House Made Podcast

Episode #14 - Let's Taste Some Gin

May 12, 2021 House Made Season 1 Episode 14
House Made Podcast
Episode #14 - Let's Taste Some Gin
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House Made Podcast
Episode #14 - Let's Taste Some Gin
May 12, 2021 Season 1 Episode 14
House Made

In this episode we taste 4 gins with different distillation methods and see what we like best.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we taste 4 gins with different distillation methods and see what we like best.

Nick Boban (00:01):
This is the house made podcast. We're your hosts, Nick Boban and John Vieira. We're here to cover your questions about home bartending. Let's get into it.

Nick Boban (00:22):
Hey, welcome back guys to another episode of the house made podcast. If you were listening to us last time, we did a gin 101 - a 50,000 foot look at gin. What it is and it's categories. And today, instead of doing a blind taste test on our spirit guide, since there's so many different types of gin, what we just did was kind of tried to pick one of each one and we're actually just going to taste these and give our feedback on them and see kind of how they pair up to each other. I'm assuming that they're going to be very different, each one in particular.

John Vieira (00:57):
Yeah. I'm curious to see how this unfolds, because it's been a very long time since I've really subjectively tasted gins. So our lineup today, we have some interesting stuff picked that way on purpose. We've got a local product, old Boise gin. We've got Tanqueray number 10, which I didn't realize wasn't a London dry. It's an international style or a new Western style as they call it. So that'll be interesting. We also have big gin, which is out of... Did you say hood river?

Nick Boban (01:33):
Hood river distillery owns it, but it's out of Seattle, Washington.

John Vieira (01:35):
Seattle, but it's a London dry style gin. So kind of an interesting thing to think about, a London dry gin that does not come from London. And then lastly, we have the Suntory Roku gin.

Nick Boban (01:53):
Yeah. So we initially picked these, we thought we were doing two internationals or two new styles where they're not super Botanical or a gin forward, uh, Juniper forward. And we thought we were picking two very Juniper forward ones, but in just kind of researching, I guess we could start talking about tanqueray 10 first.

John Vieira (02:12):
Let's dive into it.

Nick Boban (02:13):
Yeah. Since we were just right there. So what I'm reading on here is that this product was released in 2000. Right on the heels of that whole resurgence of this crafted culture. And apparently this was when that new style that botanical or less Juniper forward new international style gin was starting to just emerge. So this one in particular, the Tanqueray 10 is claimed to be made with fresh citrus peels.

John Vieira (02:48):
Oh, I bet that's tasty.

Nick Boban (02:49):
Yeah. It doesn't say which ones they are, but that's what it is. You should give it a smell and taste it and get after it.

John Vieira (02:55):
Let's dive into this here.

Nick Boban (02:56):
So this bottle, for you guys listening, you probably all know what the tanqueray looks like. It's like a short, Squatty, green bottle and it has a big, red wax stamp and a pretty large printed on white label. The 10 packaging is a little bit skinnier, a little bit taller and it's ribbed. And it actually kind of looks the bottom of it looks like a, when you look on the inside like that, it looks like a juicer. Which is kind of funny because I mean, that makes sense. They're all about juice and stuff.

John Vieira (03:29):
This bottle literally looks like a cobbler shaker and the bottom piece looks like the inside little, this citrus reamer as they call it. Wow, this is...

Nick Boban (03:40):
Okay, what are your thoughts? What's the nose like?

John Vieira (03:42):
So the nose is pure citrus. You almost don't even get juniper. And I don't know how much sugar is added to this. It has a really amazing kind of lemon grapefruit thing going on. It's very sweet on the palate. It's so delicious I would just drink it by itself. That is like a summertime gin. It's very sweet, which makes me think that maybe there's some sugar added.

Nick Boban (04:11):
That's very... Almost thick from sugar. That's kinda what it feels like.

John Vieira (04:17):
Yeah. It's... I'm curious to see how that sweet sweetness level goes across the board here with these.

Nick Boban (04:24):
And it's rindy, too. So it's not like citrus juice, but it's almost like citrus oil, like fresh oil.

John Vieira (04:33):
It is. And you get that on the nose. It's really well done for a citrus based gin. Here's the thing, guys. I know a lot of people are big time "I don't like gin." But the reason why you should be paying attention to this episode specifically is if you think you don't like gin.

Nick Boban (04:51):
There's so many styles. We thought we didn't like vodka told the other day.

John Vieira (04:56):
Right, right. It's crazy. Well, so the thing is, like I get it. I'm not a huge fan of Juniper, right? And so when you have your classic, like this London dry style where it's big on the nose, it's big on the palate. It's all about the Juniper. Yeah. I'm not typically a huge fan of that, but I can tell you, you could give this to somebody that says they don't like gin and they wouldn't even think it was gin. They'd think it was a flavored vodka.

Nick Boban (05:18):
Yeah. And it's almost what it tastes like. I mean, there's a very slight, just because we know what it is. There's a very slight Juniper backing to it, but very, very minimal. It's not piney at all.

John Vieira (05:30):
It's nothing like the regular Tanqueray. Which is really interesting cause that regular tanqueray is very much...

Nick Boban (05:36):
It's a london dry. Yeah. It's straight Juniper punch you in the face.

John Vieira (05:39):
Yeah. Okay. Wow.

Nick Boban (05:42):
That was cool.

John Vieira (05:42):
Interesting. So let's compare that to the Roku.

Nick Boban (05:47):
Okay. So the Roku. So this guy, you taste, give me your feedback. So this guy, I was looking on the history of it. So this was created by a gentleman named shin Jiro. Shinjiro Torii. I think that's how you say his name, in 1899 actually. And so they produced their first gin called Hermes or her Hermes. Hermes gin in 1936 then did a whole hundred years almost of tinkering with that. And this is what we have. This Japanese style gin. There are six major botanicals that are a part of it. And I don't, I couldn't find the list. Oh, it's right on the back.

John Vieira (06:46):
Yeah. So it's a six sided bottle and it's got these little molded pictures for each botanical. Each of the main six on each panel.

Nick Boban (06:55):
Which, each one of these six are all sourced and native to Japan. So this is... They call it a four seasons approach with six botanicals. So it's like they were trying to distill Japan into a bottle. This is what they did. And what I found interesting from their production method is they actually distill each botanical separately on up to four different stills and then blend this final product together. That's why none of the flavors are lost and they're all very balanced.

John Vieira (07:28):
That makes so much sense, It's crazy. Everything that comes out of Japan is the most masterful creation.

Nick Boban (07:37):
Top notch.

John Vieira (07:37):
Those guys are just insane human beings. They have figured out the absolute best way to do just about everything. It's remarkable.

Nick Boban (07:48):
Oh yeah. The rest of these guys are doing one single run, maybe two runs packing all the botanicals in there and just kind of go. These guys distill... They were saying, there's 14 botanicals in total in this, but they're distilling everything separately and then blending it together.

John Vieira (08:03):
How good of an idea is that?

Nick Boban (08:05):
Oh, I mean, that's what you do with whiskey.

John Vieira (08:07):
That's what you do with a cocktail. That's how you achieve that perfect balance. That makes so much sense. That's I wish I would've known that sooner. I would have been telling people that. We have a lot of people at the bar that love Roku. We go through more of this than anything else besides our well.

Nick Boban (08:24):
It's very... What am I getting? Almost like floral on the nose.

John Vieira (08:30):
It is. So it's less one dimensional than the tanqueray 10. You're not getting just the sugary kind of citrus oil. You're getting a lot of citrus, but you're also getting a lot...

Nick Boban (08:42):
Almost tea like.

John Vieira (08:42):
Yeah, it's kind of like a...

Nick Boban (08:44):
It's very Japanese.

John Vieira (08:46):
It smells, like I said, similar but more complex than the tanqueray 10 and it smells, dare I say, cause I really liked the Tanqueray, but it smells less cheap. And when you taste it, it feels the same way too. It just feels more high quality, because it doesn't have like that. Wow. There's definitely like this added sugar or at least it tastes like it. It's very similar on the palate to the description that we put on the nose. It's less one dimensional. You get a lot more stuff. It still has a nice sweetness. You get a lot of citrus, but it's got more going on and it's... Man, for the price, it's a killer bottle.

Nick Boban (09:25):
Man, tea. I was going to read you off the ingredients on the back of those bottle. Just for my lack of reading abilities, I'm going to let John read those off the back of the bottle. They're all Japanese so...

John Vieira (09:41):
Okay. So we have Sakura flower. I'm going to absolutely butcher these.

Nick Boban (09:46):
Yeah, I was going to too. That's why I gave it to you. I think that's, um, I think that's a cherry blossom.

John Vieira (09:51):
That would make sense.

Nick Boban (09:52):
I think that's what that is. Cherry blossoms kinda all over their website. It's over their descriptions. So that flower is probably a cherry blossom, which yeah.

John Vieira (10:01):
So yeah, we got Sakura flower. We have yuzu peel, which it kind of, it looks like a Clementine or some kind of...

Nick Boban (10:10):
Some kind of orange citrus.

John Vieira (10:12):
It's got essentially that. We've got Sentia tea. So that's probably a big part of that tea thing that you're getting. Yeah. We've got sansho pepper.

Nick Boban (10:26):
I wonder if that's just a type of peppercorn, Probably.

John Vieira (10:28):
It might be. It's hard to tell from this image. They have like little images next to them.

Nick Boban (10:32):
We'll pepper corn, black pepper corn in particular is actually a big botanical that they use in most gins. I mean, we put that in our tonic.

John Vieira (10:39):
Coriander too. Yeah.

Nick Boban (10:41):
Oh yeah. That lends its hand to that citrus.

John Vieira (10:43):
So we've also got the Sakura leaf. So we've got the Sakura flower and the sakura leaf. And then the last one here is...

Nick Boban (10:53):
Maybe that's why they were talking about multiple seasons. All this stuff's in bloom at different times. Yeah. Yeah. Cause you gotta have a flower before you have leaves.

John Vieira (10:59):
And we've got another tea component here. So we've got GayoKura tea. I'm probably saying these so wrong. I apologize. Um, man...

Nick Boban (11:11):
It's complex. Kind of light on the nose. You don't get almost any Juniper out of this at all.

John Vieira (11:17):
No. And that's another reason why I like it so much because like I said, that's kind of the thing. I do like gin, but that Juniper, if it's too heavy can just kind of kill it for me. It's really tasty.

Nick Boban (11:29):
Oh, that's great. It's very botanical. It's very light. The overall mouth feel. There's not a huge body on it.

John Vieira (11:38):
No, it's light. It's great.

Nick Boban (11:39):
It's super good.

John Vieira (11:41):
Just you just grab a glass of that and sit outside on a nice spring or summer day.

Nick Boban (11:46):
Yeah with a big ice cube or something? Maybe a little citrus, like oil on top and a little lemon zest.

John Vieira (11:55):
Just a dash on the nose. Cause you don't want to... You don't want to mess up their balance, right? Yep. Oh wow. Super good.

Nick Boban (12:03):
Wow. No, that was good. I knew everybody was buying that at the bar and everybody liked it, but I don't think, yeah. I don't think I've ever tried that to be honest.

John Vieira (12:13):
It's honestly, it's really good. And it's really nice to taste it in this setting where I'm actually comparing it to other things instead of just being like, "Oh yeah, it's really good." It's like, well, it's actually good because of these reasons or you know, better than this or that.

Nick Boban (12:27):
Yeah. It doesn't taste like it has hardly any sugar component like the tanqueray 10 did.

John Vieira (12:31):
No, it's got just this really natural clean. Like there is, there's a touch of sweetness, almost like what we talk about with, the vodkas where at least ones that don't have a lot of added sugar and stuff. You taste it. It actually does have the sweetness that you don't expect because you're talking about tasting a full proof spirit on its own. You expect this harsh, crazy bite, but uh, really man, it's pleasant.

Nick Boban (12:56):
So let's jump into this old Boise.

John Vieira (13:00):
And then we'll finish with our London dry, since that should in theory, have the biggest Juniper punch to it.

Nick Boban (13:06):
That one will kick us in the teeth, hopefully. Okay. So the old Boise, so I was on their website, not trying to knock them, but there was almost zero information. Actually. There was Sub-Zero information. It said that gin was coming soon. So this one has, Oh, this one has a botanicals listed out on the back. So Juniper and Angelica root which is pretty common, licorice root, which is pretty common orris root, coriander, cardamom, citrus peels. Oh. Grains of paradise is in here and lavender.

John Vieira (13:42):
Oh, I definitely get some lavender. I was just gonna say I there's something in there that I can't quite pinpoint.

Nick Boban (13:47):
Here's the funny thing too. And I think it's just because we're in Idaho. It lists potato as a botanical.

John Vieira (13:54):
Yeah. Potato is Definitely NOT a botanical.

Nick Boban (13:57):
Well it's definitely on the botanical panel.

John Vieira (13:59):
It's a tasty and practical root vegetable, but definitely not a botanical.

Nick Boban (14:03):
My assumption is that this is probably a potato spirit.

John Vieira (14:09):
That's cool.

Nick Boban (14:10):
Because this comes out of the Koenig distillery and they do a potato vodka. And my guess is they probably use that.

John Vieira (14:17):
It's funny that you said that before it tasted it. You can totally tell it has that potato spirit kind of thing to it. It's a really nice mouth feel actually. It's got a really nice texture to it.

Nick Boban (14:28):
Oh yeah. They claim themselves as a premium spirit. Which actually, they were like very moderately priced too.

John Vieira (14:37):
It's really delicious. I love the texture. I think it's probably the best texture out of the three that we've had so far. I'm a big texture guy when it comes to especially a spirit that I would drink on its own.

Nick Boban (14:48):
Well, so the dude that makes this, he did, shoot like 10 years or something overseas learning how to distill brandies. Like in Austria or something like that. I can't remember exactly. He'll probably correct me later, but.

John Vieira (15:03):
This one to me, on the nose, was a little bit lighter, a little bit more one dimensional.

Nick Boban (15:07):
Nothing. I mean, yeah, it's super light.

John Vieira (15:09):
But it's not harsh either. It's just... It's got the volume turned down compared to the other ones.

Nick Boban (15:15):
Yeah. I'm getting just, it's almost like a vodka nose. Yeah.

John Vieira (15:19):
Flavor's good. Once again, a little bit more one dimensional. It's not crazy, but the drinkability is great. It's got a really, really nice texture to it. Really nice viscosity.

Nick Boban (15:35):
Yeah. Lavender. Yeah. When I opened my mouth to put it up there to taste it was like, right in the back of my throat.

John Vieira (15:46):
Which is cool cause lavender is dainty. I feel like it would be hard to get such a big lavender push.

Nick Boban (15:50):
Super hard. Gosh, what else am I getting out of there? I mean, you're right. It does have a potato vodka kinda feel.

John Vieira (15:55):
It definitely does. Which is not a bad thing at all.

Nick Boban (16:00):
Yeah. Lavender and citrus. I don't get a lot of Juniper off of it. No, I mean, it's still a little bit.

John Vieira (16:06):
I'm curious to see how much Juniper we get off this big gin.

Nick Boban (16:09):
Maybe a little bit of cardamom.

John Vieira (16:11):
Yeah. Cardamom is weird because...

Nick Boban (16:15):
It's such a good but weird flavor.

John Vieira (16:17):
It is. It's super weird. It tricks my brain all the time when we're making like tonic and things like that, that has that as an ingredient, it kind of tricks my brain, scent wise, into thinking that I'm almost smelling like vanilla or something mixed with vanilla. It's got a really interesting thing, which is which pairs amazingly with lavender though, like vanilla and lavender is off the charts. Wow. So really, really like the, the texture on that one. Yeah. That's kind of my takeaway. Okay, so let's jump into this big gin. This is our only one on our list today that is technically a london dry.

Nick Boban (16:56):
So these guys, okay. So these guys, I didn't really have a whole bunch of stuff except that the dude that made this as a third generation distiller and named it after his dad who they called big Jim.

John Vieira (17:13):
That's funny. That's so this for sure has a big Juniper thing on the nose. It also has, eh, it has a certain smell. I can't pinpoint that I am not a huge fan of. I don't think it's like a deal breaker. I think my nose is just weird.

Nick Boban (17:31):
It says it has white Tasmin pepper, grains of paradise.

John Vieira (17:40):
Wow. Much sweeter than I expected. Okay. Doesn't super hit me as a London Dry style, to be honest. Like I can see it because it has that predominant Juniper thing going on. I think if you pit it that next to like Beefeater, and

Nick Boban (18:00):
Beefeaters like the pinnacle of London dry.

John Vieira (18:02):
It is, which is strange that I actually kind of like it. Cause it's, cause it's not my thing, but for what it is, it's fantastic. But yeah, I think if you pit that next to some of those have that thing,

Nick Boban (18:15):
I mean, I mean, as far as like Juniper nose in comparison to the other three gins we've had, this is all Juniper. It's all I'm getting.

John Vieira (18:24):
Yep. But there's, there was something, there was a funky smell in there that was with the Juniper that I,

Nick Boban (18:30):
Yeah. Okay. So the texture was, it's quite a bit thicker in viscosity.

John Vieira (18:37):
No, the texture, I think was a lot more similar to that old Boise. Super sweet. Way sweeter than I expected

Nick Boban (18:47):
It is way sweet. And I'm getting still a lot of Juniper, but yeah, there's a couple other botanicals. Probably the grains of paradise. What is grains paradise? Do you know?

John Vieira (19:00):
I, I actually don't.

Nick Boban (19:02):
I don't either. I should. That's one of those things.

John Vieira (19:04):
It makes me think of herbs de province.

Nick Boban (19:06):
Oh, it does. Okay.

John Vieira (19:08):
Grains of paradise. I don't know. It's got to be something.

Nick Boban (19:12):
But this, it was delicious. Still, in its own right. Sorry for those of you guys, I am looking up grains of paradise right now. These guys say is different than black peppercorn. Kind of looks like it. Hmm Hmm. Okay. So what was your favorite one on there?

John Vieira (19:47):
Man. I don't know. So this was a weird journey. Just so you guys know too, anytime we do these blind tastes or just these comparisons, we don't taste these things ahead of time and write down notes and plan what we're going to talk about. We literally just off the cusp, we just crack the seal and go and jump into

Nick Boban (20:08):
Some good episodes and then it lends to some well,

John Vieira (20:11):
No, I think it's, I think it's good because it's more of an original reaction.

Nick Boban (20:15):
It's definitely not rehearsed, which is good and bad because sometimes I swear a lot.

John Vieira (20:20):
I will say I was most surprised by the tanqueray 10, because I went into this thinking it was gonna be very similar to the regular tanqueray and I thought it was a London dry style and I thought I was going to get a lot more Juniper. I, I like it, but it is really sweet and one dimensional. So it's definitely a specific application thing. I don't know that I would keep it around for a lot of things, but bet you it would make a really good martini.

Nick Boban (20:49):
Oh yeah. Which one now?

John Vieira (20:51):
The tanqueray 10.

Nick Boban (20:53):
Oh yeah. Oh, That was on a blog that I was reading. They were, they said that it was the perfect martini gin.

John Vieira (21:00):
I would love to try that because I think that would be really good. Now tanqueray 10, obviously a huge brand. And I don't remember the exact price point, but as soon as we tasted the Roku, it seemed like the quality and the consistency was a little bit more there for me. So given that they were the same price point, I think I would probably buy the Roku over it. It's just a fantastic product. I am surprised by the big gin. I'd never tasted that one before or at least not that I remember. I like the viscosity. I like the texture of it. The mouthfeel a lot sweeter than I would've thought, but I don't know if I would just drink it on its own. It's probably great in a cocktail. I don't know that I'd pour a glass of it and just drink it. And then the old Boise was surprising, despite being... What was that?

Nick Boban (21:55):
I didn't know how to pronounce it. [inaudible] Pepper. It was what grains of paradise says. It looks like black pepper corn, but it's not. It tastes like... Gosh, it's a, it's a West African spice I think is what they were saying. I just lost all my lost my place on here. Anyways. It's kind of like a cardimom, gingery type thing.

Nick Boban (22:27):
Yeah. Which is yeah. I'm going to have to buy some of that and try it. Anyways.

John Vieira (22:32):
Yeah. No. So old Boise was, I liked the texture the best on the old Boise. That was good. I think I liked the flavor overall the best on the Roku.

Nick Boban (22:42):
Yup. I agree.

John Vieira (22:43):
If I could combine the two of those, I think that would be like the perfect gin. Yeah.

Nick Boban (22:49):
Yeah. Tanqueray 10 was still good.

John Vieira (22:51):
These are all good.

Nick Boban (22:53):
Yeah, no, they're all good in their own regard for sure. Well, that's why, so that's why we didn't do a blind taste test on this one was cause they're all so different. So if you, I mean, literally you just have to read the bottle and you could figure out which one's what.

John Vieira (23:07):
That's what's cool about gin is a lot of times they're they're marketing right on the bottle. It'll tell you like...

Nick Boban (23:14):
Here's what up.

John Vieira (23:16):
Here's what's different than these other guys. Here's why you should try our stuff out. I guess, like I said earlier, though, that the take home on this whole gin series for me is this is probably less helpful to those of you that already liked gin. This is for the people that think they don't like gin because this is just 4 examples out of the many...

Nick Boban (23:39):
There's so many. I feel like every small batch distillery in America has a gin.

John Vieira (23:46):
For sure. And now here's the thing. I'm not saying that you guys, especially if you're not gin people, I'm not saying go out and buy all these bottles and taste them. But if you go to a place, like, I mean, if you're in the area, come down to craft. We'll give you a flight. We'll give you a one ounce flight of all these different ones and just, just try them because you might be pleasantly surprised. You might find something that just absolutely blows your brain apart. And you might just kind of gain a new appreciation for it. So just let us know. We'll let you taste some stuff and then if you find something you really like, we'll make you a few cocktails with it and, and just kind of go from there. But I guess that's, that's just kinda my take home messages. I used to be one of those guys that didn't think I liked gin. And it turns out I do. I just had to learn a little bit more about what it is that I want from a gin.

Nick Boban (24:35):
Yup. I understand. Bad ass yeah. Well, Hey, thanks for listening guys. Uh, catch us next time. We'll be talking about something we don't know about yet.

John Vieira (24:45):
Yeah. One of those things that are topics.

Nick Boban (24:48):
Yep. Good. Yep. All right. Cheers.

Speaker 1 (24:57):
[inaudible].