For our May 2016 tasting, we’ll be turning our attention to a favourite summer drink – gin! We’ve got a fantastic selection of gins from around the world, with a couple distilleries from right here in BC. Being one of the broadest categories of spirits, each gin represents its own unique origin, style, and flavour profile, yet they all revolve around juniper as a common ingredient.
Our tasting this month will be hosted at Okanagan Spirits distillery on Bernard Ave. We’re excited to get a bit of education on the gin distilling process and see how our own local favourite compares with styles from the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. We’ll also have samples of tonic to pair with – because who doesn’t love a good G&T?
To register for the event, visit our events page!
Okanagan Spirits Gin (40% ABV)
An award-winning Canadian Gin distilled right here in the Okanagan! This gin is craft-distilled in a copper pot still and cut with the purest Okanagan spring water. Rather than use a grain-base, this gin is distilled from 100% British Colombia grown fruit.
Known botanicals: juniper berry, coriander, spruce, and rose petal.
Pickering’s Gin (42%)
This multi award winning, marvellously mixed gin is hand crafted at Summerhall Distillery – the first gin distillery to be established in Edinburgh for over 150 years. Based on an original Bombay recipe, kept secret since 1947, Pickering’s is a spectacularly smooth and flavoursome gin. The secret of the gin’s smoothness is its copper pot still named Gert, which provides uses a custom-designed heating system to provide a gentle all-over heat that coaxes out its subtle and softer flavours.
Known botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica, cardamom, lemon, anise, clove, fennel, lime.
Sloanes Gin (40%)
Unashamedly inspired by the great gins of the past, Sloane’s was created with a brief to be simply the finest gin available. Hand-crafted using individually distilled botanicals and fresh citrus fruits – a process that is unique and different to most other gins. This gives the gin a fresh and lemon like taste.
Known botanicals: juniper, coriander, angleica, cardamom, licorice root, and lemon.
Bruichladdich The Botanist Islay Dry Gin (46%)
When the former owner of the Whiskey distillery Bruichladdich brought back his distillery with venture capital, he couldn’t deliver Whiskey right away. So, he decided to create a gin with 22 botanicals additional to the 9 classic botanicals. he picked botanicals that could only grow on the island of Islay, where the distillery is situated. The result is a complex, floral, and robust gin with 46% ABV. The taste of juniper berries is strongly preset in this gin, which delivers its dry taste in the finish.
Known botanicals: juniper, chamomile, lemon balm, meadowsweet, apple mint, creeping thistle, elderberry blossoms, gorse, heather, hawthorne flowers, red clover, cicely, spear mint, water mint, white clover, wood sage, tansy.
Victoria Oaken Gin (45% ABV)
Victoria Distillers have taken their flagship gin and allowed it to mature gracefully in oak until it is amber in colour and beautifully smooth. Having all the complexity of Victoria Gin, the new oak aging brings further layers of caramel and vanilla.
Known botanicals: juniper, coriander, rose petals, angelica, orris root, star anise, orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon.
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin (47% ABV)
Getting it’s name from the fact that it contains 47 botanicals and also has an ABV of 47%, this gin gives hits of fresh citrus and ripe juniper on the nose followed by a vegetal and slightly wooded finish that extremely complex and robust. A big kick of rewarding flavour greets the palate with a clean mouth feel.
Known botanicals: juniper, coriander, ginger, cardamom, angelica, orris root, licorice root, cranberries, lavender, sloe, rose hip, pomelo, lingonberries, elderflower, jasmine, lemon, lemongrass, almond, bitter orange.
Cadenhead Old Raj Blue Gin (55%)
Old Raj begins with a classic set of botanicals among which are juniper, citrus, coriander, cassia, and other classics. What sets its apart from most other gins is its slight golden tint, which is a result of the post-distillation addition of saffron.
Known botanicals: juniper, coriander, cassia bark, citrus, saffron.
Okanagan Spirits Aquavitus (42% ABV)
Another award-winning spirit made right here in the Okanagan. Aquavit is a vodka-style spirit infused with aromatic herbs and spices to give a distinctive flavour characterized by a dominance of Caraway and Dill.
Known botanicals: caraway, dill, anise, fennel, coriander, and juniper.
Attended the May tasting and was very pleasantly surprised to find that the two gins I enjoyed the most are our local Okanagan Spirits Gin and Aquavitus.
The OSG makes a mean G&T and the Aquavitus has a very distinct taste and I haven’t figured out what I would mix with it as I very much enjoyed it neat.