Gin Gents

Monthly Archive: August 2018

Golden Moon Gin: Perhaps it should be called Tarnished Moon Gin


Distillery: Golden Moon Distillery, Golden, CO

Price: $40-$46

ABV: 45%

Style: Unknown


All photos by Jim Trotman

What Jim thinks…


There was a time, way back, when I was much more interested in rocks than anything else and was considering applying to the Colorado School of Mines for college.

There, young budding scientist and geologists are groomed to become those imbued with special expertise in the development and yea, even stewardship, of the Earth’s natural resources.

Then I picked up a camera and the dream changed. But back to Colorado…

The Colorado School of Mines is in Golden, Colorado. Golden is also home to Coors Brewing Company, the Colorado Railroad Museum and is the birthplace of Jolly Rancher candies. What’s not to like?

It is a dandy spot of real estate. Interestingly, though it was settled during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush in the 1850s, it was named, not for the yellow ore, but for one Thomas L. Golden.

It is located west of Denver and is notable for its two table mountains, forming its eastern boundary. The moon rises occasionally between these plateaus and the appearance gives rise to the charming term, “Golden Moon.”

The town motto is “Where the West Lives.”

Sadly, it is also Where Gin Dies. This is because when you open a bottle of Golden Moon Gin, born of that esteemed locale, you are met with a scent-rush of funeral flowers.

Now, Mom always said that if you can’t say something nice. Don’t say anything.

Well, I can say the label is pretty great. It is heart-shaped. We all love the heart shape, right?

And the graphic is way cool. It appears monotone in most aspects, but turn the bottle to an oblique angle to the light and dang if that moon does not indeed turn gold. That is as sweet a trick as one can possibly create on a gin bottle label.

But we were fooled before. Uncle Val’s has an equally cool label.

I think we could leave it at that. But, well, maybe one short photo series to end on a high note. This is yours truly having a sip of Golden Moon.

…And Russ is even less generous


Tilt the bottle sunward and the moon turns gold. Or golden. Whatever. The gin still tastes bad, however.

I’m flipping through my tasting notes and here’s what I wrote down:

“Lavender and earthy on the nose. Perfume also. On entry more lavender, a bare hint of juniper and some mint lingers on exit. Maybe some lemon. A little earthy in the mid-palate, maybe some corn? Reminds me of White Tiger from South Carolina. Something in the background reminds me of clear whiskey or a mild bourbon. Got to be the corn.

Oh yeah–this stuff sucks as a gin. ”

I’m not sure what this ‘stuff’ is supposed to be and I probably tipped Jim off a bit when I handed over to him, after my taste tests, a bottle that was 85% full instead of half (or more) empty.

I kept my mouth shut and allowed Jim to come to his own conclusions, which is how we do things at Gin Gents.

His first text, a few days later went something like “Oh my God, WT(offensive letter of alphabet  omitted) is this?”

He didn’t make a reference to the gin but I guessed and texted in response “Talking about that gin?”

Jim: “Is that what it is?”

Russ: “You could tell from the amount left in the bottle I wasn’t sorry to part ways”

And so it went.

I then looked at the online reviews.

I always visit one gin site that will remain unnamed, although it rhymes with “The Gin is In” and I wasn’t surprised their review almost exactly mirrored the description the distillery had on their tasting notes. The site that rhymes with “The Gin is In” almost always finds their tasting to match the tasting notes of the distillery.

Even if the distiller claims their gin tastes “vaguely like the ice and small rock particles in the rings of Saturn”, those guys will taste it.

But we don’t do that. We’re willing to flirt with the Dark Side. Darth, Voldemort, Reality TV. That kind of stuff.

I can assure you this tastes nothing like gin if your idea of gin even remotely comes close to, well, gin.

Nope. This gin is how I imagine lavender-scented laundry detergent would taste like if one could drink that safely.

Or, as Jim hinted when he mentioned the word funeral, it tastes as if every flower at a funeral had its scent extracted into liquid form and poured into a bottle labeled “gin.”

Hell, over ice the stuff turned milky white in both our tastings.

And tonic water, whether cheap, expensive or one of those fancy stand-alone mixers like El Guapo failed to get rid of the floral nose and palate.

But as a flavor infused vodka or a product to add to your lawnmower’s gas engine to give off a nice floral scent for your neighbors while ramping up your engine rpm’s, Golden Moon is your go-to not-really-a-gin gin.

Just don’t garnish it with a flower. The flower won’t be able to compete.

We give it 1/2 of a Churchill only because it didn’t kill us. So far.

Warwick Rustic American Dry Gin-A worthy addition

Warwick Rustic American Dry Gin

Distillery: Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, Warwick, NY

Style: Amercian Dry Gin

Price: $30

ABV: 40%

Availability: Northeast U.S. primarily


Words and Photos by Jim Trotman

We are clawing our way out of hibernation. Or Hiatus. We have lately been“Men-of-pause.” However you want to color it.

So Russ texted over our rather dusty connection and said he had a new one to try. “Well, g’head,” was my response.”

I got the bottle and read the label. “Warwick Rustic American Dry Gin.”


Been there with American gins, done that. Never got the damn t-shirt. But that is okay. I have been, on more than one occasion, surprised in a good way.

That was the case with Warwick.

Spent many a day searching through senior adult living complexes for my mother a few years ago. I must have stumbled across the name “Warwick” six times. Warwick Gardens, Warwick Estates, Warwick Arms. The name plays well for folks looking for a nebulous bond to a place embodying old world charm.

But the provenance of this gin indeed Warwick, New York. From Google Images, the little hamlet looks like as charming a spot as could be found in New York State. Warwick is also imbued with American historical significance. George Washington actually slept there.

That bottle is attractive, in a stout, roly-poly, old buddy of yours kind of way. The thumb-sized stopper lands home with a satisfying smoosh. The label is attractive.

American gins are a mixed bag, unlike, say, London Dries. One can become cynical after a tasting a couple of dozen with flavor profiles ranging from Bubble Gum to Pineapple to Aunt Betsy throat lozenges. Folks, this is what vodkas are for.

But here we have that occasional surprise. Warwick has that faintly medicinal smell of a good alcohol, with a waft of warm citrus. Sipped on ice, the mouthfeel is most pleasant and the aromatics step forth. Juniper remains the star but the cast is roundly supported with lime and lemon peel, coriander, and angelica root with a guest star role played by anise.

The ratio of this combination is a traded secret of course, but the sum total leads to an almost vanilla accent. Very rounded flavors of the sort you want to just snuggle with under the covers.

In this way, Warwick is a bit of an odd duck, but a fairly tasty odd duck. Very good in my opinion.

Well done, lads.

Russ’s take


As we’ve said umpteen times, we’re not big fans of the phrase “American Dry Gin”.

When I see a gin labeled “London Dry’ I know exactly what I’m getting. A juniper-forward gin that makes use of a handful of primary botanicals in addition to juniper, plus a few proprietary ingredients that fall outside the normal quiver of added flavorings.

Think Tanqueray, Boodles, Bombay and while each presents a slightly different twist, they still taste more the same than incredibly different–like the difference between Coke, Pepsi, and RC Cola.

‘American Dry Gin’ on the other hand seems to define nothing and encompass only the fact that the gin was ‘born in the U.S.A. and the result can be a gin that tastes like apple cider, a lavender flavored syrup or a spruce tree. Now we’re comparing Coke to Fresca or Pommegranite juice but placing all of them under the moniker “American Dry.”

All of which tends to make the Gin Gents more apprehensive than excited when we score a new bottle of boutique American gin.

Luckily, this time, Warwick, while an odd-tasting gin, came off a winner in our book.

The New York state-based winery/distillery only produces Warwick in small batches of 50 cases using a copper kettle.

What I noticed upon opening the bottle was a more citrus-forward nose–lime and lemon with some licorice or vanilla.

On the rocks, the lemon and lime hit you first, followed by the juniper. Not far behind, and lingering on the exit was the definite presence of licorice, which means that for me, the anise was very detectable. Others may walk away with a different take.

Regardless, the juniper still was quite noticeable and overall, Warwick presented itself as a good martini candidate that most gin drinkers would probably enjoy as a change-of-pace choice.

Mixed with standard, industrial strength Canada Dry tonic water, Warwick held its own and was able to overtake the tonic water and preserve its essential lemon, lime, juniper, anise characteristics.

Moving on to one of those boutique tonics you mix with a splash of club soda, in this instance, El Guapo, (https://www.e(, Warwick really shined and the result was a pleasing combination of tonic flavors mixing with the gin’s citrus, licorice and juniper notes tomy great enjoyment.

4 out of 5 Churchill’s for this one.