Gin Class of 2013

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The last couple of years have been great ones for fans of gin.  First we saw the rise of the “new western” gins, which are no longer flavored predominately with ingredients other than juniper.  These makers use fruits and botanicals not commonly associated with the spirit, such as apple, chocolate, or hibiscus.  Many of these new-wave gins were made in America, the present leader in gin innovation.  Fans of the traditional “London Dry” style should not be disheartened, as many English distilleries have answered with extremely complex gins steeped in their more traditional British botanicals.  It is with great pleasure that we introduce this year’s favorite new additions to the gin market.  JR

New York Distilling Company Dorothy Parker American Gin 750ml

And now for something completely different… Our friends at New York Distilling under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway are making some of New York’s most delicious gins.  The Dorothy Parker, named for the legendarily sharp-tongued wit of New York’s Algonquin Round Table, boasts decidedly American style with un-traditional botanicals like hibiscus and cinnamon.  Of course we are talking gin here, so there’s a nice dry juniper kick as well.  I think that this makes for a very interesting twist on a gin and tonic.  More adventurous home bartenders may want to use it to give the classic gin cocktails a new angle.  John Rankin

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Sipsmith London Dry Gin 750ml

London doubled its number of urban gin distilleries several years ago with the addition of Sipsmith’s copper pot stills. Although most gin drinkers are familiar with the phrase “London Dry,” they may be surprised to learn that when Sipsmith opened, the only other distillery within London city limits was Beefeater, and Beefeater makes more gin in a day than Sipsmith will in an entire year. Sipsmith has a richness that immediately distinguishes it from many other gins. This makes it the perfect ingredient in classic cocktails like a Martini or gin-and-tonic, which, when made with Sipsmith, have an enhanced weight and sense of balance. The gin tastes most strongly of fresh juniper, putting it squarely in the “London Dry” camp, but playing in the background are spicy notes of coriander and very lively citrus peel. We hear rumors that the future may bring a Pimm’s Cup-style spirit from Sipsmith… John Rankin

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Jensen London Dry Gin 750ml

Jensen’s Bermondsey gin is the result of a Gin obsession. Christian Jensen became obsessed with old fashioned “London Dry” gins while living in Tokyo, of all places. The bartenders there have hoarded and treasured old bottles made before artificial flavors became rampant in gin production. Christian became a collector of gin and after stumbling upon some old gin recipes, began to reverse-engineer the ultimate old-styled gin. Compared to Sipsmith, Jensen's character is a bit more subtle, with juniper playing the lead and soft floral and spice character adding support. The mouth-feel is lush and generous with a touch of anise sweetness. Splendid stuff with lots of complexity!  John Rankin

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