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: Ableforth's Batch 2 Pedro Ximénez Aged Bathtub Gin

Ableforth's Batch 2 Pedro Ximénez Aged Bathtub Gin was macerated, and aged by Ableforth's  for That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled at 43.3% ABV

Price: $3.92 for 30ml

Ableforth's is a self described "Madcap creator of unique, small-batch spirits." In the US, Ableforth's would be described as a rectifier, in that they purchase spirits, and then modify them by macerating botanicals, fruit or maturing the spirit in special casks. In the late 1800s the term rectifier took on an negative connotation in the US from the bad practices of some companies that would buy well made bourbon or rye and dilute it with neutral spirit, prune juice and even acids. However, there is a responsible way to be a rectifier and Ableforth's demonstrates that. They are well know for their Bathtub Gin which takes neutral spirit and macerates juniper, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, orange peel and clove. The result is a gin with an yellow or amber tint from the botanicals. For this bottling, That Boutique-y Gin Company took some of the regular Ableforth's Bathtub Gin and aged it in a Pedro Ximénez Sherry cask.

@Ableforths

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose has a very pleasant aroma of of cherries with baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The nose is rich with notes from the sherry supported by juniper and the citrus. 

Palate: On the palate the gin is smooth and full bodied. There are notes of coco, orange zest, cinnamon, and a slight undertone of brightness from the juniper.

Finish: The finish is medium long with concurrent flavors of juniper and citrus followed by deeper flavors from the wood.

Conclusion: It is hard to do this gin justice in writing but Ableforth's Batch 2 Pedro Ximénez Aged Bathtub Gin is one of the most amazing and wonderful spirits I've had the pleasure of drinking. The gin is a complete treat. The gin picks up a wonderful sweetness and complexity from the sherry while still allowing the juniper and other botanicals to sing. This gin should be enjoyed neat or use in an amazing Martinez.

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

Review: Batch 1 Cherry Gin

Batch 1 Cherry Gin was macerated by That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled  42.6% ABV

Price: $32.36 for 500ml

Cherry Gin is whats known as a flavored or cordial gin. This means that That Boutique-y Gin Company took a finished gin and then added additional flavors and some sugar to sweeten it. In this instance, they macerated a combination of sweet and sour marasca cherries along with some spices in a classic juniper forward gin. Once the maceration was finished the cordial gin is filtered, sweetened and proofed down before bottling. 

TASTING NOTES

Nose: On the nose there are clear aromas of sweet cherries, lemon zest, grape juice and mulling spices. 

Palate: On the palate the gin is very sweet, with flavors of milk chocolate and fruit jam, perhaps cherry or raspberry though it is had to say exactly. The gin is bright withe a fresh tartness from the cherries and lemon zest. 

Finish: The finish is very long and sweet however, not cloying. Notes of fruit and milk chocolate linger on the palate.

Conclusion: Batch 1 Cherry Gin is an intensely fruity, bright and sweet cordial gin. That being said, the gin could work as an after dinner desert drink with a hazelnut biscotti. In a cocktail, I am sure it would work nicely in a tall drink with soda, or perhaps it could be used in place of Cherry Heering. Aside from cocktails, Cherry Gin would be excellent drizzled over vanilla ice cream.

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

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.