Our lineup was—in alphabetical order: Barr Hill (VT), Bluecoat (PA), Cold River (ME), Death's Door (WI), New Amsterdam, St. George - Terroir (CA), Tanqueray, and Tanqueray Rangpur.
Here are a few notes from our tasters.
Last year's winner makes another appearance in 2012. Bluecoat - American Dry Gin from Philadelphia Distilling in Pennsylvania is a nice, traditional gin. One taster found the flavors "very nice and juniper-heavy"
I, personally, was not its biggest fan. For me, the nose had an odd odor to it that I couldn't quite get past. For a moment, I imagined it was crème de menthe.
It was, incidentally, my addition to the lineup, so I have it back at the house for plenty of follow-up tasting. If my mind changes, I'll let you know.
Death's Door gin from Death's Door Spirits in Middleton, Wisconsin was a nice find. My initial
reaction was "hints of black pepper!"and thought that spicy subtlety was great.
St. George — Terroir gin was also a favorite. I wrote "delicious" on my little sheet. Also: "warm spices, cardamom." Jeffrey said this one, to him, was the most unique with a "woody/anise/herbal
thing going on."
One change to this year's tasting was that we took a second taste of each gin with tonic. While most of our gins did not seem to change all that much with or without, I though St. George's citrusy flavors were brought forward with the tonic.
I won't bother discussing the others on the list; I'm sure you've all had them before. Anyway, after all that tasting, we took a vote for favorite gin of the night. With the most hands raised, our winner was...
St. George—Terroir gin took 2nd place.
Can't wait until next year!