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Gins
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Gins

The word “gin” derives from “genever,” the Dutch word for juniper and the original style of what we know today as gin. Gin is created by redistilling a neutral white spirit with herbs and botanicals, which must include juniper. Usually, the botanicals are added directly into the “mash” that is then distilled. Sometimes, however, as is the case with some of the most expensive gins in the world, the botanicals are hung in packs within the column still. As each level of distillation occurs, more and more flavors and aromas are added to the finished product.



Knickerbocker Gin PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Gins

New Holland Knickerbocker Gin
New Holland Artisan Spirits
Holland, MI
85 proof


New Holland Brewery & Distillery is best known for the “Brewery” part of their name, at least in Wisconsin. For years, we’ve been enjoying their beers: Mad Hatter IPA, Night Tripper Imperial Stout and, my favorite, Dragon’s Milk Barrel-Aged Stout! But just a few years ago, New Holland began distilling vodka, gin, rum and small-batch whiskey. They even have product called Hopquila that is steeped with Centennial hops! They are doing some pretty wild things over there, including some very exciting upcoming releases such as Dragon’s Milk Barrel-aged spirits.

Their Knickerbocker Gin gets its name from the Dutch explorers of the New World and is a celebration of the new exploration into the ancient art of distilling. Knickerbocker hits the nose with cardamom and cassia (cinnamon). Very little juniper is on the nose, but there is some faint lemon, or lemongrass. The flavor holds loads of cassia with some sweet grassy (tarragon?), lemon and orange peel notes rounding it out. There is very little juniper present, perhaps covered by the cassia flavor. It finishes sweet, not too dry, with pleasant citrus and grassy flavors.

newhollandbrew.com/spirits/gin/knickerbocker/

 
Edinburgh Gin PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Gins

By Ben Alger

a picture of Edinburgh GinSpencerfield Spirit Company – Edinburgh Gin
Price Range: $35-$40/750 ml

This lively gin comes to us from across the pond in Edinburgh, Scotland. Spencerfield sits on farmland with a small claim to fame. In the 1700s, the land was farmed by master distiller James Anderson. Anderson eventually moved to Virginia and managed the farm at Mount Vernon for George Washington. He convinced Washington to build a still on the land, and Mount Vernon became one of the first big producers of whiskey in the US. Today, that same farmland in Scotland is where Spencerfield pulls from to produce their award-winning spirits. This family business was set up over forty years ago by Alex Nicol, a whiskey aficionado and former marketing executive for Glenmorangie. In addition to gin, the Spencerfield product line also includes three whiskey varieties.

Edinburgh Gin packs a strong wallop at 86 proof and bursts out of the bottle with a bouquet of aromas including juniper, pine and citrus peel. The flavor is every bit as busy and intense as both the label and the aroma suggest. Among the ingredients included is milk thistle, long believed to improve liver function. Bonus!

 
Rehorst Premium Gin PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Gins


Great Lakes Distillery
Milwaukee, WI
88 proof

If you don’t know Milwaukee’s own Great Lakes Distillery by now, get yourself over to 6th and Virginia for a free tour and introduce yourself! Owned and operated by Guy Rehorst (RAY-horst) and his rag-tag team of miscreants (love you all), there seems to always be something new at Great Lakes Distillery. Right now, that something new is their “tasting room” bar and gift shop. There, you can have a cocktail made with any number of their large selection of products (too large to list here). Distiller Doug MacKenzie, meanwhile, keeps himself busy downstairs with the still, where he handcrafts every bottle they produce.

Rehorst Gin, the second product they produced, is a masterpiece of balance and subtlety. I had the privilege of tasting this gin before it ever hit the shelves and told them, at that moment, that I thought they had something very special. And indeed, that next year, they won a Double Gold at the World Spirits Competition with their gin. The nose contains mild juniper, lemongrass and citrus. The flavor is a perfect balance of juniper, citrus and floral notes, defying any one traditional gin style. The unique additions of sweet basil and Wisconsin ginseng into the mash help to round the flavors and aromas and strike that balance. If you typically “don’t like gin,” this is the one to try. It’s changed the minds of hundreds of people just like you.

greatlakesdistillery.com

 
Right Gin PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Gins

This gin is very different. The first thing you’ll notice is that the aroma is rather harsh, smelling mostly of alcohol. Get beyond this and you’ll catch just a hint of juniper. Upon tasting, you’ll discover that its “bark” is worse than its “bite.” It has a peppery, slightly sweet flavor with nice hint of bitter at the finish. If you typically prefer vodka over gin, this might be your gin as, in many ways, it's like a beefed up vodka. Although it's certainly not flavorless. In fact, quite the opposite. The flavor really punches, but in a good way. The mouthfeel, you’ll notice too, is oily and syrupy.

The peppery flavor is what makes this gin really different. There is certainly juniper and perhaps hints of citrus, but it's simultaneously spicy and sweet. We had a lot of fun using this gin in several classic gin recipes, but our favorite was the negroni - equal parts gin, campari & sweet vermouth.

Aroma: Heavy alcohol with a hint of juniper.
Taste: Intense. Peppery and sweet with a nice, slightly bitter balance at the end.
Finish: Short finish leaving the mouth clean and not too dry.

 

Photo by: Joe Szebeni - True Image Photography

 
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