Welcome to the opening round of the gin battle featuring gin made locally (for me at least) in British Columbia, Canada. On the left we have Wallflower Gin produced by Odd Society Spirits, located in East Vancouver. And on the right is Dragon Mist Gin distilled in Surrey. Both are priced roughly the same, in the lower premium gin market.
1) Wallflower Gin – Odd Society Spirits, 44% ABV – 750ml., Vancouver, BC, ~$50 CAD @Distillery
- batch #, year, hand labeled
- real wood cork top, synthetic rubber plug
- hefty bottle, unique shape – ++ great. Sticker label – cheap
- maceration AND vapour extraction used to obtain flavour
- 100% BC grown barley, west coast and international botanicals
2) Dragon Mist Gin – Dragon Mist Distillery – 46% ABV – 750ml., Surrey, BC, ~$40 CAD, @Distillery
- comes in a “giftable”, albeit cheap paper carton box
- aluminum wrapped synthetic rubber plug
- frosty bottle with perma-stuck on imperfect sticker labels – somewhat cheap looking
- made with wheat grown in Dawson Creek, glacial water, west coast botanicals such as:
- juniper berry, apple mint, elderberry, orange blossom, fennel, chamomile, clover, rose petal, honey bush, spearmint, orange peel
Nose: WF has a good mix of juniper, citrus, floral, and some noticeable soapiness. It’s quite rounded, medium intensity, but gives a bit of a sniffing headache after multiple quaffs. Still, I like the cleanliness and purity of the aromas. DM on the other hand smells somewhat offensive – like there’s something in there that shouldn’t be. It has a sort of buttery paint thinner chemical harshness, with the ethyl nasal burn creeping in the mids to the finish. None of the advertised botanicals are present in the nosing, what a shame. WF wins by a landslide.
Taste & Texture: WF starts out with some mild juniper sweetness, followed by a some citrus oils, more juniper, and then some anise-peppery notes. There’s also a slight background creaminess which I enjoyed. It’s quite smooth as a sipper with the alcoholic heat and medium burn showing up near the finish. Light grassy/pine exhale as well for WF. DM is slightly thinner on the palate and much more jagged and rough. Just one sip and the difference in refinement and enjoyment is like night and day. DM is very aggressive with its alcohol presence despite being only 2% ABV higher at 46%. Beneath all the harshness are pronounced notes of mint, slight fennel, orange blossom, peppery, and sadly nail polish. Need I say more? Wallflower is much, much, much more agreeable.
- Based on taste alone, Wallflower = B and Dragon Mist = D+
- Wallflower exhibits flavours of sweet juniper, soapy citrus, mild grassiness
- Dragon Mist displays plasticky alcohol harshness, mint, throat numbing spiciness.
Winner = Wallflower Gin by Odd Society Spirits