BC Gin Round 5 – Victoria (Champ) VS Long Table

All right 2018, let’s do this! In round 5 of the gin battle we have the 2017 winner Victoria up against the local Long Table located in downtown Vancouver. Both weighing in at 45% ABV and Victoria made with 2 more botanicals than Long Table, which one will dominate the taste buds? Let’s do this, guy.


1) Victoria Gin – Victoria Distillers – 45% ABV – 750ml., Sidney, BC, $46 CAD (1/2018) @ BCLiquor

  • new label and bottle since spring 2016, , victoriadistillers.com
  • 10 botanicals including: juniper berries, coriander, angelica, orris root, star anise, orange & lemon peel, cinnamon, and rose petals. (…and the 10th one?)
  • 2016 Winner, Vancouver International Spirits Competition
  • 2016 Gold, Beverage Testing Institute Awards

[VS]

2) London dry gin – Long Table Distillery – 45% ABV – 750ml., Vancouver, BC, $53 (1/2018) @ BCLiquor


Criteria:

Nose: VG has a medium cleanliness with flavours of juniper and bright citrus emerging from the detectable alcohol. LT is duller with rounded edges, slightly creamy with grassier notes. The LT alcohol detection is much more apparent with just a bit of harshness on the nose. Although VG comes across as slightly soapyVG is the winner.

Taste & Texture: VG, upon the first sip, the beautifully aromatic star anise jumps out, fruity juniper in the mids with strong citrus overtones backing it up until the finish. LT despite being a London Dry style, surprisingly comes across as sweeter up front, thicker viscosity, muddly grassy juniper, licorice-coriander alcohol numbing mids, mild cinnamon, citrus undertones, slight nutty – almost salty finish. LT displays a pleasant balanced roundness. In terms of explicit and distinguishable flavour, Victoria takes the cake. VG wins.


Final Notes:

  • Victoria Gin is much brighter, thinner in mouthfeel, soapier, has a bit more roughness, but is overall has and displays strong notes of star anise and orange citrus.
  • Long Table London Dry Gin is creamier, showcases balanced ingredients of grassy juniper and mild citrus
  • Victoria Gin is $7 cheaper ($46 vs $53 @ BCL)

Verdict: Victoria Gin is my preference and winner. Nevertheless Long Table London Dry Gin is quality gin but it doesn’t have any standout flavours despite being balanced.

 

BC Gin Round 1 – Wallflower VS Dragon Mist

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

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[VS]

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

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Criteria:

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.

Final Notes:

  • 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