A few posts ago, I shared with you my experience at Bobby Gin. Also, I promised I would go to one if it´s famous Gin tastings, well, here is how it went…
I organized the tasting with 9 friends from Barcelona, we were all eager for that day to come since we are all Gin Tonic lovers. The tasting started at 17:30 and it was guided by Alberto Pizarro, winner of the Best Bartender award at World Class Spain 2011, and a total guru when it comes to cocktails (and practically any beverage). A big table with lots of Gin brands welcomed us as we entered the saloon. I knew about 5 of them, mostly my basics: Gin Mare, Hendrick´s, Bulldog, Beefeater and Seagram’s.
It turns out I knew nothing about gin…The tasting started with a bit of history and facts about gin, meanwhile 8 Gin shots waited for us to try them one by one when their explanation moment came. For us to understand and feel the difference between each gin, there were several botanics like licorice powder, coriander seed, cardamom, lemon skin, and basil; smelling each one of them really helped me define each flavor among the 8 identical glasses I had in front.
The name gin is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean “juniper”, easy because Gin itself derives its main flavour from juniper berries. This tasting was not about brands at all, it was about flavors, different distillations, and the different tastes that the herbals provided.
- Ketel One Jenever- A Dutch jenever where the importance lies on the alcohol and not the botanics used
- Hayman’s 1820- A gin liquor with more than 100 grams of sugar per liter, a Pre-Victorian style of an English Gin. Amazing!!
- Plymouth- Earthy flavor, it had a great influence among the Royal Navy.
- Nº3- One of the most representative and classic London dry gins with a citric touch and a dry finale.
- Seagram’s- Aged in barrells (just like Citadelle and Hayman’s 1850).
- Tanqueray Ten- This kind of gin promoted the actual culture and addiction to Gin&tonic/gintonic
- G’vine Nouaison- Revolutionary gin that uses grapes and flowers as a base. It´s very common in Fashion events.
- Gin Mare- Mediterranean Gin, it represents the wide range of the so called”author gin”. In it’s herbal aroma you may distinguish thyme, basil, rosemary and arbequina olives.
The funny thing about gin tasting it´s that it has nothing to do with a wine tasting. Wine has to be profoundly smelled, you have to capture the aroma, perceive it´s movement and define it´s color. In a gin tasting you have to smell the glass real quick, just for a second, to catch the notes and give a gust of aroma. If you do it for more time, you´ll feel “alcoholized”, trust me.
I had never tried gin without tonic, but it was a good experience to feel it’s real flavor in mouth. There were some gins I’ll definitively try again and also some that I never will.
After an hour and a half of gin lessons, we were all invited to the bar to have a gin tonic, as I´ve said in my previous post, one of the best gintonics in town. Each one of them was carefully prepared boosting the herbal aroma and flavor in it, irreplaceable. To make the most of my visit and finish the tasting, I left myself to the expert hands of Alberto Pizarro and tried a personalized gin fizz for me, it was truly amazing!
I fully recommend you to try this experience and to do it with friends. Not only did we had an extremely fun and different afternoon, but we also had an excellent excuse to get together.