Advertisement: Review of Scapegrace Gin and The Birds Cph G&T of the month

Scapegrace Gin

Scapegrace Gin

So what are the most classic gin botanicals you can think of except juniper? You are probably thinking on coriander, lemon and orange peel, cardamom pods, orris root, cassia bark and cinnamon – And those botanicals (and 5 other very classic botanicals) are exactly what this gin is all about.

So should you then garnish your Scapegrace G&T with a classic lemon wheel?

Not if you ask me and certainly not if you ask The Bird & The Churchkey, Papa Bird or The Bird Tivoli Food Hall because this March the G&T of the month is Scapegrace with Kiwi, Mint and 5 Cent Tonic.

Let’s break this G&T down and look into why this combo makes so much sense. Let’s start with the gin.

Decontructed Scapegrace Gin and Tonic

…and is diluted with 80 year old water – Yes water that hit the ground when you grandfather was born.

Scapegrace

The gin is made by Rogue Society Distilling Company located in New Zealand and the gin is also known as Rogue Society Gin but due to copyright they had to call the gin something else here ind Europe.

It’s made by two brothers-in-law and a part time musician who had a common interest in gin and wanted to make a really good craft gin. The gin is made with an old hand beaten, 19th century, John Dore copper pot still and is diluted with 80 year old water – Yes water that hit the ground when you grandfather was born. The water have been using the last 80 year to travel through layers of sediment until it’s finally released in to of one of the world’s last natural aquifers. This makes the gin crazy smooth!

So let’s talk about the classic botanicals.

The botanicals

Base: Neutral grain spirit

  • Juniper, Italy
  • Orange peel, from Spain
  • Lemon peel, from Spain
  • Coriander seeds, from England
  • Cardamom pods, from Guatemala
  • Nutmeg, from Grenada
  • Cloves, from Comoros
  • Angelica root, from Poland
  • Liquorice root, from Italy
  • Orris root, from Italy
  • Cassia bark, from China
  • Cinnamon Sticks, from Sri Lanka
  • Dried Tangerine, from Morocco

The 13 botanicals is sourced from around the world and combined it’s a very classic combination. But where som fail to get the balance right with just the right amount of citrus, spice, sweetness and juniper Scapegrace nailed it – More about this in the end of the conclusion of the review 😉

Bottle design of Scapegrace

Bottle and label design

How did the old genever (and gin) bottles look like for around 200 years ago? More a less like the Scapegrace bottle and just the other day a 135 year old gin bottle was found by a beachwalker in Australia, that kinda look like a Scapegrace bottle. Pretty awesome!

…this just looks like a more finished product and especially with the big round metal plate with the logo on in the front of the bottle.

 

Each side of the bottle has “Rogue Society” embossed in the blackened glass. It’s pretty easy to see that this is a custom made bottle and not just a bottle bought by a glassware company like many other brands do – Not that it’s a bad thing to do so but this just looks like a more finished product and especially with the big round metal plate with the logo on in the front of the bottle.

Let’s taste

Before we go further in to the beautiful G&T created by The Birds Cph let’s taste this gin neat.

Nose

A very classic juniper is the first to hit the nose and does not leave the nose. But it’s soon joined by subtle floral hints of orange and flowers that is soon followed by complex deeper earthy notes and citrus. It’s very pleasant smooth scent in the nose without any burn.

Mouth

Again – The juniper is there right away. The taste is very classic with earthy and citrus flavors being the dominated ones, but there are also subtle floral hints from the orange, dried tangerine and liquorice root. The finish is long and warm with a continued juniper dominance. Classic at its best.

Scapegrace G&T with kiwi and mint

Gin & Tonic

Finally – Let’s talk about the beautiful G&T. If you have followed me on Instagram you probably know that I like to use garnish that either enhance of existing botanicals or adds another dimension but without overdoing it. So why does kiwi fruit and mint work with this gin?

The kiwi fruit is native to East Asia and is also called Chinese Gooseberry and was first developed to a commercial crop in New Zealand (YES – where Scapegrace is from 😉 ) in the early 1920ths. When ripe the kiwi adds both acidity and sweetness in a G&T – Actually a little bit like a really ripe Italian lemon.

Mint is growing everywhere and you probably have several different kinds of mint in your garden. The “normal” mint you buy in the supermarket is likely to be spearmint which tends to be a little sweeter than other types. The mint adds a cool sweetness to the G&T.

So where the kiwi fruit actually adds some classic flavors the mint adds another dimension of flavor. This is highly recommendable to try to make yourself with Scapegrace (or another classic gin) or try it at The Bird & The Churchkey, Papa Bird or The Bird Tivoli Food Hall because this March.

Recipe:

  • 50 ml Scapegrace gin
  • 75 ml 5 Cent Indian Tonic Water
  • A couple of slices of kiwifruit
  • A sprig of mint
  • Lots of ice

Conclusion and rating

I’m a big sucker for those classic earthy gins where you can really taste and see the craftsmanship. The bottle is really beautiful and I love how it has references to the 200 year old genever bottles and the gin is just super crisp, smooth and packed with juniper. This is a real beauty and the price is just right compared to other in its class.

Thanks to The Birds Cph for letting me taste and play around with the gin and the G&T of the month!

Rating

★★★★★☆

Price

$$$$$$

Comments or questions? Please comment on my IG post below:

What are the most classic gin botanicals you can think of except juniper? 🤔 You are probably thinking on coriander, lemon and orange peel, cardamom pods, orris root, cassia bark and cinnamon – And those botanicals (and 5 other very classic botanicals) are exactly what @scapegracegin is all about. So should you then garnish your Scapegrace G&T with a classic lemon wheel? 🍋 Not if you ask me and certainly not if you ask  @thebirds_cph and their cocktail bars The Bird & The Churchkey, Papa Bird or The Bird Tivoli Food Hall where you can get Scapegrace Gin with Kiwi, Mint and 5 Cent Tonic 🥝🍹 Read all about it on the blog 🔝 Link in my bio! . . . . . #thebirds #theginquest #papabird #tivolifoodhall #scapegracegin #newblogpost #ginogtonic #gintonic #productphotography #cocktailphotography #ginandtonic #ginstagram #gintonictime #gintonicly #ginaddict #ginspiration #ginoclock #gintastic

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Advertisement: Review of Le Tribute Gin

Le Tribute Gin with tonics

Fresh, Fresher, Le Tribute

What do you get if you take a lot of different citrus fruits, lemongrass and juniper? You get a very citrus forward and fresh gin. Then add a very unique and beautiful bottle, a great story and a matching tonic and you have Le Tribute Gin.  

Le Tribute Gin

The first time I came across this gin was on Copenhagen Gin Festival 2017 where Le Tribute Gin had a stand. The quality of the stand was outstanding with books and beautiful bottles everywhere and it was attracting a lot of people. I tasted the gin and immediately decided to buy a bottle – I was cheeky enough to ask for some merchandise but since they were quite new at that time they didn’t have any but instead me and my friends got a couple of free Le Tribute Tonics (actually I was told not to say it to anybody – Sorry!).

A couple of days later I took some pictures of the gin and added them to my Instagram feed – @LeTribute was so nice to share the post.

When I got home a mysterious box was standing on our dinner table with a burned an inscription saying “Jon Persson” – The box was clearly to me

 

6 months later the Danish importer Morten contacted me and said that he had a present from Le Tribute that they wanted me to have. I was of course very curious and arranged that Morten could swing by my apartment with the gift – Unfortunately I wasn’t home so my wife had to answer the door and receive the gift. When I got home a mysterious box was standing on our dinner table with a burned an inscription saying “Jon Persson” – The box was clearly to me 🙂

I opened the box and inside it was a wooden box with a leather handle with a copper sign saying “The Pioners, The Heritage, The Process”, 1 Le Tribute Gin, 6 Le Tribute Tonic and a beautiful Le Tribute branded bottle opener.

Wooden Le Tribute box where it says The Pioner, The Heritage, The Proces on a copper plate

Okay okay – Enough about that. Let’s talk about the gin!

The gin is made by Destilerías MG who also make Master’s, Gin MG and also a range of pre-mixed ready to drink beverages. Destilerías MG is a five generation family business dated all the way back from 1835. The family behind the distillery is family Giro – Yes the family who also brought us the new classic Gin Mare.  These guys knows exactly what they are doing and it also took two years to develop the gin and brand Le Tribute to get it perfect. They really don’t do things half hearted and personally I think you both can see and taste that in their products which also is very clear in the name Le Tribute which stands for Liquid Experience Tribute.

The family behind the distillery is family Giro – Yes the family who also brought us the new classic Gin Mare.

The botanicals

Base: Wheat and barley

  1. Juniper
  2. Lemongrass
  3. Orange
  4. Lemon
  5. Coriander
  6. Yellow, Green and Red Grapefruit
  7. Tangerines
  8. Kumquat
  9. Lime

The juniper is hand picked from the Giros family farmhouse in Teruel, the lemongrass is diluted in water since it give the best round taste, there are two types of oranges (a sweet and a bitter one) from Valencia, the lemons are from Seville, there a three types of grapefruits to give it the correct balance, the tangerines from the mediterranean coastline adds sweetness, the kumquat adds the fresh/bitterness and the lime adds the fresh/sweetness. Everything is carefully selected and very well balanced.

Branded bottle opener and Le Tribute Tonic

The gin is made by fractional distillation where 7 different distillations of some of the botanicals are carefully mixed to get the same result every time and a very controlled flavor and smooth taste.

Personally I think that even if this is the best way to get an consistent result every time some of the old school craftsmanship gets lost in the process.

Bottle and label design

There is no question that this is by far one of the most well executed and beautiful bottles out there. I know I said the same about Harris Gin, but this bottle and label is stunning! The bottle design makes you think about the great gatsby period, the lid is heavy, the print is embosed and everything else gives you the impression that this is a quality product and just puts a smile on your face.

Le Tribute Gin with tonic and a branded bottleopener

Let’s taste

So how does this beauty taste?

Nose

There is no doubt that this is a citrus forward gin. The fragrance of lemongrass is very dominating but also the sweet oranges, tangerines and grapefruit is very present. After a little while you also get a beautiful dry fragrance from the juniper and probably the kumquat.

The palate

The gin is soft and smooth and the first thing you will notice is the juniper before it goes over to a fresh and citrus profile where the lemongrass, tangerines, sweet oranges and grapefruit is dominating to begin with before it goes over to a slightly bitterness when the gin leaves your mouth.   

Gin & Tonic

One of my favorite serves is actually to take a piece of lemongrass and smash it with the back of the knife. This releases all the oils and flavors from the lemongrass and tastes amazing but to match the very citrus forward gin some herbal action can actually benefit to make a more complex flavored G&T.

Recipe

  • 50 ml Le Tribute Gin
  • 75 ml tonic Le Tribute Tonic
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • Lots of ice

Since it’s a Spanish gin you should probably use a copa glass but I used a lowball glass 🙂

Gin and tonic with a sprig of rosemary

Conclusion and rating

I know I got a really amazing gift from Le Tribute so I will try not to be too prejudiced but I really really like this gin, the tonic, the beautiful bottle and label design. The gin is super fresh and makes me think about those warm summer days where the sun is out, you are together with friends and family and you are just having a good time.

The only thing I really can put a finger on is the price-tag, since this gin is quite expensive compared to other citrus forward gins from the mediterranean area.

Rating

★★★★★☆

Price

$$$$$$

Comments or questions? Please comment on my IG post below:

"The first time I came across this gin was on Copenhagen Gin Festival 2017 where Le Tribute Gin had a stand. The quality of the booth was outstanding with books and beautiful bottles everywhere and it was attracting a lot of people" …. "a mysterious box was standing on our dinner table with a burned an inscription saying “Jon Persson” – The box was clearly to me" Read the whole review of Le Tribute Gin on the blog (link in bio) and visit @le_tribute the coming weekend at @copenhagenginfest to have a taste of this super fresh gin. . . . . . . #letribute #letributegin #copenhagenginfest2018 #ginreview #newblogpost #ginandtonic #gintotime #gintonictime #gintonic #gin #ginspiration #ginstagram #ginocklock #ginformation #ginforthewin #gincredible

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Review of Isle of Harris Gin

Picture of Isle of Harris Gin with a Gin and Tonic next to it

So I was looking through my 2017 Best Nine and 4 (actually 5 if you count my gin tasting post as well) featured the beautiful Isle of Harris Gin. You guys really like this gin! A long time ago I announced that I would make a review of it so I guess now it’s time for a review of Isle of Harris Gin.

9 most likes pictures from my Instagram Profile

Isle of Harris Gin – The Best Nine hero

The distillery was founded in 2015 by American Anderson Bakewell, an educated music researcher, with a love for.. whisky – Yes whisky. Anderson fell in love with the raw nature on Isle of Harris when he visited the island for the first time in the 1960s and therefore chose this to be the location for the distillery.

The island have just under 2,000 residents where the majority is earning their income from tourism. Anderson wanted the distillery to add 20 new job positions for the island and therefore he also calls it a social distillery since it’s helping the community on the island.

So Anderson really loves whisky and Isle of Harris Distillers LTD. is first and foremost a whisky distillery making a single malt whisky called The Hearach. But making a single malt whisky takes minimum 3 years before the can call it a single malt whisky so one way to get a cash flow (like a lot other whisky destillers) is to make a gin and the 4 distillers therefore agreed to develop a gin that was true to what Anderson had felt in love with in the island.

Isle of harris shot from the top where you can see the coordinates to the distillery
Isle of Harris Gin from the top where you can see the coordinates to the distillery

However, they didn’t want to empty the island for resources and therefore looked for a botanical that they could use that was sustainable. Being in the spirit of using and helping the community on the island the distillers got help from a local botanist and ended up using sugar kelp sourced just outside the coast from a local diver.

…each label is one of a kind flecked with fragments of sugar kelp and copper leaf

Because the sugar kelp is such an unusual botanical, the gin was developed at the International Center for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh where they could experiment and adjust until they had the right amount and combination with the other botanicals. They ended up with actually letting the sugar kelp macerate and then remove it before the distillation as it’s flavor would drown the other botanicals flavors.

The Botanicals

Base: Grain neutral spirit

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Angelica Root
  • Orris Root
  • Cubeb Pepper
  • Bitter Orange Peel
  • Licorice
  • Cassia Bark
  • Sugar Kelp

The very classic botanicals are distilled in small copperstill “The Dottach” where Isle of Harris Distillers LTD. try to capture the raw nature on the island and especially the maritime influences of the seas.

Bottle and label design

This bottle is truly one of a kind and is designed by Stranger and Stranger. The bottle have a blue bottom which you actually can’t see if you look straight to the bottle but from an angle the azure blue bottom transforms the whole bottle. The small curved grooves is being transformed to small waves and the ripples of water that changes the bottle completely. The wooden cap has Isle of Harris Distillers’ logo laser cutted beautiful in to it and is sealed with a small label with the coordinates to the distillery. Last but not last each label is one of a kind flecked with fragments of sugar kelp and copper leaf. Overall this is one of the most beautiful gin bottles out there and it tells the story of the gin and it’s origin.

Label and bottle up close of Isle of Harris Gin
Each label is one of a kind flecked with fragments of sugar kelp and copper leaf

Let’s taste

So is this gin really something special? Let’s find out.

Nose

The juniper is present but not overpowering leaving room for some of the other botanicals. There is a clear fragrance of citrus fruits, a scent of pepper from the cubeb pepper but also some floral notes. A very soft and pleasant experience.

The palate

The gin is soft and smooth with a citrus profile but soon to be taking over by a peppery-warmth as the gin leaves you mouth. Slowly the juniper takes over before it goes over to a herbal and sweet finish with hints of vanilla. Your mouth is left with hints of the maritime sugar kelp and pepper.

Gin & Tonic

This gin really doesn’t need any tonic or garnish but if you really have to make a Gin and Tonic this makes a really (like really really) great Gin and Tonic.

  • 50 ml Isle of Harris Gin
  • 100 ml tonic (both Fever-Tree Indian Tonic and Mediterranean tonic goes well with the gin)
  • Lots of ice or some big ones
  • Garnish with a half a slice of organic red grapefruit.

Serve it all in your favorite glassware. I usually use a lowball glass from Frederik Bagger.

Gin and Tonic with a slice of red grapefruit
Gin and Tonic with a slice of red grapefruit

Conclusion and rating

This is by far one of the most beautiful bottle designs out there for a gin and like me you it’s probably also one of your most liked pictures on Instagram if you like me post pictures of gin. The gin is super smooth and is definitely made to be enjoyed neat but it also makes an epic G&T. The gin isn’t that expensive but it can be hard to get since very few retailers (only one in Denmark) are selling it – If you come by it buy it!

Personally I would have liked some more of the maritime scent and flavors that makes this gin unique and therefor I can’t give it top score even though this gin is one of my favorite gins.

Rating

★★★★★☆

Price

$$$$$$

Comments or questions? Please comment on my IG post below:

Review of Hendrick’s Gin

Hendricks Gin review

If I have to think back to my first good encounter with gin it started with a Hendrick’s & Tonic at a Friday bar after work. The last time I checked if I liked gin, it wasn’t really my taste and I thought it tasted like pine needles. But I liked the fresh and flowery taste of the G&T – I guess this is where my gin obsession started. Let’s talk about Hendrick’s Gin.

Hendrick’s Gin – An Unusual Gin

In 1999 after many years of trying to come up with the perfect recipe for an unusual spirit the recipe for Hendrick’s Gin was finally in place. The gin launched in 2000 and got a lot of attention due to the label, bottle design and perfect serve with cucumber.

The gin is distilled in Ayrshire, Scotland where both their Carter-Head and a Bennett Stills are fired up to make this eleven botanical gin. Even though Hendrick’s Gin is well known world wide it’s still distilled in small batches with only 500 litres pr. batch.

The botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Chamomile
  • Caraway seeds
  • Elderflower
  • Yarrow
  • Orange peel
  • Coriander
  • Orris root
  • Angelica
  • Lemon peel
  • Cubeb berries

So beside the quiet classic botanicals like juniper, angelica, orris root, orange- and lemon peel they use three different flowers (chamomile, elderflower and yarrow) to give Hendrik’s some of its characteristic floral notes.

Isn’t there cucumber and rose petals in Hendrick’s or is it just one big hoax?

Actually cucumber and rose petals are not a part of the botanicals used in the distillation process but both cucumber and rose petals are used to infuse the gin after the gin has been distilled. This combination adds another layer of flavor and makes the finishing touches to the gin that no other gins have.

This is the gin that made me fall in love with gin and just like our first love they will always have a special place on our shelf (..and heart).

Bottle and label design

There is absolutely no doubt that the easily recognisable and unique black bottle with the rhombus label is an absolute stunner. The label design almost looks hand painted due to the choice of paper and the banner and juniper branch in the top of the label. The design takes you back to a different era which is also stated by their marketing material with references to the 1920-1930. One can’t ignore that this is a really successful design.

Let’s taste

Nose

Surprisingly, the first thing to hit me is juniper and actually a lot of it. The dry and flowery smell from orange and lemon peel is also very present with small hints of roses and some gentle earthy notes as well.

Mouth

The juniper and angelica are very present to begin with together with earthy notes from the caraway seeds. It’s followed by small hints of liquorice from the orris root or yarrow with a flowery aftertaste of roses, oranges and a small round taste of cucumber. The juniper is present from the first sip to the aftertaste and is present long after a sip.

Gin & Tonic

Hendrick’s Gin got famous for their take on a G&T where they served it with a cucumber slice instead of the classic lemon wheel. Remember that this was back in 2000 where a G&T was served with a gin with a yellow label garnished with a lemon wheel so Hendrick’s serve was quite revolutionary back then.

If you want to serve it differently that they did back in 2000, then use the following:

  • 50 ml Hendrick’s Gin
  • 100 ml Doctor Polidori Cucumber Tonic
  • A couple of cucumber slices
  • Elderflower (when in season) or dried rose petals
  • Lots of ice
  • Serve it in a Copa glass

Conclusion and rating

There is no doubt that this is a classic gin and it’s far from a lot of the new western craft gins out there where the juniper isn’t present as much as Hendrick’s Gin. It’s versatile to make cocktails from, different G&T’s and actually also great neat. Besides the taste the design of the label and bottle is both unique and beautiful. And probably most important of all; it’s easily accessible and very affordable.

This is the gin that made me fall in love with gin and just like our first love they will always have a special place on our shelf (..and heart).

Rating

★★★★★☆

Price

$$$$$$

Comments or questions? Please comment on my IG post below: