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Revisiting the classic gins.

When I began my career behind the stick in 1980, gin drinkers were very loyal to their brand of choice, as well as how they preferred it mixed in a Martini. But the next generation of imbibers had discovered vodka and did not share their parents' love for gin; gin consumption today remains low compared to other spirits.

The category has been expanding, though--it seems like a new gin launches every week, which is wonderful. But some of the great classics continue to drive the group, so for this tasting we'll focus on the earlier gins.

Beefeater

47% ABV; distilled from juniper berries, Seville orange peel, coriander seed, orris root, bitter almond, Sicilian lemon peel, angelica seeds and root, licorice.

Aroma: Juniper forward, lemon and orange citrus notes, floral notes but no perfume scents. Spices like black pepper, coriander, anise, and licorice root.

Taste: Alcohol forward, with juniper, spice and light citrus.

Mouthfeel: Dry, intense at first, pleasant acidity.

Finish: Medium in length, with a friendly juniper reminder.

Bombay Original

43% ABV; distilled from almonds, lemon peel, licorice, juniper berries, orris root, angelica, coriander, cassia bark. Aroma: Juniper forward, eucalyptus, pine needles, grassy, spices--pepper and cumin, grapefruit peel.

Taste: More aggressive flavors, big and bold, explodes with citrus and juniper.

Mouthfeel: Big flavor, round and full bodied, not as refined.

Finish: Medium in length, but much bigger flavor at first, very light warming sensation.

Bombay Sapphire

47% ABV; distilled from almonds, lemon, licorice, juniper berries, orris root, angelica, coriander, cassia bark, cubeb berries, grains of paradise.

Aroma: Soft alcohol, muddled juniper aroma, floral and fruity at first, with hints of licorice.

Taste: Juniper jumps after first taste, reveling orange and lemon citrus notes and softer, more delicate flavors.

Mouthfeel: Burst of flavors, elegant, refined; great acidity. Finish: Medium to long in length, with a wonderful warm reminder throughout the chest.

Boodles

45.2% ABV; distilled from juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, angelica seeds, cassia bark, caraway seeds, nutmeg, rosemary and sage.

Aroma: Rather light, with a hint of juniper and coriander spice; slight citrus notes giving way to herbal tones.

Taste: Rather sweet at the start, with cinnamon and cassia opening up to the coriander/black pepper spice notes and leading to the herbal tones of rosemary and sage.

Mouthfeel: Starts rather silky but dries out quickly.

Finish: Warm, medium in length with just the lingering memory of bitter almonds.

Gordon's

40% ABV; distilled from juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root and one other (secret) botanical.

Aroma: Pronounced juniper but not over the top, leading to a unique perfume feature, a touch of vanilla, bright floral notes with light alcohol.

Taste: Juniper, followed by sweetness, with light coriander spice and a nod of bitter almonds.

Mouthfeel: Silky at first, dries out nicely with a fair amount of acidity.

Finish: Rather short, but very smooth and pleasant.

Plymouth

41.2% ABV; distilled from angelica root, coriander, lemon peel, juniper berries, orris root, orange peel, cardamom. Aroma: Big citrus immediately, followed with pronounced juniper, coriander spice and pleasant floral notes.

Taste: A delightful mix of citrus, juniper and spice. Mouthfeel: Round, full bodied and just slightly oily.

Finish: pleasant, warm, long and lingering, with notes of fresh herbs and citrus.

Tanqueray

47.3% ABV; distilled from juniper berries, coriander, orange and lemon peels, licorice, angelica root and cassia bark. Aroma: Pops of juniper instantly, pine, eucalyptus, lemon citrus, floral--lavender.

Taste: Big blast of juniper, lemon and orange citrus notes, with just a mingling of black licorice.

Mouthfeel: Viscous, silky, and leading to a bone dry finish with amazing acidity.

Finish: Long, long finish, warming in the chest, masculine intense flavors that linger endlessly. ?

Tony Abou-Ganim is the founder of Las Vegas-based cocktail consultancy The Modern Mixologist and the author of The Modern Mixologist--Contemporary Classic Cocktails and Vodka Distilled.
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Title Annotation:CHEERS SPIRITS TASTING
Author:Abou-Ganim, Tony
Publication:Cheers
Date:Jun 1, 2014
Words:637
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