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Jonathan Forester

Big, Bold New Western Style Gin, or English Dry, or Genever?

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I like some of the New Western style gins, but many are way over the top with too much character. They work well in cocktails, and maybe with tonic, but most of the gin I drink is straight on the rocks. For that I prefer an English Dry

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For my martini, usually a London Dry or Plymouth Dry style. If the juniper is too forward, the martini has to be too wet to be balanced, IMO. And I like to be able to control the addition of bitters to my martini, so overly citrus can sometimes make a great martini, but I would just as soon add my own orange bitters. With gin and tonic, more floral or more citrus or more spice. Generally, I find the western style gins a bit too piney. No good for a martini or tonic, although could be nice in a heavily citrus cocktail, like a gin rickey. But I LOVE gin, and even those I criticize, I have on my shelf. I love that we have the variety, and I am looking forward to making my contribution to that variety.

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A little late to the party here, but over the last couple days did a little playing around with some gins.

To answer the question, it depends on the drink. Typically, I'll reach for a London Dry style. I'm a big fan of Junipero. I like Bluecoat if for no other reason than (to me) it seems almost identical to Bombay Saphire, another favorite.

I recently picked up a bottle of Tru Gin. This one is soooo bizarre, I have trouble calling it a gin, as the juniper is so lost in the other spicy botanicals. Definitely not for the martini. :D But my business partner came up with one of the most delicious cocktails: basically, dissolve a couple sugar cubes in a double-shot of the gin and drop in a strip of orange rind and lemon rind, pinching them for the oils before dropping them in to the mixture as you would with a martini; shake & serve in a chilled martini glass. The spicy cinnamon & allspice elements work perfectly with the added citrus (particularly the orange) and the added sugar works like it does in an Old Fashioned; what juniper there is still comes through, although very subtly, but serves to "ground" the concoction. Festive and refreshing -- equally suited for a summer afternoon as it is for a Christmas party.

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OK, we are just getting ready for our first bottling of our Old No. 176 American Gin. I think the best way to describe it is something of an alte genever style, but based on a corn mash instead of a malt. This is a distilled gin, not a redistilled gin (in the conservative interpretation represented by Cowdrey and recent TTB documentation), and we took as our inspiration in part the proposal of Anthony Boucherie in his 1819 missive "The Art of Making Whiskey..." It is also meant as an homage to depression-era "railroad" gin, moonshine flavored with juniper. Hence, it is based on the same corn mash we are using for our Water Tower White Lightning ™. It is very much in the spirit of the exploration of new profiles for craft beverages, but within traditional categories, in this case, gin. And we think suggests another truly American approach, although very different from the western-style, juniper-saturated gins. We plan to show it off at the upcoming Indie Spirits Expo in Chicago.

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For me: genever definately. I love both the malty undertones of the matled barley and the spiciness of the rye shining through. The art of whiskey making and the lore of herbs combined make for a much more challenging project. But in the end: more satisfying because of complexity and drinkability.

And the strong smell & taste of a juniper rich herbs bill also means the "maltwine" making process is different from traditional whiskey making techniques. Fermentation takes place on the grains and so does the first distillation run. More grain taste comes over, so the base likker can stand its ground against the strong notes of the herbs bill.

Edwin.

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We are thinking of making an old genever style next, although the recipes vary greatly.

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If you want any assistance, please let me know.

Edwin

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Come visit us, Edwin, and try our recently finished first batch of old-style genever! We hope to bottle and label next month.

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Sorry, that's just too far away from me! I would love to try some. If you are willing to ship a bottle to The Netherlands, I will write about it on my Blog. Wow! old style genever being made in the US of A! Great news!

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If you are also licensed for alcohol production, we might be able to ship you a sample legally for testing purposes ;-)

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Will let you know when definite papers on my "accijnsgoederenplaats" is in!

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I like both but I think for me the sweet spot is the middle ground; Junipero, Rehorst, Warner Edwards, BIG Gin - pretty classic but with a nice twist.

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