When you hear Gordon’s you think of one name, James Bond, with the famous words “Shaken, not stirred.” What most people don’t get is that James Bond’s martini’s use vodka, and shaking gin for a martini is the worst thing you could do to it. Now we’re not here this week to judge James Bond’s iconic-ly known vodka (though it’s not that great). No we are here to review Gordon’s Gin, a gin that was my (The Buffalo’s) first foray into gin. Which ended with me almost nearly being turned off to gin forever.
When I think of Ezra Brooks I’m reminded of an old saying from a wise man “Bourbon, on the rocks please.” Now while all of us at the Buffalo Lounge have had their fair share of whiskey, our tastes (Mine especially) centered on Scotch. I sampled a vast amount of different varieties of Scotch, and I had tried Jack Daniels. It wasn’t until that fateful day though, when I was given just a small 375mL of Ezra that I thought the Americans could make a whiskey.
While Ketel One isn’t our favorite spirit, not even our favorite vodka we have used more Ketel One in the Buffalo Lounge than any other liquor. Ketel One is our go-to drink for its wide use in Russian, screwdrivers, and tons of other mixed drinks, without sacrificing quality in the least. It is the standard we judge all vodka’s on, namely if you’re not better of comparable than we don’t want to deal with you. This has since changed with Three Olives much ore competitive price, but Ketel One is a good barometer for vodka.
Tonight is a new contender for the Buffalo Lounge’s official vodka that we discovered at PAX East. Normally you don’t think vodka when someone mentions Great Britain, you think of gin; however to make a great gin you must first make good vodka, and then of course do some things with juniper and citrus, but this is about Vodka.
“If anything is going to make me into an alcoholic it’s Private Stock.” ~ DJ_Lvl.
Yes readers and boozers of Honest Booze Reviews this week we sample a rum that is so good it induces alcoholism. Now I, Buffalo Jern, am a huge fan of Sailor Jerry’s which was the previous rum we had sampled. I was alone in this respect, but all of us agree that the Captain’s Private Stock is superb.
GENTLEMEN! Behold the raw awesome power of Russian Import vodka that is above the “standard” Vodka that when we few men stand in the aisles of liquor stores decide we want something better than the usual. Vodka that warms our hearts and bellies by it’s mere presence and taste. Ladies and Gentlemen, Hammer + Sickle.
We here at the Buffalo Lounge love our Scotch, we’ve enjoyed Blue Label and hope to one day review it (future note: we did), and Black Label is something DJ_Lvl has bought now and again. So we though well, Gold Label is a bit pricey, is there a good middle ground here. (future note: turns out Double Black was what we wanted)
We’re back! Yes after a very drunken and plaque riddled holiday Honest Booze Reviews is back at it’s scheduled time. Now soon enough (Read: 2 months – actually half a year) DJ Lvl will post an exciting special edition where we review not only a wine we gathered from my basement, but some short reviews of a wine tasting we attended. However that’s just a bit too classy, and while class is expected at The Buffalo Lounge it’s second only to manliness. As such this week we review a bourbon whiskey, with a turkey on it.
As our reviews take us around the world of alcohol; this week we finally land in Her Majesty’s Kingdom of Great Britain. For our review this week we take a look at the fantastic world of gin with Tanqueray. Since I have been the only one to actually set foot on British soil, I BuffaloJern will enlighten you about this fantastic gin.
To give a brief overview of the format; our four reviewers DJ Lvl, William Henri Neve the IV, Justice, and myself sample the gin giving scores based on some set categories, this is then followed by our own personal scores. Keep in mind that these scores (except manliness) are based on other gins as opposed to a scotch or vodka.
Tanqueray is in my mind a classy version of Bombay. Both are the quintessential London Dry Gins, despite Tanqueray being currently distilled in Scotland (It was originally in London), but that whole WWII/Bombing London thing happened. Anywho the mere fact that Tanqueray is distilled in Scotland only enforces what SNL has taught us “If it’s not Scottish its crap!” and I couldn’t agree more. At about 92 proof, distilled 4 times, and containing juniper, coriander, and angelica root this gin is fantastic.
And yet it’s not. Unfortunately as with most liquors the standard version the company makes are usually lacking. Tanqueray’s No 10 is superior in taste, and the Rangpur version of Tanqueray is simply a better gin. So where does that leave the Old London Dry Gin, the basic model if you will? It stays there in your bar for when you want your standard gin and tonic, when life doesn’t demand something extraordinary. It remains there looking at you in its beautiful bottle showing the world that yes I do drink gin, and no I do not drink Gordon’s.
The best part of this is Tanqueray understands this, they do not come off as cocky, or flashy just simple, praising themselves modestly and dare I say British-like.
What they say: “Back of the Bottle: Charles Tanqueray began distilling in 1830 and Tanqueray gin continues his legacy of excellence. The highest quality spirit and finest botanicals. Picked at the peak of their freshness, are carefully crafted to produce its exceptional, much revered taste.
Front: By appointment to her majesty the queen Tanqueray Gordon & Company Limited. London, England. Gin Distillers”
Taste: 7.875 – I understand the festive nature of these comments may annoy those burdened by Future Christmas but a mark of a true gin is that great pine smell. And that’s all we get here, a fine really damn good taste.
Aftertaste: 5.375 – William and I felt the initial aftertaste akin to a punch fastly followed by a beautiful women stripping, slowly. After the first bit of pine there is a bit of ethanol followed again by a long drawn out pine feeling. I would like to comment though that Justice enjoyed both aftertastes while DJ Lvl didn’t care for either, attributing to our average score of 5.
Burn/Smooth: 8 – Nicely smooth especially comparative to other gins, and that’s all there is to say about it. This goes down smoothly unlike a lower quality gin which would be like pouring paint thinner down you throat.
Aroma: 8.25 – A nice pine smell with a bit of ethanol to it, but no real bark. Much like the taste everything here is smooth, pine, and superb.
Honesty: 8.75 – The front of the bottle mentions the god damn queen, that along with the seals, and the tale of Charles Tanqueray gives this gin some serious points. Will states; however; that the only thing keeping this from getting a better score is because it mentions botanicals a bunch. While this won’t make you seem like your balls are made of the steel that your chest hair mines from your abs, one look at that beautiful green bottle and the martini you create will force James Bond to begin searching his pockets for some class.
Gin and Tonic: Really great gin and tonic, you can taste the gin, the lime, and tonic and they all come together in a beautiful government approved synthesis of booze and carbonation. However with only the juniper taste it leaves something to be desired from the citrus feel of some other gins.
Red Baron: Pretty god damn excellent Baron, while this drink can make a bad gin bearable here it makes the drink one of that best things in existence.
Buffalo Note: This also makes a damn good Martini, but it’s older brother Tanqueray no. 10 blows it out of the water.
Value: 7.125 – Good for mixing, and on its own but for its price and that aftertaste I would always recommend getting a better gin and spending the extra 3-4 bucks.
Google Shop Average: $25
William Henri Neve IV: 7.5
Score Total: 53.56/70 |+| Metric Average: 7.65 |+| Reviewer Average: 7.63
Final Thoughts: Tanqueray is clearly a great choice for a gin but it be a better choice to shell out the few extra bucks and buy one of his older brothers (the No. 10 or Rangpur). However if you’ve been living off Beefeaters (regular) or Gordons for your entire drinking life consider getting a bottle and reminding yourself what all gin should be.
Greetings Honest Booze Readers, today we review a Russian vodka – from Russia. Of course in a few weeks we’ll review a REAL Russian vodka, and not this Kanye West bullshit. For this week though we reviewed Russian Standard Platinum Vodka an imported vodka hailing from where vodka belongs: The Motherland.