Canonical gintentions

Hello, remember me? I used to blog here.

I guess GameSpite has somehow become my liquor blog, which is not really a thing I would have imagined about myself a few years ago. But, all my creative efforts and labor now go toward Retronauts, so I’ve been finding it difficult to find time (and inspiration) to say much here that doesn’t belong there. Which is… good, actually. I always used this blog as a place to write about things that didn’t have a place at my day job. But I’ve managed to squeeze all the things that interest me into my current work, really. And people seem to be into it! So there’s not really much point in me writing here, unless it’s simply as a creative exercise.

But I am happy to report that my years-long project of creating my own compact personal gin “canon” has finally come to a conclusion, as I’ve slowly and steadily sampled different brands and accumulated the ones I like best. So, if for some reason you care the tastes of an aging white dude with an unhealthy interest in video game history and a preference for gin as his go-to alcoholic distraction of choice… here you go.

Clockwise from the back left:

Death’s Door: By far the smoothest and most mellow “New American” style gin I’ve tried. Definite hints of cardamom and aniseed, but neither are overpowering. It’s quite good.

Nolet’s: A very unusual gin, but delicious. Extremely floral without being cloying, it’s one of the few gins I’ve tasted that has such a mild bite you can sip it straight.

The Botanist: Distilled in Islay, where the best single-malt scotches come from, this tastes nothing like a single-malt scotch. It has a light, almost fruity element to it — I could swear I can taste a hint of coconut in it. It might be my favorite gin, I don’t know. It’s a bit pricey, so I don’t drink it often in order to make the bottle last as long as possible, but it’s always wonderful when I do indulge.

Peninsula: While my collection mostly consists of specific brands, I do leave two of the eight gin slots on my bar open for wild-card local brands. If I’m buying locally to myself, I’ll go with Cardinal and Conniption Navy Strength; but I’m also very open to trying hard-to-find gins from other areas. In this case, this is a Michigan gin my parents gave me, and it’s very nice. Reminds me a lot of Ungava (from Canada) and Rehorst (from Wisconsin). Must be some sort of specific regional botanical…

Knickerbocker: Another “local gin” slot, another Michigan gin my parents just gave me. I’ve only tasted this once and need a little more time to get a better sense of it, but it’s good, and totally different from Peninsula. There’s a hint of lemon zest that kind of reminds me of Distillery No. 209’s standard gin, but it’s not quite the same.

Nikka Coffey: Now that Japan makes gin (something that’s happened within the past year), I want to include a bottle of Japanese gin on my bar. I don’t like Nikka quite as much as Ki No Bi, but it’s still pretty fantastic, and wholly unique from American and London gin.

Bombay Sapphire: Of all the bar standards, I find Sapphire strikes the best balance between price, availability, and taste. It’s my preferred gin for classic mixing, e.g. martinis, and it’s been remarkably affordable of late… all the better.

St. George Mt. Tam Terroir: And finally, the hardcore stuff. You know how juniper is the defining botanical in gin? This blend maximizes that element, with a piney scent and flavor that makes it kind of like drinking a forest. It is a very good selection for Christmas cocktails… but definitely one for people who really like the fundamental taste of gin.

And that is it. I hope this rundown has been of value to you. If not, well, my apologies.