EZdrinking

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary.

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary. EZdrinking is a drinks blog by Eric Zandona that focuses on distilled spirits, wine, craft beer and specialty coffee. Here you can find reviews of drinks, drink books, articles about current & historical trends, as well as how to make liqueurs, bitters, and other spirit based drinks at home.

Review: Cotswolds Batch 1 Cask-Aged London Dry Gin

Cotswolds Batch 1 Cask-Aged London Dry Gin was distilled and aged by Cotswolds Distillery for That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled 46% ABV

Price: $46.40 for 500ml or $5.07 for 30ml

The Cotswold Distillery was founded by  Dan Szor, a native New Yorker how fell in love with an Englishwoman and the pastoral hills of Cotswolds northwest of London. In addition to malt whisky, Szor also produces a London Dry Gin on a 500 litre hybrid still made by Arnold Holstine. Starting with a neutral spirit made from wheat, the Cotswolds London Dry Gin is made by macerating juniper, coriander, and angelica for 12 hours then distilling that with an addition lavender, bay leaf, grapefruit, lime black pepper and cardamom.

For this bottling of That Boutique-y Gin Company, they took the Cotswold London Dry Gin and then aged them in ex-bourbon and ex-red wine casks. These are the same types of barrel are the same ones used for maturing their new make malt spirit into English Malt Whisky.

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The noes has bright notes of juniper and lemon with an underlying floral character almost like rose petals. As the gin sits, the nose opens up and shows more of the wood character from the barrel.

Palate: On the palate the gin has a medium body that is warm on the tongue. The gin flavor tastes of oak with notes of pine and white pepper.

Finish: The finish is long and warm. As the flavors fade, notes of pine and lemon balm linger until the next drink. 

Conclusion: Cotswolds Batch 1 Cask-Aged London Dry Gin is a very good example of an aged gin. By this it clearly shows the influence of the barrel without being overpowering.  The botanical flavors are enhanced and augmented by the maturation in wood not obscured by them. This gin would work well on the rocks, in a slightly oaky Gin & Tonic or even a Martinez.

Thank you to Master of Malt and That Boutique-y Gin Company for providing the free sample.

Review: Few Spirits Batch 1 Gin

FEW Spirits Batch 1 Gin was distilled by FEW Spirits for That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled at 46.2% ABV

Price: $46.40 for 500ml or $5.07 for 30ml

Paul Hletko founded FEW Spirits in 2011, in Evanston, Illinois just 30 minutes north of downtown Chicago. Being based in Evanston, a stronghold of the American temperance movement, FEW gets its name from the initials of Frances Elizabeth Willard, the president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. In their typical tongue and cheek style, the label of this bottling for That Boutique-y Gin Company shows the ghost of Mrs. Willard haunting Hletko for attaching her name to a distillery. 

Heltko makes the base spirit for his gin from a mash of corn, wheat and unmalted barley. FEW's American Gin is made with 11 botanicals, among which are juniper, lemon peal, orange zest, vanilla, cassia, grains of paradise and brewers hops. However, for this bottling by That Boutique-y Gin Company they tweaked the botanical mix to include juniper, coriander seed, lime, and fennel. 

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose is super fruity with notes of apple and strawberry right up front. Underlying the fruit character are notes of lemon grass and juniper.

Palate: On the palate the gin is very smooth. The flavor has notes of lemongrass that transforms into lemon zest and there is a slight note of dill  on the back palate. 

Finish: The flavors on the finish taste like fruity bubble bum followed by a slight briny character layered with dill and  sweet lemon.

Conclusion: FEW Spirits Batch 1 Gin is a fascinating gin that clearly displays how making your own base spirit rather than buying neutral spirit in bulk can enhance the character of the gin. This Batch 1 Gin is so unique that it could be off putting to those looking for either your standard juniper forward gin or the common floral/citrus forward gin. Be advised this is not your standard gin, that being said it the range of flavors an complexity is intriguing. While sampling this gin the first thing that came to mind was that it would be excellent served slightly chilled with spicy Thai food. This is definitely a gin to be creative with.

Thank you to Master of Malt and That Boutique-y Gin Company for providing the free sample.

Review: Blackwater Batch 1 Gin

Blackwater Batch 1 Gin was distilled at the Blackwater Distillery for That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled at 40% ABV 

Price: $34.51 for 500ml or $3.99 for 30ml

Peter Mulryan and Kieran Curtan founded the Blackwater Distillery in West Waterford, Ireland on the banks of the Blackwater River. Blackwater's flagship gin took its inspiration from the fact that White’s of Waterford was the largest importer of exotic spices from around the world and that they used the Blackwater River to move their precious cargo inland. While Blackwater No. 5 Gin uses 12 botanicals from the far reaches of the world, the gin they made for That Boutique-y Gin Company took its inspiration from an 11th Century garden in an Irish Monastery. In addition to juniper this Batch 1 Gin includes quince, rosehip, and bletted medlars.

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose has a lovely floral character of lavender, and angelica  with a creamy note of orange zest carried up on the alcohol. 

Palate: The palate is very soft and has a creamy texture. The flavor includes notes of bitter orange, angelica, coriander and juniper. 

Finish: The finish is long and warm. There is a slight bitterness perhaps from the juniper that is contrasted against an underlying note of rose petal.

Conclusion: Blackwater Batch 1 Gin is a really nice contemporary style gin which is ironic since the botanical inspiration came from Ireland's 11th Century. On the rocks this gin that would smooth out some of alocohol and bitter notes and let the floral notes sing. I also imagine that this gin would be a great compliment to an aviation. 

Thank you to Master of Malt and That Boutique-y Gin Company for providing the free sample.

Review: East London Liquor Company Batch 1 London Dry Gin

East London Liquor Company Batch 1 London Dry Gin was distilled at the East London Liquor Company for That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled at 46% ABV

Price: $37.76 for 500ml or $4.14 for 30ml

As their name implies, the East London Liquor Company is located in East London, England and the first distillery to be making spirits in that part of the city in the last 100 years. ELLC produces a wide variety of spirits, including vodka, four gins, a rum and whisky which is currently aging.

For this iteration of That Boutique-y Gin Company London Dry Gin, they piled on the citrus. In addition to fresh lime and orange zest they also included miyagawa peal which is a type of Japanese satsuma. The botanical mix also includes Douglas Fir and cubeb berries. 

TASTING NOTES

Nose: On the note the gin has a very light floral note that is backed up with lemon zest.

Palate: On the palate the gin is slightly dry and the initial flavor is a little bit earthy and almost salty. As the flavors develop, the earthiness is followed by a medley of citrus, lemon and pomelo that is powerful and well balanced.

Finish: The finish is bright and combines citrus with light notes of violet, orange blossom and a slight pine bitterness presumably from the Douglas Fir and juniper. 

Conclusion: The East London Liquor Company Batch 1 London Dry Gin is very citrus forward and simultaneously well balanced with the addition of Douglas Fir. I think this gin would show niceley in a Gin & Tonic and add complexity to a drink like The Last Word.

Thank you to Master of Malt and That Boutique-y Gin Company for providing the free sample.

Review: Greensand Ridge Batch 1 London Dry Gin

Greensand Ridge Batch 1 London Dry Gin was distilled at Greensand Ridge Distillery for That Boutique-7 Gin Company and bottled at 46% ABV.

Price: $37.76 for 500ml or $4.34 for 30ml

Greensand Ridge Distillery is located in Shipbourne, England about an hour southeast of London. The distillery is named after the Greensand Ridge which surrounds Kent and Sussex and it is there goal to source the majority of their fruit and botanicals from this region. The distillery also has the goal of being sustainably run which includes recycling 100% of their packaging waste, buying ripe fruit from local farmers that was rejected by supermarkets for aesthetic reasons, and using an electric still that runs on renewable sources of energy. The distillery currently produces a London Dry Gin, a raspberry flavored spirit and it is maturing apple brandy for the future. 

For this the Batch 1 London Dry Gin for That Boutique-y Gin Company, they combined elements of both Greensand's London Dry Gin and their Raspberry Ghost Spirit. The gin has locally-sourced cobnuts (hence the squirrels on the label), rosehip, honey, and hawthorne berries. The raspberry ghost is made from distilling a mix of raspberry juice and wheat spirit.

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose is very pungent and earthy with floral notes similar to geranium and brewers hops. Underneath those top notes is a pleasant aroma of lemon zest.

Palate: On the palate the gin has a soft and creamy texture with flavors of bright lemon zest, juniper, and a green note reminiscent of coriander. 

Finish: The finish is mildly dry and has a slightly floral character that lingers with a hint of grapefruit. 

Conclusion: Greensand Ride Batch 1 London Dry Gin is a really nice gin that balances floral, fruity and earthy flavors. This gin would probably work nicely in a martini or even a gin & tonic. 

Thank you to Master of Malt and That Boutique-y Gin Company for providing the free sample.