Gin Gents

Monthly Archive: December 2015



Brand: Dingle Original Pot Still Gin

Style: London Dry

Distillery: Dingle Distillery, County Kerry, Ireland

ALC: 42.5%  –  85 Proof

Average US Retail Price: $30-$35



Jim’s Review

(All photos in this review by Jim Trotman)

Time and place.

Sure, circumstances can color our appreciation of certain things in life.

One of my top five favorite meals was a simply fried whole red snapper in a garlic chili sauce. You may know this by its Mexican name, Huachinango al mojo de ajo.

Granted, Laura and I had spent a blissful day lolling in the Pacific and hanging out on the crescent of sandy beach below the verdant hills of Zihuatanejo, had sipped our share of cocktails, and our feet were in the sand under a thatched hut on that beach, the day growing cool as the sun raced for the horizon. But still, that dish would be just as wonderful even taken in less than idyllic circumstances. And when I am able to have that dish again, surely it will take me back to that sweet memory.

Can a gin do that?

galwaydingleFor me, Dingle does. Dingle has all the aspects I seek in a gin of choice. And I happened on it quite by accident. 

Long story short, we ended up in Ireland. This part of the trip we landed in Galway. The hotel we had picked was quite unique. It was as if Austin Powers himself had decorated it and added a cat fetish. It was, as he might say, “Darling, baby.”

Importantly, the House Hotel had a fine restaurant. More importantly, this nifty hotel restaurant had an even niftier bar. 

Now, I know Ireland isn’t known for gin and so for the better part of this trip, I was ordering gins from that bigger, British Kingdom across the small sea. But this night I spied a bottle in the classic gin shape on the bar and made out the label, “Dingle.” Yeah, it makes you smile when you say it. Give it a shot, right?

This was for me a “wow” gin.

The juniper was there on the nose, the sip, and solidly in the crisp finish. But also there was that clean taste of what we had been smelling in the perfumed air. It was the pleasing grassiness of the heather, the mountain ash tree berries, and bog myrtle. These botanicals, plus chervil, angelica and coriander and the others they stay mum about, combine to deliver a fine, well crafted example of how gin can be done right.

Back in Dublin, toward the end of our stay, Elissa, my adult daughter, and I parked the rent-a-car and strolled the grounds of St. Stephen’s Green and made our way to the Celtic Whiskey Shdinglepenop on Dawson Street. I just followed her as she had done her homework. There I nabbed a bottle of Dingle for my allowed liter to take home on the flight. She opted for a bottle of Writers Tears Whiskey.

The name derives from the location of the distillery. The tip of the Dingle Peninsula is mainland Ireland’s westernmost point. It is located on the southwest coast in the scenic County Kerry. Yes, the dingle berry vs. juniper berry jokes are fun.

Fortunately for GinGents, I had Russ sample some at a get together but we weren’t in a note-taking mode. That rascal somehow managed to lay his hands on bottle of it here, stateside.

We took some notes then I think his cat ate his.

Maybe he can scare up another bottle, or I’ll have to go back to Ireland.

Not a bad thought.

Russ’s Review

As our regular readers may remember, the tie that binds the three GinGents is Boodles Gin.

How three folks ended up on the same small barrier island in a state that doesn’t even sell the stuff, became friends and started an ad hoc gin tasting group is begging the odds.

IMG_0182Now add Dingle to the mix and discover that all three of us not only like this stuff, but place it on the same top shelf as Boodle’s is even more remarkable.

Unlike Jim, my first taste of Boodles was not the magical Emerald Isle, but at Jim’s house and whilst I love the dude, his countenance is not one to link imagery and a gin forever in my mind. Beyonce he ain’t…

In spite of those hurdles, Dingle, to borrow a phrase from southern writer/humorist Lewis Grizzard, Dingle “tore out my heart and stomped that sucker flat!”

Is it a clone of Boodles?

Absolutely not. Blind taste test it and you’ll know they are different gins.

But damned if these Irish lads didn’t stay true to the London Dry tradition, placing our beloved juniper front and center, while avoiding the scent and probable taste of a Christmas tree shaped car air freshener.

Smooth on the nose, smooth on the palate–perfect on the rocks, shaken or stirred into a martini–even mixed with tonic water, there was no denying this gin’s near perfection.

As Jim noted, they keep their botanical mix close to the vest, but the angelica and coriander are definite contributors to the overall success of this gin–and I’m not sure there isn’t the slightest hint of citrus zest in there to kick up the refreshment quotient.

Through hook and crook, I’ve been able, over twelve months to grab hold of three bottles of the stuff.

Each time the verdict is the same–a must have gin–if you can find it!

In honor of Winston Churchill, who was reputed to claim my two favorite gins, Boodles and Plymouth, as his two favorite, I rate Dingle 4.5 Churchill’s!







Harold’s Review


OK, just up front let me confess that it was my favorite of the night’s tastings.VR0J0082

It wouldn’t last long in my liquor cabinet!

Dingle is distilled in Ireland, in a classic London Dry Style, but with a twist.

I’m not sure what the twist is, but it works.

Of course I have Scot and Irish roots, so telling me it’s a rare find from Ireland starts me with a good attitude, but it has a blend of pure grain spirits and a secret mix of botanicals to create quite a prize in a bottle.

Maybe you can tell, but I loved the aroma, which is juniper, but subtle, complemented by the usual scents and then some I couldn’t name.

I loved it taste on the tongue. It was one of the few gins that I think I could drink straight up, but maybe not for long.

On the rocks, it was like a sweet wild Irish rose — smooth, sweet, soft and subtle.

There was no alcohol bite, and no aftertaste. It was just plain good! Great, in fact.
I couldn’t bring myself to add tonic to it, but I did have several on the rocks. Each was better than the one before.

If you can find it, get it, and enjoy. Whatever it costs you, it’s worth it!

Brooklyn Hand Crafted Small Gin

Brooklyn Hand Crafted Small Batch Gin

Brooklyn Craft Works



Base Grain: New York grown corn

Price: $35-$45/750 ml

Review by Jim Trotman

All photos by Jim Trotman

“Brooklyn owes the charmer under me…” –Steely Dan

First off, thumbs up to the crew at Brooklyn Craft Works for a fine, tasty beverage. My first encounter happened toward the middle of an evening in which several sips had already passed the lips and I was not so keen to its charms. The biggest impact of that first chance meeting was the awe of holding the heavy disk cap in my hand. The thing is an absolute weapon. Who needs brass knuckles when you have a bottle of Brooklyn handy?

And it came to pass that on our second introduction, we all had on our serious gin scrutinizer hats.

Not that is affects the quality of the liquid within, but as I have stated before, presentation gets you style credits at the very brooklynrleast. The bottle is impressive. The pseudo art deco lines deep relief ribs in the glass make it so even Ryan Tannehill couldn’t drop it if he tried, not that he tries to drop things. Then there’s that (brass?) plate front and center. It’s like a cross between an Olympic Medal and a manhole cover. Together with the weapons-grade cap, the packaging reflects the industry and strength of character of that jaunty borough.

Inside, it’s a bit of juniper and a dose of citrus. It comes on fairly bold, yet with a neat smooth feel.

Beyond that, I just kind of enjoyed it. To make things even goofier, I discovered a perfect pairing. Seriously, I’m not fooling. Take note.

So I go to fill my glass, I was considering a bout with a tonic tag-team when what did I spy? Yep, Orange Slices. That gooey, gummy orange-like candy you always lost your first loose tooth in.

Took a sip, took a bite…. Whammo! Now I realize this is about as far from the ideal mash-up the makers of this gin every imagined and yet, there it is. I did it. I liked it. I told it. I’m sure there’s a Latin phrase for all that but it’s late and I’m late.

Really, try it.

Russ’s Review


It may not be smart to bring a knife to a gunfight, but as Jim noted, the Brooklyn bottle by itself could double as a weapon and that bottle cap weighs in a 3.35 ounces–about the same weight as the lead sinkers we use surf fishing when the waves are active but not too heavy.

But you didn’t come here to learn how to use your gin bottle cap as a way to knock a person out if used as a projectile.

You want to know how this gin tastes.

First–two adjectives sum this gin up: bright and refreshing.

When I first tried Brooklyn, again as Jim noted, it had been a longish night of food and drink and the Brooklyn came out late enough in the that that it’s difference from traditional London Dry gins was too much of a change of pace.

But the next time I tried it, fresh palate and all, Brooklyn strutted its botanical stuff enough to be worthy of the borough’s moniker.

According to the bottle Brooklyn hand cracks the juniper berries and hand cuts the fruit and zest into small pieces. They employ one Carl copper still and it takes them three days to make 300 bottles.

Pour this lovely concoction over some ice, or shake it into a martini and you will be rewarded with an incredibly vibrant gin that is super smooth and refreshing.

Pair it with tonic and the result is the same–the juniper is there–right where it belongs, but the citrus, which seems to be mostly orange zest quite simply makes the stuff taste so good you need to pace yourself–because you will want another.

brooklynuprThese folks have found a way to complement the juniper we love at Gin Gents while adding a new flavor profile that is nothing like Boodle’s or Bombay or Tanqueray, but far from the inferior flowery or overly citrusy gins that taste more like flavored water.

Should you buy and try?


Harold’s Review:

Brooklyn was a really interesting gin, that I could find myself drinking as a regular.

It does have a heavy citrus aroma and taste, but I like that in a gin.  The juniper is also present, although not overpowering.

It had a smooth initial feel to the taste with no strong burn, and was quite good unadorned over the rocks.

It’s also in an attractive bottle with a stopper that could be a paperweight and all in all adds to its appeal on the bar.

I drink my gin with no tonic on the rocks, usually with a wedge of lime.

Just by itself with nothing but ice Brooklyn was a wholly fine gin for me…it brings its own citrus.

The label says it includes citrus peel and cracked juniper berries, which explains the aroma and taste.

Final Gin Gents rating: Compared to Donald Trump’s ego, Brooklyn actually has form and substance. Buy it and if you’re not driving, drink it irresponsibly.