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: 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.

Review: McQueen Batch 1 London Dry Gin

McQueen Batch 1 London Dry Gin was Distilled by Trossachs Distillery  for That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled at 42% ABV. 

Price: $36.67 for 500ml or $4.01 for 30ml

In 2015, Vicky and Dale McQueen founded the Trossachs Distillery in Callander, Scotland. Before opening their distillery Vicky was a chef and baker, and Dale was a mechanical engineer. The McQueen's distill six different gins: Super Premium Dry Gin, Spiced Chocolate Orange Gin, Sweet Citrus Gin, Chocolate Mint Gin, Smokey Chilli Gin, and Mocha Gin. The McQueen Batch 1 London Dry Gin takes a classic gin botanical mix (probably juniper, coriander, angelica, cassia, orris, and  cardamom) and adds in orange peel and cocoa nibs. 

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose is a very pleasant combination of citrus and juniper. Underneath the top notes is an aroma like black iced tea or perhaps cucumber.  

Palate: The palate is very smooth and pleasant with a note of chocolate and orange peel up front. As the flavor develops in the mouth, notes of juniper and orris root shine through. 

Finish: The finish is mild and warm with notes of milk chocolate, orange and juniper.

Conclusion: McQueen Batch 1 London Dry Gin is a nice gin that would work well in a martini or gin & tonic. Overall the chocolate flavor is very mild and seams to add to both the structure and the mouth feel of the gin.

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

Review: Hernö Distillery Batch 1 London Dry Gin

Hernö Distillery Batch 1 London Dry Gin was distilled at the Hernö Distillery for That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled at 46.2% ABV

Price: $41.00 for 500ml or $4.50 for 30ml

The Hernö Distillery is located in the village of Dala just outside the City of Härnösand in Ångermanland, Sweden. Dala is in an area called The High Coast, which is a UNESCO world heritage area. Out of this small village, Jon Hillgren, founder of Hernö has been producing some of the world's best gin. In 2016, the International Wine and Spirits Competition named Hernö Gin the Gin Producer of the Year. 

The standard Hernö Gin includes juniper, coriander seeds, fresh lemon peel, lingonberries, meadowsweet, black pepper, cassia, and fresh vanilla. For this bottling, gin expert David T. Smith of Summer Fruit Cup worked Hillgren to formulate a variation on his standard recipe to include rose petal and blended in gin that had been aged in casks made from juniper wood. 

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose has bright citrus notes of lemon and orange zest with a hint of juniper and coriander underneath. As the gin has some time to breath I got a slightly earthy floral note that reminded me of black iced tea.

Palate: On the palate the gin has a very smooth texture with notes of juniper up front creating a warm and slightly piney flavor. There is also a very pleasant earthiness in the gin that imagine coming from the coriander. 

Finish: The gin has a medium finish that is semi-dry and bitter with lingering flavors of juniper, and citrus. 

Conclusion: Hernö Distillery Batch 1 London Dry Gin is an excellent classic gin with great body that probably comes from blending in some cask aged spirit. I think this bottling from Hernö and That Boutique-y Gin Company would be an great choice for both a dry martini and a gin & tonic. 

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

Review: Shortcross Batch 1 London Dry Gin

Shortcross Batch 1 London Dry Gin was Distilled by Rademon Estate Distillery for That Boutique-y Gin Company and bottled at 46% ABV. 

Price: $41.00 for 500ml or $4.49 for 30ml

For this bottling, That Boutique-y Gin Company (TBGC) commissioned Batch 1 of a London Dry Gin from Northern Ireland's Rademon Estate Distillery, the makers of Shortcross Gin. While Batch 1 does not include a full list of botanicals, it does state that it includes blackberries and apples foraged from the Rademon Estate.

That Boutique-y Gin Company is an independent bottler of gin. Most bottlings from TBGC are either new gins commissioned from a well known gin distiller or they will buy a gin experiment from a distiller that taste good but doesn't match the flavor profile of the distiller's regular gin.

Independent bottlers have been around for a long time in the Scotch world. Johnnie Walker started off as an independent bottler and Compass Box is doing an excellent job of continuing that tradition. However, as far as I know TBGC is the first independent bottler to seek out and bottle limited-edition gins from some of the world's best gin distilleries. For years whiskey lovers have been able to seeking out independent bottlings of their favorite bourbons or Scotch whiskies and taste the nuances of a new blend or barrel carefully selected by the bottler.  Now this same experience is available for gin lovers looking to taste a new gin from their favorite distillers. 

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose has a strong note of alcohol that carries a pleasant bouquet of citrus and floral notes. 

Palate: On the palate the gin has a light, crisp and clean body. Flavors of bright lime peel, and coriander come through with a slightly floral note. 

Finish: The finish is warm and lingers with flavors of bright lime zest and lemon leaves.

Conclusion: Shortcross Batch 1 London Dry Gin is an excellent gin and I think it would work particularly well in a gin & tonic. On its own, the gin needs  a little dilution to mute the alcohol and allow the wonderful citrus and floral notes to sing. That being said it will work well in a number of classic gin cocktails. 

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