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cowdery
09-03-2010, 22:11
I rmember talking once about "straight gin" and finding out that the regs make provisions for straight gin and vodka, except they have to be aged at least two years in barrels that are coated so the spirit cannot absorb any flavors from the wood. That leaves evaporation and oxidation of course. I've noticed New Amsterdam Gin before but tonight I noticed it is straight gin. Haven't tried it yet but I did take a picture.

barturtle
09-03-2010, 22:40
I find no reference in 27cfr5 to any type of straight gin or vodka. Nor do I find a product class/type code for either.

Martian
09-06-2010, 12:07
Chuck, I noticed that New Amsterdam won a Double Gold medal at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. I haven't tried it either.

Trace Tippler
09-06-2010, 12:54
Before I came back to bourbon, this was my daily pour for a martini. NAG is, I think, a very good gin especially for the price. A nicely balanced botanical profile with classic but not overpowering juniper notes, and all with a mouth feel that could almost be described as slightly oily in a very good way.

NAG is made in Modesto, California (or at least bottled there) and for quite some time now they've been heavily promoting this new brand with coupons and discounts.

cowdery
09-06-2010, 14:13
I find no reference in 27cfr5 to any type of straight gin or vodka. Nor do I find a product class/type code for either.

Thanks for catching this. I was wrong. It wasn't "straight gin" we were talking about, it was bottled-in-bond gin, which New Amsterdam is not. Section 5.42(b)(3)(iii) "Stored for at least four years in wooden containers wherein the spirits have been in contact with the wood surface except for gin and vodka which must be stored for at least four years in wooden containers coated or lined with paraffin or other substance which will preclude contact of the spirits with the wood surface."

Apparently NAG's purpose in using the word "straight" is to convey that the product tastes good that way, and the TTB permitted it because there are no actual rules defining "straight" gin.

Still, it's pretty tasty and priced right. And the picture came out nice.

MJL
09-06-2010, 14:21
So two questions come to mind. Any chance the parafin is going to be partially dissolved into the spirit? Second, if the spirit cannot interact with the cask what, exactly is the point behind aging it in the cask for 4 years? I mean what is going to happen in a parafin coated cask that is not also going to happen in a 10,000 gallon stainless steel vat?

cowdery
09-06-2010, 15:45
Presumably oxidation and evaporation will still take place.

It's also possible that nothing happens. It's possible this was inserted as a political compromise when "bottled in bond" was like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and gin and vodka makers demanded their piece of the action.

The fact that no one does this today is a pretty good indication that it doesn't improve the spirit.

MJL
09-06-2010, 18:06
Ah, I see. Gin is basically nothing more than an infusion of herbs, aromatics and spices with some form of neutral spirit. I think I'm more likely to buy, as a marketing tool or claim of quality, some secret receipe for that infusion (Gin producers all seem to make THAT claim so I am no great thinker here) over some magically fairy dust alteration occuring in storage.

This brings to mind the correctness of those who defined bourbon in law as opposed to allowing producers to define the product. Food products defined partially by place (Champagne, Parma cheese, Scotch, etc) are easy to define via legislation. Those products less defined by place (Gin, Rum, Bourbon, etc) really benefit from legislation defining the use of the term describing the product. I'm not a fan of legislative intrusion into the market place but as bourbon production spreads via micro-distilleries (nice article, Chuck!) to locales that never historically produced bourbon (Montana, Colorado, Florida, etc) it is nice to know that there are the confines of legislation that must be adhered to if you choose to call something bourbon. I perceive that the rum community is embroiled in a debate how to define product called rum with some insisting it be defined by place and sum by method or ingredients. It would be nice, from the consumers point of view that these other spirits be defined to weed out the imposters and to insure a level of quality and perhaps even create some form of standard assesment of quality that the consumer can understand in plain language.

Josh
09-06-2010, 19:24
Ah, I see. Gin is basically nothing more than an infusion of herbs, aromatics and spices with some form of neutral spirit. I think I'm more likely to buy, as a marketing tool or claim of quality, some secret receipe for that infusion (Gin producers all seem to make THAT claim so I am no great thinker here) over some magically fairy dust alteration occuring in storage.

This brings to mind the correctness of those who defined bourbon in law as opposed to allowing producers to define the product. Food products defined partially by place (Champagne, Parma cheese, Scotch, etc) are easy to define via legislation. Those products less defined by place (Gin, Rum, Bourbon, etc) really benefit from legislation defining the use of the term describing the product. I'm not a fan of legislative intrusion into the market place but as bourbon production spreads via micro-distilleries (nice article, Chuck!) to locales that never historically produced bourbon (Montana, Colorado, Florida, etc) it is nice to know that there are the confines of legislation that must be adhered to if you choose to call something bourbon. I perceive that the rum community is embroiled in a debate how to define product called rum with some insisting it be defined by place and sum by method or ingredients. It would be nice, from the consumers point of view that these other spirits be defined to weed out the imposters and to insure a level of quality and perhaps even create some form of standard assesment of quality that the consumer can understand in plain language.

That's not quite true. In order to be called bourbon it must be made in the U.S. by international treaty and federal law. So there is a geographical element, like Scotch, Irish, Canadian, etc. But your point is well taken.

cowdery
09-06-2010, 23:45
I know a lot of people don't like the federal government, but the Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits have served us pretty well.

There are three kinds of gin based on how they're made: compound gin, distilled gin and infused gin. All start with a neutral spirit (i.e., vodka) base. For compound, the cheapest, you take a tank of vodka, pour a bottle of concentrated gin essense into it, and stir it up. For distilled you soak the botanicals in a neutral spirit and water solution then distill that soup to clean up and concentrate the flavors. For infused there are a couple of different techniques, but they just infuse the flavors from the botanicals directly then filter out the solids, but with no additional distillation.

The major imported English brands are distilled. Some of the boutique stuff is infused. The cheap domestic brands are compound.

kickert
09-07-2010, 06:26
There are three kinds of gin based on how they're made: compound gin, distilled gin and infused gin. All start with a neutral spirit (i.e., vodka) base. For compound, the cheapest, you take a tank of vodka, pour a bottle of concentrated gin essense into it, and stir it up. For distilled you soak the botanicals in a neutral spirit and water solution then distill that soup to clean up and concentrate the flavors. For infused there are a couple of different techniques, but they just infuse the flavors from the botanicals directly then filter out the solids, but with no additional distillation.

Within distilling, there are two techniques used. The most common by far is maceration (which you described above). The second is with a vapor basket, where in a vat of GNS+water is distilled and the vapor pass through the botanicals to get their flavors. Hendricks, Corsair and I think Bombay Sapphire all use that later.

cowdery
09-07-2010, 11:17
Within distilling, there are two techniques used. The most common by far is maceration (which you described above). The second is with a vapor basket, where in a vat of GNS+water is distilled and the vapor pass through the botanicals to get their flavors. Hendricks, Corsair and I think Bombay Sapphire all use that later.

Thanks. I was hoping someone would explain the gin basket technique.