Gin Tasting Extravaganza!

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One day my husband and I looked at our liquor cabinet. We counted 9 different kinds of gin. NINE! Now, we love us some gin and tonics, but that’s ridiculous. So we decided to have a blind gin tasting.

Pretend Beefeater and Classic Club are pictured. :)

Pretend Beefeater and Classic Club are pictured. πŸ™‚

I labeled the bottom of a tall glass and a shot glass with the type of gin (identical glasses as possible, as to not make it obvious). I poured a healthy sip into each shot glass of straight gin, and 1.5 oz gin with .5 oz lime juice, 3 ice cubes, and 5 oz tonic to make a mighty tasty G&T (in some cases, not all). Then I left the room and had my husband number each of them and put them in random order so I wouldn’t know which was which.

Believe it or not, this was the best image I got of the labling process! This lovely shot glass housed Tanqueray Rangpur.

Believe it or not, this was the best image I got of the labeling process! This lovely shot glass housed Tanqueray Rangpur.

We ranked each G&T and straight up on its flavor and drink-ability. Below are our results and notes if applicable. Hubs ranked things on a scale of 1-10 (1 being poor and 10 being fantastic). I did a combo of ranking them against each other, without reordering for ties (ie there might be three shots ranked as 1), and saying generic things like “nice.” In retrospect, we should have coordinated efforts. Regardless, here are our results:

Gin 1 – Tanqueray
Hubs: G&T – 6/10; Shot – “Made me do the shit face”; Notes – tastes like nothing in G&T
Matzo: G&T – good; Shot – ranked 5 of 9
It surprised both of us that we ranked the Tanqueray poorly. We had bought it consistently since we started drinking G&Ts.

Gin 2 – Bombay Saphire
Hubs: G&T – 6/10; Shot – Good
Matzo: G&T – low middle 6 of 9; Shot – 4 of 9
I guessed this was Tanqueray, interestingly.

Gin 3 – Tanqueray Rangpur
Hubs: G&T – 8-9/10; Shot – Strong shot
Matzo: G&T – 2 of 9!; Shot – 3 of 9
This was totally obvious which one this was. We both commented it was “very good” or “very nice.”

Gin 4 – New Amsterdam
Hubs: G&T – 8-9/10; Shot – Pretty good
Matzo: G&T – 1 of 10 (three-way tie); Shot – 2 of 10 (two-way tie)
I guessed this was New Amsterdam. We both commented that it was a little on the sweet side, but paired nicely with the lime in the G&T.

Gin 5 – Leopold’s
Hubs: G&T – ?; Shot – Clean; Notes: Good, but didn’t like G&T
Matzo: G&T – 1 of 10 (three-way tie); Shot – 2 of 10 (two-way tie)
Hubs was not a fan of this in drink form. I loved it both ways, commenting that it was a clean sipping gin with no alcohol taste in G&T form. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t like it that way.

Gin 6 – Classic Club
Hubs: G&T – 3/10; Shot – Better than #8 and #9
Matzo: G&T – Better than #9; Shot – 6 of 10; Shot tastes like alcohol.
Hub’s only comment was, “NO.” I was convinced this was Beefeater. I was shocked I ranked Classic Club, the cheapest gin you can get in a glass bottle, higher than Beefeater.

Gin 7 – Hendricks
Hubs: G&T – 8-9/10; Shot -Sipping gin
Matzo: G&T – 5 of 9; Shot – 1 of 10 – the best!
Hubs totally nailed this one. He commented, “Tastes good, smells good. Hendricks?” I wasn’t a fan of this in G&T form. That said, you really shouldn’t make them with this gin. It was spectacular as a sipping gin.

Gin 8 – Tanqueray 10
Hubs: G&T – 5/10; Shot – BAD.
Matzo: G&T – 3 of 9, but really this is a 5 of 9 counting ties; Shot -7 of 9 (bad)
Not so good. Neither of us liked this and were horribly disappointed.

Gin 9 – Beefeater
Hubs: G&T – 5-6/10; Shot -Pure Alcohol
Matzo: G&T – NO!; Shot – NO!
Ha! I guessed this was Classic Club. Beefeater is terrible. Hubs thought it was ok.

In the end we decided the following:

Top Shelf Gin – Hendricks
Gin and Tonic – New Amsterdam
Gin and Tonic, 2nd Choice – Tanqueray Rangpur. This has a very specific taste. You better like lime-like flavors. It’s really only good for G&Ts.
On a whim – Leopold’s. It’s clean and crisp. It’s hand-crafted, -labeled, and -numbered. It’ll make your liquor cabinet look really classy. Plus, it tastes good.

We’re looking to pawn off the Beefeaters and the Tanq 10 off on the next house party we get invited to. The Classic Club is fine for making Bubba Marys (Bloody Marys made with gin), but that’s about it. We’ll finish the rest, eventually, and never buy them again.

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6 Responses to “Gin Tasting Extravaganza!”

  1. Alex Says:

    Thanks for a great summary and rating! I have always been looking for an excuse to splurge on some Hendrick’s and I think this is it!

  2. Nancy Says:

    Wow, I’ve always been a Tanqueray girl for my G&T and Negronis. Now I have to try the rest………

  3. Heather T. Says:

    Oh, wow. This is my idea of a good time! I absolutely adore Tanqueray No. 10 (and MUCH prefer Tanqueray in general to Bombay Sapphire). Rangpur is good, but as you mentioned, really only for G&T’s.

    A friend gave me Rehorst gin as a gift, though, and WOW. It really knocks most gins out of the park. Plus, it’s from Milwaukee, so it makes me feel at home. πŸ˜‰ http://www.greatlakesdistillery.com/gin.htm

    • Matzo Says:

      Thanks, Heather! I dig the ingredient list – full of juniper, basil, coriander, Saigon cassia, orange and lemon peel, Wisco ginseng, cardamom, and anise. Anything with anise in it is worth a try.

      Unfortunately, they don’t ship to the state I live or work in! This will take some sneaky business or just asking a friend to be a receiver in DC!

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll give an update once I finally taste it. Have you tried any of their other concoctions – citrus & honey vodka, pumpkin seasonal, absinthe?

  4. Recipe Master List « matzo&rice Says:

    […] gin-tasting extravaganza (review) […]

  5. Review Master List « matzo&rice Says:

    […] Gin Tasting Extravaganza […]

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