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On the good Doctor's recommendation I grabbed a bottle of Beefeater's and was very plesantly surprised - I don't remember it being that tasty. Maybe my appreciation for gin has grown up a bit? All I can say is it made a darn good martini!

 

Most (if not all) spirit manufacturers would have us believe that their products are set in stone, and never change. If such really were the case, then there would be no need for a "master distiller" at these businesses, just trained employees continually repeating the same steps over and over again. In truth, each new master distiller can, and does, play a role in shaping the quality of the product under their control.

 

The master distiller at Beefeater is currently Desmond Paine, who was previously the master distiller at Plymouth, and was mostly responsible for their return from the brink.

 

Coincidence?

 

DesmondPaine.jpg

Desmond Paine standing by one of the active pot stills at Beefeater.

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Ok. Beefeater is on the list. Thanks, guys.

 

Silent and I just gave the Citadelle gin another go with Noilly Prat and Regan's Bitters. Is it just me or is it a disappointing martini? It seemed a bit sweet and cloying with an unpleasant taste from beginning to end. I really wanted to like this gin so maybe I'm just another sucker for marketing. Am I missing something here?

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All this talk made me drive to the local store to get another bottle of Hendrick's. They were out.

:no:

 

But I remember stashing a bottle of Plymouth in one of the storage lockers. The hunt will be on tomorrow morning.

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Due regards, Stroller. I hate not having what I want.

Round 2: Miller's gin instead of Citadelle. Much, much better martini! :cheers: Not as good as Plymouth but I'll enjoy this one.

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T73,

 

How does the Millers compare to the Hendricks? It's supposed to have a cucumber flavour also and I've been thinking of tracking down a bottle.

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While both Hendricks and Millers have cucumber in it, there isn't really any way to compare the two beyond that. The cucumber in the Millers is far more pronounced. In Hendricks, if you didn't know that it had cucumber, you might not be able to call it out... in Millers on the other hand it stands out fairly solid. It results in a clean and cool flavor that I think really works well in a Martini which is very distinct.

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Thanks for the information Drinkboy. I think it may be time to place a Bluecoat/Miller's order.

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Give me your favorites and tell me why, please. What should I try next?

Of course I don't drink a single drop of gin, as I restrict myself to the real thing called genever (either old or new/"young" style). Most genevers made by traditional distilleries are worth trying, like Zuidam, Van Wees and especially Rutte (and Janssens as soon as he resurrects again from his current bankruptcy). Most of the well-known brands are insipid crap.

 

Major Belgian brands (Smeets, Filliers) are in general slightly better than Dutch. In Wallonia the grain base is always subordinate and the focus is either on neutral, vodka-like boozer drinks or on the contrary on excellent herbal spirits. P'tit Peket by Biercée is an example of an orgy of juniper (and hop) on a neutral grain alcohol base. It makes for an excellent and tasty light drop.

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Bols Genever

If you ever plan to visit this remote corner of the European continent, please let me know. I will personally exorcise that evil spirit.

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While both Hendricks and Millers have cucumber in it, there isn't really any way to compare the two beyond that. The cucumber in the Millers is far more pronounced. In Hendricks, if you didn't know that it had cucumber, you might not be able to call it out... in Millers on the other hand it stands out fairly solid. It results in a clean and cool flavor that I think really works well in a Martini which is very distinct.

 

Robert,

 

Which would be the one to start out with in your opinion? The 80 is rated at 97 points and the 90 at 94 points by the "Beverage Testing Institute". What a great job that sounds like! I missed my calling.

 

Millers 80

 

Millers 90

 

Strangely neither review mentions cucumber?

 

Any opinions on Beefeater Wet?

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Anyone have any idea what part of the cucumber is used, or how it is used?

 

ie, do they peel the outer layer and dry it, then add it in the pot with the rest of the herbs etc?

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Oh, this could get ugly real quick.

 

I picked up a bottle (spruce gin) in Portland at Rogue after sampling. I can only get their rums. On that note, their spiced rum (hazelnut) is nice too.

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While both Hendricks and Millers have cucumber in it, there isn't really any way to compare the two beyond that. The cucumber in the Millers is far more pronounced. In Hendricks, if you didn't know that it had cucumber, you might not be able to call it out... in Millers on the other hand it stands out fairly solid. It results in a clean and cool flavor that I think really works well in a Martini which is very distinct.

 

It's Millers time! OK, that was bad. Still, Millers is a must try - I like that cucumber flavor, if only for certain drinks.

 

Robert, thanks for the info on Beefeaters, nice to know. It makes sense to me that the brand would change somewhat.

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Which would be the one to start out with in your opinion?

 

Between Hendricks and Miller, I'd probably start with Hendricks, it is more traditional in flavor profile. However if you are after something different, then go with the Millers.

 

The [miller] 80 is rated at 97 points and the 90 at 94 points by the "Beverage Testing Institute".

 

My "tendency" is to avoid the over-proof gins and such since you need to be a tad more careful in order to maintain a certain "octane" level in your drinks. My goal isn't to get plastered, but to enjoy the drink.

 

Any opinions on Beefeater Wet?

 

It's no more. Desmond made it rather clear that not only was it a failed experiment, but one which he wasn't wanting to be associated with :->

 

I picked up a bottle ([rogue] spruce gin) in Portland at Rogue after sampling.

 

I'm not a "big" fan of the Rogue gin, but at the same time not disappointed with it either. For some reason all of the Oregon gins tend towards what I refer to as the "savory" side of gin. The Coriander is a little too forward for me. Perhaps I'm just too familiar with the traditional London Dry style.

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And still, no one weighs-in on Citadelle. :wave2: I don't mean to beat a dead horse but I'm trying to learn a little. Does anyone like it? I thought it made a lousy martini but I'm too new at this gin-thing to know much beyond, "I know what I like."

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My "tendency" is to avoid the over-proof gins and such since you need to be a tad more careful in order to maintain a certain "octane" level in your drinks. My goal isn't to get plastered, but to enjoy the drink.

 

Robert, what do mean by "over-proof" gins? Could you provide examples for them and suggest drinks they will go at their best as well as for those that are not "over"? Thanks.

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So, that would be from 45% vol. Such gins are quite rare to be found, at least here. The most common are 37.5 % vol.

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And still, no one weighs-in on Citadelle. :wave2: I don't mean to beat a dead horse but I'm trying to learn a little. Does anyone like it? I thought it made a lousy martini but I'm too new at this gin-thing to know much beyond, "I know what I like."

I kind of like Citadelle in Aviations for some reason.

 

Beyond that, I'm not making much progress finishing my bottle.

 

I find the alcohol a bit harsh and the flavor somewhat unusual.

 

From what I can gather from their website, the various herbs and spices are individually distilled to create essences, and then the essences used to flavor the neutral spirits.

 

I'm surprised to discover it uses a wheat based alcohol. I had thought it was based on grape neutral spirits.

 

In any case, I find I tend to prefer gins where all the botanicals go "in the soup" and then the whole is distilled, rather than other methods. To me, that method, combined with a distiller who knows what he (or she) is doing, results in the best flavor.

 

~Erik

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Alright, here's my latest take on the Hendricks. Finally made a Hendrix martini with cucumber tonight. My first sip said the Hendricks is too sharp for my palate. For the second sip I tried adding precisely one drop of bitters and was very pleasantly surprised. I was most pleased by it near the end of the drink when the cucumber and Hendrix aroma blended perfectly as my nose dipped into the glass. All in all I felt I was working a bit hard to savor and enjoy this. 'though enjoy it I did. B)

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...precisely one drop of bitters and was very pleasantly surprised....

 

"Everything is better with bitters." B)

 

Which bitters did you use? "Precisely one drop" of Angostura would work good in this, but much more than that might tend to be a bit to aggressive (unless, like me, you like "Pink Gin"). Orange Bitters are the standard bill-o-fare for gin cocktails, with Regans or Fees working well for the typical Martini, but Angostura Orange Bitters (new on the market, you may not have seen them yet) being a bit too forward.

 

-Robert

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Standard Angostura. And it was precisely one drop. Unfortunately, I can't quite push myself to pay the monkeys to bring me orange bitters. Although, my first comment after the second sip was, "I wish we had orange bitters." ;) And then I started musing about using other bitter liquors.

 

At this point, I'm sure I'm going to hear someone better versed in adult beverages declare that Blackwood's is for neophytes or worse. But I'm finding it to be so friendly these days that, well, it's a special relationship. And I know the Hendricks is a one-off. She came home with me, but she don't live around here.

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I've got my first batch of Tonic water ("Yellow Snow Tonic Water") finished. Not bad although a bit heavy on the lemongrass and orange.

 

I'm thinking of making some orange bitters. From what I've read (unlike Absinthe) it can be made by simply macerating bitter orange peel in everclear, then removing the bitter orange peel and boiling it in water. Strain out the peel, chill the water and add it back in with the everclear.

 

I've got both dried Bitter Orange and dried plain orange.

 

Comments?

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Congrats on Your tonic, Gimpy :cheers:

 

What you propose for orange bitters sounds alright to me. Go for it!

 

From what I remember adding lemon peels as well as 3g of gentian root (per 10 liters) can round the taste more. How long do you plan to macerate?

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First, Mr. Le Gimp, I was sorry to read about your father's health. My parents are getting on in years, and, my sister, Mom, and I have had to makes some difficult decisions, too. I'm glad your family is sticking together on this.

 

Second off, orange bitters are as easy as pie.

 

Mr. Hess has posted a recipe and procedure for his house bitters DrinkBoy House Bitters (Webtender Link) from time to time on the web.

 

The procedure is about the same for orange bitters. Here's one I used that worked out very well:

 

Clementine Bitters

 

Peel of 3 Clementines (and leaves if you've got 'em), sliced thin

Zest of 2 medium oranges

 

5 stick Mexican Cinnamon

1 whole clove

1/8 cup Dried Orange Peel

1/8 cup Chamomile

1/8 cup Gentian Root

4 Bay Leaves

2 Cups Vodka

2 cups rye

1 cup water

 

2 TBSP Blackstrap Molasses

 

Crush all dry ingredients in a pestle. Steep the zest in the rye and the dry ingredients in the vodka for two weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain through cheesecloth, combine liquids and reserve spices. Bring water to boil, pour on the spices, and steep overnight. Strain spicy water. Combine spicy water with flavored alcohol and add blackstrap.

 

Age for 2 more weeks, rack or pour off, strain through coffee filter into sterilized containers.

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