I’m going through a major Gin phase right now. No not the ‘drink 16 double Gin and tonics in one night’ kind of phase (okay that also happens sometimes), but the ‘sip on expensive and beautiful Gins while looking classy as ef’ kind of phase.
As with any alcohol if you think you’ve tried Gin just because you had a few shots of Tanqueray one night then you’re really missing out on some major happiness in life. Gin to me is such a beautiful alcohol as it can be any combination of aromatic, crisp, clean, herbal, bitter and even smoky (common with barrel-aged Gins). Here in Victoria Veneto, Smith’s and Little Jumbo have a very very extensive selection of Gins both regular and top-shelf. Both Little Jumbo and Veneto do flights too which is a great way to discover new Gins you haven’t tried before.
Anyways the other night at Veneto we requested two different flights of gin. The bartender cleverly provided us with one international themed flight and one locally themed flight. On the international was Old Raj (UK), G-vine (France) and Junipero (San Francisco). Then for the local flight was Stump (Philips Brewery-Victoria), Yaletown (Vancouver), and Long Table (Vancouver). Old Raj has always been one of my personal favorites but it is very expensive at about $80/bottle. It’s a very masculine type gin with some spicier notes and it has just the slightest hint of Saffron. The kind of gin you want to sip while wearing a velvet robe and smoking a tobacco pipe. G-Vine was also delicious (about $75/bottle) with lighter fruitier notes it’s a very clean and crisp gin. The Junipero for me lacked the more herbaceous flavours that I usually prefer and had a very prominent alcohol taste. As for the local gins I didn’t have high hopes for Stump but man was it good. I have to get my hands on a bottle. It was very clean and aromatic with hints of spruce aka it tasted like forest. Then Yaletown gin. Also a very clean and crisp gin leaning a tad more to the licorice side and with light herbaceous notes. The last taste from Long Table I could have done without. It had a good start but a very overwhelming strong licorice taste for me.
I actually have a bottle of Yaletown sitting in my cupboard but it has yet to be opened, but this past weekend I decided to check out their distillery in Yaletown while I was in Vancouver.
We went on a Saturday afternoon and sat at the bar. We had just missed the distillery tour so I recommend researching when they are doing tours to avoid disappointment. Anyways we tasted two Vodkas and two Gins with each tasting costing $2. I really loved the limited release Orange Vodka they had as well as the regular Gin and their limited release Hops Gin. Yaletown seems to have these great limited release Vodkas and Gins but they do go fast so always check-in to see what’s new. Overall our bartender was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and the product is fantastic. For about $8/person it’s a great little distillery to check out for some tastings and the perfect way to spend 30 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.
Other favorites of mine include:
Hayman’s Old Tom
Juniper Green Organic Gin
Stump – Philips Brewery