Nolet’s Sliver Gin

Nolet’s Sliver Gin

This is a great exploring gin and won’t be for every taste but those who like it are liable to love it.

It’s an extremely floral take with fresh notes of Turkish rose, peach and raspberry, giving it a very distinctive flavor.

A great example of the New World-style of gin where the Juniper is really downplayed, so much so that it’s barely there.  In fact, if you think you don’t like gin, this is far enough from London Dry that it might just be the thing that brings you in.

We think it’s terrific and has so much going on, flavor-wise, that we like to drink it as Vodka drinkers like to take their “Martinis” – shaken with ice, and nothing else, then served up in a cocktail glass.

NOTE:  For the truly passionate (and fairly well-heeled) we just received a bottle of the extremely rare Nolet’s Reserve which is made using Grade 1 Saffron – which is, pound for pound, more valuable than gold.

We had a chance to taste this with our liquor rep and can tell you first hand that if you can afford the $80 price, it’s truly a fascinating and wondrous spirit.

Our Bartender Kristen was at the tasting and notes…

Tasting Nolet’s Reserve is a rare treat I recently enjoyed. Saffron and Verbena linger for about 30 seconds after tasting– it’s a class act spirit.

You can learn more about both Nolet’s Silver and Nolet’s Reserve at their web site here.

Professor Cornelias Ampleforth Bathtub Gin

Professor Cornelias Ampleforth
Bathtub Gin

 

The current favorite of our bar manager, Mark.

It has soooo much going on!

There’s definitely plenty of Juniper but not in the oily piney way often found on lesser offerings.  Somehow the Professor’s has found a way to make his Juniper notes fresher and more natural tasting.   There’s also a very solid citrus layer – yuzu fruit-ish  – as well as some earthy notes to round it out.

It hits all the flavors one looks for in a good gin – piney, citrusy, earthy, juniper-y, sweet – and combines them in uniquely balanced way without hitting you in the face with any one taste.

It’s got a soft, velvet-y nose, that’s not too hot on the alcohol and has these lovely fruity, sweet top notes that really make it something special.

This one is truly worth seeking out.

Tanqueray Malacca Gin

Tanqueray
Malacca Gin

Originally released in 1997, as a lighter alternative to regular Tanqueray, then promptly discontinued four years later, Malacca was one of the first offerings to venture away from the rigid traditions of London Dry-style gins well before the renaissance of both forgotten classic-styles (like Old Tom) and the radical experimentation that we’re enjoying today.  In fact, Cocktail historian, David Wondrich, at the time suggested Malacca as an alternative to Old Tom gin in the classic cocktails that call for it, since it was almost impossible to find Old Tom on the market in those days.

The good news is, Malacaa is available again and we’ve got it.

Based on a 1839 recipe from Charles Tanqueray, this one of the earliest New World takes on classic London Dry.  It’s softer and less junper-y that regular Tanqueray, with obvious hints of grapefruit.

Malacca is a good starter gin if London Dry’s a bit much for you and you want to ease your way in.

Or, if  you’re a fan of regular Tanqueray and want to venture out in the direction of the New World styles, this would be a natural transition.

Mark, our bar manager, remembers the original release fondly,

“When there were so few new, interesting choices in the gin world, this was a bit of a revelation.”

And, quickly adds…

“I’d put it in a Martinez in a second.”

High Spirits “Desert Dry.”

High Spirits
“Desert Dry.”

Desert Dry is a New World style from Flagstaff, AZ, distilled at an elevation of  7000 feet in the  first legal distillery in Arizona.

Desert Dry claims to be crafted with eight selected botanicals (they don’t list which) “including some native to the Southwest and Sonoran desert.”

We’re not sure what the “desert” notes are other than the ones that your normally find in gin, and it’s definitely heavy on the Juniper but we also found a sweet, floral nose – with distinct notes of rich, honeyed lavender.  It’s fairly viscous and not too dry.

All in all, Mark calls it,

A “fine” gin.  Probably not the sort of thing you’d want in a martini  but it would be very respectable “mixing” gin and the floral notes should be very nice in a G&T.

 

FEW American Gin

FEW American Gin

A contemporary American-style gin made just outside of Chicago.

Strong, sweet citrus on the nose with warm vanilla and hints of juniper along the body.

This is the gin we use as an example of the New World Style in our “Styles of Gin” gin flight. This modern style of gin is characterized by downplaying juniper and showcasing less traditional and uncommon botanicals.

These folks also make a bourbon and a rye now which we have on our bar back and look forward to sampling soon.  Feel free to try them first and let us know what you think.

You can learn more about them at their web site here.

 

St. George Terrior

St. George Terrior

One of the favorite gins or our red-headed bar tender, Kristen who says it’s like…

Christmas AND summertime in a glass…

When Kristen first arrived at the Proper she was relatively new to gin so, Mark, the bar manager put a handful of his favorite gins in front of her and this one immediately caught her attention.

It attracted her first because it’s made right here in her home state of California and then for its intense botanical flavors.

One of three very different gins produced by St. George, Terroir is made with native California Douglas fir, California bay laurel and coastal sage blended with a wide range of traditional gin botanicals.

There are a lot of unusual flavors here but it’s still clearly a gin.

Look for piney, grassy and earthy on both the nose and palate.

It’s fantastic in a Last Word.

You can learn more about them at their web site here.

http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/spirit/terroir-gin/

Fords Gin

Fords Gin

Fords gin was created by the proprietors of one of the most respected cocktail bars in the country, New York’s Employees Only.

It was designed by bartenders for bartenders specifically to be used in gin cocktails.

It’s 86 proof, slightly higher than the usual 80 which helps it stand up to other ingredients in a cocktails.

Fords is a classic English, juniper-forward style with pronounced lemon and orange that is great for mixing.

Look for a fresh, floral nose with a full, earthy body.

One of our Bartender, John Peet’s all time favorites…

These guys have created the  quintessential cocktail gin.

You can learn more about them at their web site here. 

 

The Botonist Islay Dry Gin

The Botonist
Islay Dry Gin

This is one of our bar manager, Mark’s current favorites.

Mark has long been a fan and student of Scotch distilling traditions so when he found himself in charge of the world’s largest gin bar, he started working his way through the great new Scottish gins and this was a clear and immediate standout.

Made from 9 traditional gin botanicals and 22 handpicked native Islay botanicals (that’s where the super smokey, super peaty Scotches are made), it’s then distilled in a copper Lamond still nicknamed “Ugly Betty.”

It’s a New World-style gin but it holds to its London Dry roots – like London Dry with a twist.  Look for citrus and mint on the nose and a rich, earthy flavor.

Mark calls it…

One of the most surprising, interesting spirits I have ever had…

He recommends drinking it first and foremost neat, in a glass, but it would also make a terrific Corpse Reviver #2

You can learn more about them at their web site….http://www.bruichladdich.com/the-botanist-islay-dry-gin/the-botanist

 

Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin

Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin

This is a favorite of almost every bartender in the place and what the owner has his Martini made from most often.

We’ve included info from their marketing materials below but John Peet probably expresses best what we all we love about this libation,

A great bar regular of ours recently got me a bottle and I took it on a camping trip and drank it around a fire with 3 of my favorite people in the world.  That gin will always have a place in my heart, they are a newcomer in the game I believe that bottle was from their 11th batch.  It has a taste that can go perfectly with a relaxing evening like that one.

It is smooth with a sweet meyer lemon taste.

It is an awesome combination of refreshment and juniper that was perfect for a summer night.

From their web site…

Uncle Val’s is a small-batch botanical gin
inspired by  Zio Valerio’s love of gardening
and native tuscan cuisine.

The botanicals are not only Uncle Val’s
favorite cooking ingredients,
but also happen to make an
exceptionally unique and smoothly delicious gin.

THE BOTANICALS:

  • JUNIPER: the quintessential gin ingredient, juniper adds a dash of that distinctive “gin” taste to Uncle Val’s.
  • CUCUMBER: adds a cooling effect to the taste, along with subtle freshness cues.
  • LEMON: the citrus zing provides balance amongst the botanicals, along with the added benefit of crispness.
  • SAGE: derived from the phrase “to be saved,” sage has been held in high regard throughout history both for it’s culinary and medicinal properties. Helps make you feel more alert, calm and contented, with the effects lasting.
  • LAVENDER: historically used for its calming effect, it reduces stress, aids in sleep.

And their suggested recipes…