellent product and highlights the importance of base spirit well. I look at this as a single botanical gin, even though it could, technically, be called a juniper botanical vodka.

I do think that the base spirit used makes a difference, but, at the same time, I don’t think that gins that use neutral grain spirit are inferior; in fact, some folks are firm advocates of the use of NGS for making gin.

I think that both types of gin have their merits (and I really enjoy and value both), but making your own spirit opens up a lot of room for experimentation and innovation. Food (or rather gin) for thought, indeed!

*If you missed it, check out the transcript here. This week’s debate (on Tuesday 26th March at 15:00 GMT) is on the subject of celebrity booze.
** They actually use Juniperus Occidentalis, which is larger than the more mainstream Juniperus Communis.

Chase Single Botanical Gin is available for around £37 for 700ml from The Whisky Exchange

ChaseMirror

cocktails with… Finsbury 60% ABV Gin

Finsbury60Title

Last year, we undertook a Navy Strength Gin tasting where we looked at gins that were 100 British Proof (57% ABV), but there were a couple of gins that have an even higher alcoholic strength: Hiram Walker 60, Blackwoods 60 and Finsbury 60. Unfortunately, only the last two are still available. The final one, Finsbury 60, will be the focus of today’s article.

Finsbury Gin used to be made by Finsbury Distillers in London, but, for many years now, they have been made by the gin specialists at the Langley Distillery.

finsbury60Bottle

On its own:
Nose: Strong juniper and then some citrus.
Taste: Intense – you can tell that it is 60%ABV; it leaves a very warming feeling, but not a burn. There’s juniper upfront, followed by sweet liquorice in the middle and then some citrus. This is quite pleasant to drink, but it will really wake you up and make you pay attention.

Gin & Tonic
A very powerful and flavour Gin & Tonic, this is almost as textbook as they come, with a great texture and intensity of taste. There are notes of juniper, coriander, and citrus, making this a fresh, crisp and dry drink. This will impress even the most stalwart traditionalist and I think that, garnish wise, a lemon wedge is the order of the day.

Martini
Impressive, with a real kick and lots of power, this is – again – evidently a 60%ABV gin.  Notes of juniper and citrus are strong from the start, followed, later, by coriander and angelica. This is one for the drinker who really wants a buzz from a Martini. I thought it was great, but it is definitely the sort of drink that you can only have one of in a night.

Negroni
A smooth and balanced Negroni. The strength of the gin is quite discreet in this cocktail, with only a slight, extra warmth on the finish indicating the higher proof of the spirit. This is quite a simple example of the Negroni, but nonetheless pleasant to sip and recommended for those instances when you need a stiff drink.

In Conclusion

Overall, Finsbury 60 is a textbook gin for the traditionalist: dry, with citrus and earthy botanical notes and, of course, plenty of juniper and pine. The extra ABV adds power to cocktails and carries the flavour of the gin well. The Martini is particularly impressive and fun, but, for my money, my favourite was the Gin & Tonic.

Cocktails with… COOL Gin (from Spain!)

I am always keen to keep abreast of the latest innovations in gin, tonic and garnishes in Spain; it’s quite an exciting place, with lots of innovation going on, so imagine my excitement when I contacted COOL Gin about the possibility of trying their gin and they sent me a bonus bottle of their sister gin, 1211, too.

COOL Gin is made by Benevento Global and is a self-styled contemporary gin, although it suggests that it has gone even further and is simply cool gin.

It is made using 12 botanicals, notably including wild strawberry and blackberry, and is also violet in colour.

#1) On its own
Nose: Floral, with lots of vanilla and notes of jelly; fruity and jammy. Juniper also makes an appearance, accompanied by the berry freshness.
Taste: Very unusual for a gin: sweet vanilla and fruit to start, followed by more classic gin flavours: juniper and coriander. Additional sweetness then appears in the form of jammy blackcurrant and strawberry, before a long finish of rose and violet, much like Parma Violets or crystallised violets.

#2) Gin & Tonic
Being light violet in colour, this is a most intriguing drink. Again, there’s quite a lot of vanilla, making this taste almost like a gin & cream soda, but the finish is quite dry, with juniper and quinine. The fruity, berry and floral notes reminds me of the Camp David Gin & Tonic.

#3) Martini
Intense and floral, with some sweetness and notes of vanilla. This is a very, very unusual drink, but an attractive violet colour and very smooth, too; nice and clean.

#4) Negroni
Slight violet on the nose. Rather pleasant, with a good balance of bitterness and sweetness and a creamy violet and vanilla strand throughout that’s nonetheless not overpowering. Whilst not 100% traditional, this is still rather tasty and has a subtle difference that I quite like.

#5) Sweet Martini
Cool Gin makes a sweeter Sweet Martini than usual, with more floral notes and being, generally, more dessert-like. There’s also lots of vanilla, reminding me of cupcakes; as such, this is definitely a drink for after, rather than before, dinner.

#6) Aviation
This is a perfect match for this gin: the fruity, berry notes and hints of floral bring a lot to this drink and make it intense, but delicious. If you are a fan of an Aviation cocktail, then this is surely for you.

#7) Gin Buck
I find this a bit sweet and that the ginger clashes with the berry and floral flavours. It’s not an awful drink, but there are better ways to enjoy this gin.

#8) Gin Collins
A very clean and exceptionally light Gin Collins, with only a hint of juniper and some jammy blackberry and violet floral notes. There’s some sweetness, but not too much, making this a great, lighter drink to enjoy COOL Gin in, especially given the hint of purple in its colour.

In Conclusion

From first appearances, COOL Gin is unusual and this may put off some who prefer their gins to be more traditional, but it’s well worth trying. The floral and berry flavours bring something new, whilst maintaining the character of the gin and ensuring that its flavours are well-balanced. If you are a gin adventurer, a fan of the Aviation, or both, then this is most certainly a gin worth trying.

My favourite drinks were the Aviation and the Gin & Tonic

Cocktails with… Diner’s Club London Dry Gin Deluxe

If you are looking for unusual and obscure gins, one place to check out is The Whisky Exchange; they never fail to disappoint. A recent addition to their listings was Diner’s Club London Dry Gin Deluxe (40%ABV).

After some research, it turns out that this gin was commissioned (but not manufactured by) Douglas Denham Ltd., which, until 2003, was a subsidiary of Red Lion Blending Company Ltd., based in Edgware, North London. They did this on behlaf of Diners Club International, a credit card firm.

Red Lion Blending Company Ltd. was founded by Robert Mendeson and David Hallgarlen in 1969 and ceased trading in 2005.

In addition to this gin, Douglas Denham also commissioned blended Scotch for Diner’s Club, such as this 12 Year Old.


1. On its own
Nose: Juniper and some sherbet lemon citrus notes.
Taste: Pretty good and surprisingly smooth initially, although the alcohol’s warmth certainly builds after a few seconds. Quite sweet, there’s a lot of citrus, especially lemon – dry, pure fruit – and coriander. Simple and classic.

2. Gin & Tonic
A bit of a beast with the coriander and citrus although the juniper is pretty strong too. This really feels like an old school gin an tonic dating back to the days before Bombay Sapphire (who knows maybe it does?). Despite its very classic, old school approach it is very refreshing.

3. Martini
Fresh and crisp, with plenty of citrus and coriander notes. There’s a hint of anise, but mostly, lots and lots of lemon, making this a zesty Martini.

4. Negroni
A pretty standard, classic Negroni: both bitter and sweet, but without any particular wow factor to it.

In Conclusion
Diners Club was probably designed to be a standard, classic-style gin and it delivers. I wasn’t expecting much but actually it was quite good and the citrus emphasis was a nice surprise. At £11.49 a 40%ABV bottle I think it is a bit of a bargain.

Diner’s Club International Extra Dry London Dry Gin Deluxe is available for around £11.50 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange.

Cocktails with… Viking Gin (from Latvia)

Dzins (Gin) Vikings is made by Latvijas Balzams from Latvia and, as of 2006, they were the biggest alcohol producer in the Baltic States; they have a 50% market share in all of the alcoholic drinks in Latvia.
Latvijas Balzams has origins dating back to 1900 and make a wide range of spirits, liqueurs and other alcoholic beverages. In addition to Dzins Vikings, they make two other gins: LB Gin and the grain-based Gin Kristofors, which are both bottled at 40%ABV. Latvijas Balzams are also the bottlers for Stolichnaya’s international exports. The S.P.I. Company (who make Stolichnaya) own nearly 90% of the shares in Latvijas Balzams.I could only find minimal further information about the gin; the label speaks of a strong aroma and juniper berries, as well as it being balanced and highly mixable in cocktails. It is bottled at 47%ABV.

 

The Taste
1) On its own
The nose is quite strong on the alcohol and juniper, with some sweet vanilla.
To taste, it is initially smooth, followed by a little tingle/heat, with notes of juniper and fruit. After a couple of seconds, the flavour evolves to be like pine, earthy and bark-like. There’s a medium finish of earthy juniper, which isn’t particularly clean on the palate. It reminds me of Juniper & Cedar Vodka.

2) Gin & Tonic
This drink was quite fresh, but also earthy and dry, with quite a lot of pine and juniper. I found it to be rather reminiscent of a Gin & Tonic made with some Czech, Russian (Veresk) and Swiss (Studer) gins. Not classic, but still nice.

3) Martini
Warming and quite sweet, with big flavours that are not at all subtle. Some heat builds up after a while, but then the gin is bottled 47%, so this could be expected. Overall, this was a powerful and punchy Martini. Whilst I quite liked it, it certainly takes no prisoners.

4) Negroni
Quite soft initially, followed by a crescendo of herbal elements and an increasing bitterness. There’s a pleasant, bittersweet finish.

5) Gimlet
This cocktail was very fresh and very, very crisp. I thought it was rather delicious, with a distinctively bitter herbal twist at the end. Rather refreshing and good for having with dinner.

6) Gin Old-Fashioned
This was full of flavour, but it seemed a bit unbalanced and a bit rough. There’s a slight burn, so it is quite warming, but it doesn’t have the delicate clarity of flavour that I would expect from this gin drink. Not that great, really.
Having said that, Mrs. B quite liked it, describing it as “spicy gin”; she proceeded to finish the glass.

7) Fruit Cup
Refreshing, but rather herbaceous; the red vermouth and ginger go well with the herbs of the gin and there is also a nice bitter lift at the end. I thought that it was similar to a Campari Soda

8) Pink Gin
Again, the heat is still present in this cocktail, but the bitter herbal notes go well with the juniper-earthiness of the gin. I found it rather bracing and thought it could be smoother, but – still – it wasn’t bad.

 

In Conclusion

Dzins Vikings is, without a doubt, a strong alcohol product, full of flavour and, in particular, herbal notes. Whilst not the smoothest spirit in the world, it certainly has character. The Gimlet and Fruit Cup were my personal favourites from the cocktails that we tried, although the Martini was pretty interesting and rather robust.

Dzins Vikings is available from The Whisky Exchange  for around £15.49 for 50cl

Gin’s Review Index

Gin reviews are a big part of SummerFuritCup.

Here is a list of the Gin’s we have reviewed so far, just click on the name to go to the page.

#

3 Corners Gin

6 O’Clock Gin (London)

A

Adler Berlin Gin (Germany)

B

Bathtub Gin (England)

Bedrock Gin (England)

Beefeater London Market (London)

Beefeater Winter (London)

Berkeley Square (England)

Blackwoods (Scotland)

Bloom (England)

Boe (Scotland)

Bombay Sapphire EAST (England)

Boord’s (USA)

Botanist Gin (Scotland)

Both’s Old Tom Gin

C

Cadenhead Classic (Scotland)

Caoruun (Scotland)

Cittadele Reserve (2008) (France)

Cork Dry Gin(Ireland)

D

Darnley’s View 

Death’s Door (USA) – Wisconsin

Dorchester Old Tom Gin

Dry Fly (USA) – Washington State

E

Edgerton Pink (London)

Edinburgh Gin (Scotland)

F

Foxdenton Gin (London)

Flora St. Gin (England)

G

Gin Mare (Spain)

Ginebra San Miguel (Philippines)

H

Hammer Gin (Norway)

Hayman’s London Dry Gin (England)

Hayman’s 1850 Reserve Gin (England)

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin

Hereford Gin (England)

Hoxton (France)

I

Iceberg Gin (Canada)

Ish (London)

J

Joséphine Gin (France)

Jensen’s Old Tom Gin

K

Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin (London)

L

Larry’s Gin Pink (Finland)

Larry’s Gin Yellow Vintage (Finland)

Lebensstern Pink Gin (Germany)

Limbrey’s Gin (London)

M

Mayfair Gin (London)

Moore’s Gin (Australia)

N

Nolet’s Silver Gin

O

Old Raj Red (Scotland)

Old Raj Blue (Scotland)

OLD TOM GINS

Oliver Twist Gin (London)

P

Perivale Gin (London)

Plymstock Gin (England)

Portobello Star Gin (London)

Q

Quintessential (England)

R

Ransom “Old Tom” Gin

Rudolf Jelinek Czech Dry Gin (Czech Rep.)

S

Savier Artisan Gin

Savier Juniper Gin

Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin (London)

Seagram’s Extra Dry [Ancient Gin] (USA) –  Indiana

Seagram’s Distillers Reserve (USA) –  Indiana

Secret Treasure’s Old Tom Gin

Sipsmith Gin (London)

Sloane’s Dry Gin (Netherlands)

Studer Gin (Switzerland)

T

Tanqueray Malacca

Tanqueray Rangpur

U

Uganda Waragi (Uganda)

V

Veresk Gin (Russia)

Vikings Gin (Latvia)

W

Wray & Nephew Old Tom Gin (Jamaica)

X

Xoriguer Mahon Gin


Y

.

Z

Zuidam Dry

67

Map updated to include South Sudan - Click To enlarge

For more of our Gin Reviews please click here

Cocktails with… Cork Dry Gin (Ireland)

For today’s World of Gin, we’re moving back closer to home, just a short trip over the Irish Sea, to look at Cork Gin. To me, Cork is one of those intermediate gins* (like Brokers) that was one of the first I tried after I had tasted the “inner circle” of the gin world (i.e. those easier to get hold of); the likes of Gordon’s Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater, etc..

Cork Dry Gin is currently made in County Cork in Ireland at the Midleton distillery. Although it is not widely available in the UK, their website details that 80% of the gin drinks consumed in Ireland’s pubs and bars are made with Cork Dry.

Cork Irish Gin does not have the same characteristics of a Classic London Dry Gin and having tried no other Irish gins, I do not know if this is an Irish-gin thing, or just a Cork-gin thing. What I do know is that if they make up 80% of the on-trade gin sales, the residents of Ireland must like the style.

A bottle of the now discontinued Cork Crimson Premium Gin

I am currently a little hazy on the exact details of the production and botanical mix of Cork Gin**, but it is bottled at 38% ABV. I am also aware that, in 2005, a premium version was released; called Cork Crimson, this had ten botanicals, one of which was local Garden Mint, and was bottled at 41.2% ABV.

#1 Own
Quite light, with elements of coffee and vanilla; soft, with some juniper and, at only 38% ABV, there is still quite a lot of warmth.

#2 Gin & Tonic
Quite good; very juicy, with good solid notes of juniper. There’s a slightly creamy element, but this more subdued than in many of the other drinks that I tried. There is also a touch of coffee on the finish. Pretty good.

#3 Martini
Delightfully smooth, the vanilla is there again, as well as a little juniper. In a blind tasting, I could have been fooled into thinking this was actually a vodka martini.

#4 Gin Collins
Slippery and soft, like Sicilian Lemonade. The distinctive flavours of the gin are lost, but, on the upside, it’s a great drink in its own right.

#5 Gimlet
Very tangy, but rather nice. It’s invigorating and certainly wakes you up on a dreary Friday afternoon! A touch heavy on the lime, but is definitely still worth a try.

#6 Negroni
Vanilla and fruity jamminess are prevalent, followed by the usual bitterness. Rather pleasant.

#7 Gin Bump
Very tasty and refreshing; a nice standard for a Gin Bump, but with the pleasant twist of having a hint of vanilla at the end.

#8 Pink Gin
A real clash of flavours; seems a little rough and so isn’t recommended.

#9 Alexander
A delightful Alexander; frankly, the best I have ever had. A brilliant blend of juniper, vanilla, chocolate and spice, which works very well with the cream. Very well balanced. Top notch!

#10 Sweet Gin
The gin already had some cappuccino (coffee and vanilla notes) and the addition of sugar accentuates these flavours, but also increases the presence of the citrus notes too. Sweet and smooth, Mrs. B liked it and described it as “slinky”.

In Conclusion
Cork Dry Gin is still obviously a gin, but it has a slightly lighter and more confectionary style. It seems to go quite well in lighter drinks and those with pudding-like flavours. Particular highlights of the tasting included: Gin Bump, Gin & Tonic and, of course, the Alexander.

UPDATE CORK CRIMSON

Thanks to the generosity of a patron of gin I recently got the chance to try some cork crimson and I must say I was rather impressed, it is less creamy than normal Cork and is a move back toward the Classic style of many London Dry Gins.

* In the UK anyway.
** If you have any information please let me know.