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Feb 28, 2012 11:12 AM

What are your favorite new gins?

I'm a gin lover who recently had to take a 9 month vacation from drinking. During that time I've been watching with fascination as the gin section in the liquor store expands.

I'm thinking about doing a big gin buy to sample some of the new stuff, but prices are reasonably high, and I want to be somewhat discerning.

Tell me, Chowhounds -- what are the new gins you're loving? I adore Bluecoat (I live in Philly) and I loved Aviation when I got a chance to try it in Portland last year. I tried a tiny sip of The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, and we've got a bottle of that at home, waiting for me to be ready for it -- it was pretty nice, I thought, though I haven't had the chance to sample it fully.

I've read good things about Comb 9, Death's Door, and Fifty Pounds, but I haven't tried them yet. I've seen but know nothing about Farmer's Botanical Small Batch Organic, Dry Fly, Seneca Drums, G'Vine, Right Gin, Martin Miller's, Brandon's, and Tub. I know there are tons more out there that I haven't even seen yet.

I'm not to into Genever or Old Tom -- though I could be persuaded to try them again if you offer suggestions on what to try and how to mix them well.

Help me out, Chowhounds! Tell me which of these new, small batch, artisanal, foreign or local gins you love.

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  1. I like Leopold's American Dry Gin. Subtle but delicious.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monopod

      I'd like to recommend Leopold's Navy Strength Gin. I've got to settle into the bottle a bit more, but my first impression of it was extremely positive. I used it in a Bijou (see recipe below). Some gins can get lost a bit in the Green Chartreuse, but the Leopold's Navy Strength really brought a lot in its own right. It's not just higher proof. It's got a different botanical list and ratio.

      Bijou Cocktail
      1 oz. gin
      1 oz. Green Chartreuse
      1 oz. sweet vermouth
      1 dash orange bitters

      Stir and serve up. Garnish with a twist of lemon and a cherry.

    2. I like Ransom Small's Gin - it has a really nice cardamom flavor.

      1. I've enjoyed Ryan & Wood's Knockabout made in Gloucester, MA, and North Shore No. 6 made in Chicago.

        Of the ones you've mentioned, we have and like Death's Door and Martin Miller's. Death's Door is the least standard of the bunch (stripped down to 3 botanicals). MM's is solid and also comes in a high proof Westbourne Strength that is worth seeking out.

        1. Where do you buy your gins? I'm in the western burbs of Philly and it's slim pickins around these parts. I mean, we have Bluecoat (also adore) and Hendricks and the typical old-school British gins, but that's it. Help ME out. ;)

          1 Reply
          1. re: isadorasmama

            Can you drive into DE? Kreston's and Total Wine are where I go often

          2. I really like Hendricks and Nolet's

            Nolet's for smoothness makes Hendricks look harsh when I tasted them side by side neat (room temperature)

            Its fairly expensive thogh but has a unique profile - makes a very good rangoon gimlet if you are so inclined - but mixing is perhaps not the best use of the gin but if you have been away from the gin ahwile why not :)

            6 Replies
            1. re: Dapuma

              For a gin with a similar subtle flavor profile to Hendrick's, I really like Citadelle. It is about half the price here in NC ($20 vs $35, $17 vs $31 on sale). In a blind neat comparison I found them virtually indistinguishable.

              1. re: ncyankee101

                wow that is really high priced for hendricks

                hendricks on sale is usually 26 or 27 bucks

                I will check out Citadelle gin next time i have a chance - thanks for the recomendation

                1. re: ncyankee101

                  Tried Citadelle last weekend

                  I don't think Hendricks or Citadelle taste remotely similar - I thought CItadelle was more toward Nolets than Hendricks although unique it its own flavor i thought it was rougher than both - It was very citrusy and floral

                  i had brought it over to a friends house and had brought a small container of St Germaine and i thought St Germaine balanced it out nicely with some club soda and it was even better with orange seltzer water - so i think it has its uses and it is around 6-8 less per handle than hendricks

                  It is a bit more harsh and floral / citrusy than Hendricks, the Mrs did not care for it - so we will stay a Hendrick's household - but if you like to add orange notes to your gin drinks i think citadel is a great way to go and for less money

                  1. re: Dapuma

                    I guess because my palate is more experienced with whisk(e)y and rum, I have trouble picking out the subtleties in delicately flavored gins. Pretty much any gin without much juniper presence (other than New Amsterdam blecch) tastes similar to me. On the other hand I was comparing them neat and could probably taste the subtle differences in mixed drinks.

                    1. re: ncyankee101

                      i tried the citadelle neat, it is over 80 proof so it was firey on the tongue - i knew it was time for mixed drinks then heh

                      1. re: Dapuma

                        Dapuma - what ratios were you using with the St Germaine and club soda when comparing Hendricks and Citadelle?

                        I have tried it cut 50/50 with club soda, 2:1:1 club:gin:aperol and still couldn't tell the difference. When I tried 4:2:1 soda:gin;Thatchers elderflower I did pick up a little more citrus in the Citadelle, but I still think they taste very similar. I would have to say the hendricks seems more floral to me, at least in the nose.