The Tasting Panel magazine

January/February 2012

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Page 94 of 128

BROKER'S LONDON DRY GIN Creating a delectable London dry gin is a matter of skill and artistic interpretation. Making it affordable requires genius. Fortunately for gin enthusiasts, bowler-topped Broker's London Dry Gin has managed to accomplish both. The premium gin is a classically structured spirit distilled in Birmingham, England. Crafted in a century-old copper pot still, Broker's is made from 100% pure neutral grain spirits and infused with ten herbs, spices and fruit. The botanicals are crushed and steeped in the neutral spirits until their aroma and flavors have been completely inte- grated. The gin is then redistilled and rendered to 94 proof with purified water. Broker's London Dry Gin is a highly distinctive spirit with a modest price tag. The gin has a smooth, lightweight body and a generous juniper and citrus bouquet. Its high aromat- ics are thoroughly engaging. Its entry is quite soft, followed quickly by a mouth-filling burst of dry, fruity flavor. The gin's elevated alcohol content tingles slightly on the tongue before it slowly subsides into a lingering and flavorful finish. Brand co-founder Andy Dawson thinks one of the main reasons Broker's keeps winning so many competitions is that they don't use any quirky ingredients. "There is nothing in Broker's Gin that jars with consumers' experience of and expectations for a fine gin. I can only conclude that the judges greatly appreciate our classic London dry gin style." —R. P. SRP: $19.99; supplier: HOOD RIVER DISTILLERS THE MOST FASCINATING NEW GINS A large part of gin's mystique is that each brand is distinctively individual. An exceptional gin etches itself on one's sensory memory like a lilting perfume. No two major labels of gin taste or smell the same, so it's easy to appreciate how once smitten, people can become such devotees of one brand over the rest of the field. When gin aficionados say they fancy a particular gin more than the others, believe them. In the event you missed the fanfare of their initial release, the following are our choice of the most fascinating new gins that you likely haven't heard of . . . yet. —Robert Plotkin Bluecoat American Dry Gin PLYMOUTH GIN Plymouth Gin can well be called the gin that launched a thousand ships. The landmark brand has a long, storied history with the British Royal Navy and is still the daily issue to its officers. The gin is characteristi- cally complex—dry, aromatic and brimming with long-lasting flavor. Plymouth Gin continues to be made where it origi- nated over 200 years ago, at England's oldest continu- ously operating distillery, Black Friars Distillery. The venerable brand is distilled in a large copper alembic still using pure grain spirits, soft Dartmoor water and an infusion of seven hand-selected botanicals. "In our opinion, the most significant feature of any great gin is that it be produced with the highest quality of botanicals," contends Maria Puente, Senior Brand Manager at Pernod Ricard USA. "The gin must also be appealing enough to either sip alone or be the foundation from which other ingredients can be added to create amazing cocktails. This is what separates Plymouth from the other brands." A quick sniff, sip and swallow are all that's necessary to appreciate Plymouth Gin's enduring popularity. It has an expansive, citrus, spice and juniper bouquet and a lightweight, seamlessly smooth body. The gin immediately fills the mouth with juniper, coriander, orange and lemon. The exuberant flavors linger on the palate for an agreeably long time. —R. P. SRP: $30; supplier: PERNOD RICARD USA 94 / the tasting panel / january/february 2012 Handcrafted in Philadelphia, organic Bluecoat is pot dis- tilled from rye, wheat, barley and corn. The resulting spirit is infused with juniper, sweet orange peels and fresh citrus. In a break from style, the fruit notes and flavors take center stage. SRP: $29.99; supplier: PHILADELPHIA DISTILLING Bols Barrel Aged Genever Lucas Bols, the world's oldest distilled spirits company, released this new expression exclusively for the U.S. market. Aged for 18-months in Limousin oak barrels, the genever embraces the wood characters of aged American whiskies while maintaining the herbaceous, juniper flavors of the original Bols Genever. SRP: $49.99; supplier: LUCAS BOLS USA

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