Gin is thought to be a British adaptation of the Dutch spirit genever, though the origins of both gin and genever are subject to debate. Gin is, in essence, a flavored vodka as it is in fact a neutral spirit with certain flavorings added to it, though gin distillers won’t thank you for saying that. The key, characteristic flavor of gin must be of juniper, and historically juniper has been an overwhelming component of the spirit. In recent years, distillers have moved to tempering the impact of juniper and pumping up other flavors in the bottle, sometimes resulting in a spirit that’s closer to a flavored vodka. In the European Union and some other places gin must be at least 75 proof, while in the U.S. it must be at least 80 proof. “Navy Strength” gins are often bottled at 114 proof. Today, numerous sub-styles of gin have emerged out of the classic London Dry, including a resurgence of the archaic Old Tom gin style, Plymouth gin (which is also a famous brand), and New Western (or New American) gin, which tends to push the flavor boundaries of the spirit. Aside from Plymouth gin, which must be produced in a specific town in England, these gins have no formal, legal definitions or requirements.

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Review: Bully Boy Distillers Merchant Gin and Estate Gin (2020)

By Christopher Null | August 21, 2020 |

We’ve covered the gins of Boston’s Bully Boy Distillers on several occasions. Recently the distillery rebranded its two gins — relaunching them with much different labels and mildly different identities. The recipes have not been altered, but batch and bottle numbers have been eliminated. Let’s dig in. Bully Boy Distillers Merchant Gin (2020) – Launched…

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Review: Corsair Dark Rye, Triple Smoke, and American Gin (2020)

By Christopher Null | August 8, 2020 |

At one point, Nashville-based Corsair had roughly 20 expressions of whiskey, gin, moonshine, and even absinthe on the market. To say that Corsair’s attentions were scattered might be a bit of an understatement. That changed this year when Corsair did a full-scale reboot, bringing their core product lineup down to just four: Two whiskeys, and…

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Review: Rabbit Hole Bespoke Gin Barrel Finished (2020)

By Christopher Null | July 11, 2020 |

Last year, Drew wrote about Rabbit Hole’s Rye-Finished Gin, a distillery-only bottling that stood as the only non-whiskey offering the operation produced. Now we’re back with a fresh look at the spirit, which has been renamed, rebottled, and rebranded as Bespoke Gin, now complete with batch and bottle numbers. What else has changed? Nothing at…

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Stray Dog Wild Gin

Review: Stray Dog Wild Gin

By Mike Gerrard | July 7, 2020 |

As well as some excellent wines, Greece is known mainly for its indigenous spirits like ouzo, raki, tsipouro, and Metaxa. But gin? Not at all. There are only 2 or 3 made in the whole country, and only one currently available in the USA: Stray Dog Wild Gin. The first part of the name is…

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Review: 5 of Geijer Glogg’s California Liqueurs and More

By Christopher Null | June 29, 2020 |

Earlier this year we brought you coverage of California Fernet, a fun spin on the classic Italian style that mixes in both Californian and Swedish sensibilities. Now we’re back to the well with five more products from Martin Geijer’s Geijer Glogg, the San Francisco-based company behind the brand. This quintet spans a wide range of…

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Review: Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Royal Strength Gin

By Christopher Null | June 13, 2020 |

This is round 3 (of 4 products in total) with Gin Lane 1751, as we turn our attention to the brand’s “royal strength” — in lieu of navy strength — offering. Pot-distilled and made in the London Dry style, as the name suggests, it is flavored with eight botanicals: juniper, star anise, Seville orange, orris…

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Review: Coit Spirits Gins and Bourbon

By Christopher Null | June 5, 2020 |

Coit Spirits traces a path from Australia vineyards to Sonoma, California, courtesy of winemaker Gerry Rowland, who has of late turned his eyes to the hard stuff. (That’s San Francisco’s Coit Tower on the bottle.) The company’s first product, an Earl Grey-infused gin, arrived a few years ago, and the company’s distilling operation has expanded…

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Review: Hepple Gin

By Christopher Null | May 30, 2020 |

Originally launched in 2015, Hepple Gin is the result of a “pursuit of a gin to make the perfect dry martini,” culminating in a “complete rethinking” of how gin is made. The British gin is made using a three-step process that distills the spirit in three different ways. Step one is a fairly standard but…

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Review: Crater Lake Gin

By Christopher Null | May 23, 2020 |

Crater Lake Spirits (formerly known as Bendistillery), based in Bend, Oregon, produces at least a dozen spirits — a few of which we’ve reviewed in earlier incarnations. One of its most visible products is this gin, an untraditional construction of gin that is flavored with only juniper and no additional botanicals. The juniper is infused after…

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Review: Tenth Ward Absinthe Nouvelle and Genever Style Gin

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2020 |

Tenth Ward Distilling can be found in downtown Frederick, Maryland, where it produces a dazzling array of craft spirits, ranging from honeyjack (distilled mead) to Maryland’s only absinthe. Today we look at a pair of releases from Tenth Ward, the aforementioned absinthe and a genever. Tenth Ward Absinthe Nouvelle – “Distilled [from a base of…

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