London Dry Gin Round 6 – Tanqueray No. 10 (Champ) VS Boodles (Challenger)

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This is Round 6 in the Gin battle, where two bottles go head-to-head and the winner moves on. Last round we had Tanqueray No.10 winning and now we have it up against Boodles British Gin. Let’s duel!


[CHAMPION from Round 5, eeking out a win against the game Pink 47]

1) Tanqueray No. 10 London Dry Gin – 47.3% ABV – 750ml., Diageo (London, but distilled in Scotland), $46 CAD @ BC Liquor Stores

  • the name No.10 comes from their “Still No.10”, aka “Tiny Ten”
  • recipe contains at least: Tuscan juniper, angelica root, coriander, and licorice.
  • recipe also includes use of fresh citrus fruits, including: white grapefruit, lime, orange, as well as chamomile flowers.

[VS]

[CHALLENGER]

2) Boodles British Gin London Dry – 45.2% ABV – 750ml., Cock Russell and Company (UK), $29 CAD, November 2014 @ BC Liquor Stores

  • distilled from British wheat
  • recipe includes the traditional herbs as well some unique such as nutmeg, sage and rosemary
  • no citrus ingredients in the recipe. The distillers expect the imbiber to add a citrus component  to their cocktail.

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Criteria:

Nose: T.10 is mellow up front, followed by nasal tingliness and some minerality. Boodles on the hand burns your nasal cavity straight out of the gate, very harsh. There is some rosemary/sage plus some juniper mixed in there but overall the alcohol is quite apparent. T.10 is simply gentle and welcoming on the nose.

Taste & Texture: Once again I’m reminded of the slick and silky mouthfeel of T.10 with the first sip. Big grapefruit citrus as usual along with background juniper, a touch of spiced heat, and lingering throat warmth encompasses its flavour profile. Boodles is just a smidge less thick, alcohol tingly and tongue numbing in the mids, sweet wheat malt, grassy juniper body, and very mild hints of sage and rosemary (not enough to discern them). Surprisingly there’s not as much heat as the nose suggests, just a moderate amount. Although T.10 does actually taste a bit soapyI still prefer it.

Final Notes:

  • These completely opposite gins: Tanqueray No.10 = grapefruit citrus bomb, Boodles = herbal grassy juniper

Extra battle – [Boodles VS Pink 47]

Outcome: Pink 47 is even waterier in mouthfeel than Boodles but it packs much more round fullness than the its UK companion. Now I finally see why Pink 47 has so many accolades, it drinks like a well-aged scotch or bourbon with superb length and depth. Pink 47 is levels above Boodles.

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After much thought (clouded by alcohol), I’ve decided to renounce Tanqueray No.10 as the champ and crown Pink 47 as the NEW CHAMP

London Dry Gin Round 5 – Tanqueray No. 10 (Champ) VS Pink 47 (Challenger)

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Tonight makes it Round 5 of the Gin VS challenge and this time we have the previous rounds new title holder Tanqueray 10 up against an virtually equal ABV’d Pink 47. Let the Gin battle begin!


[CHAMPION from Round 4, dethroning Bulldog Gin]

1) Tanqueray No. 10 London Dry Gin – 47.3% ABV – 750ml., Diageo (London, but distilled in Scotland), $46 CAD @ BC Liquor Stores

  • the name No.10 comes from their “Still No.10”, aka “Tiny Ten”
  • recipe contains at least: Tuscan juniper, angelica root, coriander, and licorice.
  • recipe also includes use of fresh citrus fruits, including: white grapefruit, lime, orange, as well as chamomile flowers.

[VS]

[CHALLENGER]

2) Pink 47 – 47% ABV – 700ml., Old St. Andrews (UK), ~$40 CAD no longer sold at BC Liquor Stores

  • beautiful diamond shaped bottle – inspired by the legendary Khavaraya pink diamond
  • 4x distilled
  • recipe includes 12 botanicals: juniper berries (Tuscany), coriander seeds (Morocco), two types of Angelica roots (Saxony and ?), lemon and orange peel (Spain), orris root (Italy), almonds (Spain), licorice roots (China), cassia bark (Indochina), nutmeg (West Africa) – [actually that’s only 11…]
  • accolades include: International Spirits Challenge 2012 Gold, 69th 2012 Annual Wine & Spirits WSWA Silver, 5***** rating from Paul Pacult 2012, etc, etc, (18 awards and counting)

Criteria:

Nose: Starting off with T.10, the base grain spirit immediately jumps out with the ethyl alcohol and partial soapiness. It doesn’t have a ton of aroma with it, only a bit of citrus oil in the background. P47 noses quite similarly with the alcohol detection but is backed up by juniper notes, some rootiness, and significantly more nasal burn. Bottom line, T.10 = sweeter, muted alcohol. P47 = harsh alcohol detection. Tanqueray No.10 wins the aroma test.

Taste & Texture: T.10 first, it is slightly thicker in viscosity while the tongue gets coated with ctirus oils. A big grapefruit burst grabs your attention followed by juniper, and then the lime/orange oils. There’s a slight prickly sensation as well, and then comes the lasting throat warmth. Lingering bitter citrus oils at the finish. On to the P47, it feels noticeably thinner in the mouth than T.10, big juniper flavour from the get go, some citrus in the mids, cassia and coriander in finish. The flavour is quite full but the alcohol is also harsher. Subsequent sips numb the tip of the tongue. Bottom line, although I appreciate the big flavour of P47, Tanqueray No.10 is silkier in texture and better in smooth flavour delivery.

Final Notes:

  • Still lovin’ the grapefruit citrus of Tanqueray No.10, lots of throat heat for the 47.3% ABV.
  • Full, rounded bodied juniper (and more) profile of Pink 47, but it also comes with nasal burn
  • Both achieve different goals: Tanqueray No.10 = grapefruit-lime-orange, Pink 47 = full flavoured juniper-citrus-rooty spice. Depends on what you prefer.

WINNER = I prefer Tanqueray N.10

The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #3 – Chateau Civrac Old Ale

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #3

Chateau Civrac Old Ale – Penpont Brewery, 7.5% ABV – 330ml, (Cornwall, UK)

on the front-left label:

“A deep malty brew, with fantastic depth of flavour and a slight tart note from the wild yeasts present during the aging process. Aged for several months in oak wine casks. This beer is smooth but complex.”
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  • Style: (Bordeaux Barrel-Aged) Old Ale
  • Taste: Blackcurrant caramel/toffee malt woody medium bitter hopped
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep

Visual: Pours clear copper brown without much head, a very thin layer of micro retention, a few countable super slow streams.

Nose: caramel malts, wet wood, hints of alcohol. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming alcohol + caramel sweetness

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, light tart/tangy/fizzy, (MAIN) caramel malts, toffee, blackcurrant

Finish: alcohol detection, subtle lasting bitter hops, woody malt exhale.

Summary: The caramel character reminds me of Innis & Gunn, but with a dark fruit twist and more alcoholic punch. This one went down quite fast.

Honey Porter – St. Peter’s (UK)

Honey Porter – St. Peter’s, 4.5% ABV – 500ml, (Suffolk, UK)

On the back label:

“A traditional English porter finished with honey for a truly unique aroma. This famous old ale has been handed down through generations. Contains honey flavouring. Brewed with skill and patience in one of Britain’s finest small breweries. St. Peter’s Brewery is located in a medieval hall in a remote and beautiful corner of Suffolk. There our beers begin their lives deep below the brewery with water drawn from a pure source – as it has been for over 700 years, essential for the full flavour and pure character of all St. Peter’s beers. Our beautiful flask-shaped oval bottle is a faithful copy of one produced c.1770 for Thomas Gerrard of Gibbstown, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The original is now kept at St. Peter’s Hall and is a rare example of an oval Eighteenth Century beer bottle.”

  • Style: Flavoured Porter
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: honeyed malts/caramel -> watery/thin mouthfeel -> semi-sweet coffee bitterness
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5, 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours dark coffee brown, almost no head, not much in CO2 activity. Strong malted caramel and honey on the nose. The honey hits first followed by medium malts, caramel, low-medium sourness, all with a watery backdrop and thin mouthfeel. Finishes semi-sweet with a hint of coffee and medium bitterness. Medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, okay carry, okay drinkability.

Strongbow – H.P. Bulmer (UK)

Strongbow – H.P. Bulmer, 5.3% ABV – 500ml (Can), (England, UK)

  • Style: Dry Apple Cider
  • My Rating: D+
  • Taste Profile: filtered apple juice -> medium tartness -> roughness -> dry finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12 for 4pack, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear golden yellow with very minimal head, some slow moving CO2 streams. Filtered apple juice on the nose. Starts with a fruity semi-sweet (4/10) burst of filtered Sun-Rype red apple juice, followed by medium tartness (5/10) and then a rough dry and watery finish. Low complexity, medium depth, not so good transitions, okay carry, okay drinkability. It leaves a rough finish on the palate.

Old Hooky – Hook Norton Brewery, 4.6% ABV, (Oxon, UK)

On the back label:

“A beautifully balanced beer, fruity by nature with a well-rounded body and the suggestive echo of crystal malt. Brewed for the discerning drinker, try it as an accompaniment to meat dishes. Cheers!”

“We have been brewing award winning beers since 1849. Our traditional Victorian tower brewery, deep in the Oxfordshire countryside, is still powered by a steam engine.”

“Our beers contain natural ingredients – malted barley and wheat, hops and yeast. With pure spring water from our own spring-fed well.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I kinda like it: Great complexity for a low ABV beer
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: <$6 for a 500ml, Summer 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes
  • Listed in the “1001 beers you must taste before you die”

Tasting Notes: pours amber-orange-brown, decent thick head, sporadic sticky lacing, micro CO2, lots of CO2 streams. Medium malts on the nose. 5/10 mildly citrus fruitiness upfront mixed with medium malts and hints of nuttiness. Stays sweet through the mids and smoothly transitions into an off-dry hoppy bitterness that lingers at the top of mouth and partially down the throat. This beers drinks strangely “warm” and the carbonation is so ultra soft that all the flavour sensations are vibrant and clean <- quite unique. Medium-high body (amazing for 4.6% ABV), medium complexity, medium-long length, medium depth, 7/10 carry. Brewed with barley and wheat. Solid, worth 1x try.