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    The First of My Final Four Gins

    I’m of the belief that if a product can prove itself to be better than two other similar products, then it at least deserves the adjective of “respectable”.  When the final four gins make it into their respective brackets, it will be difficult for me to claim that they are undeserving of their position – and thus,  conversely, they are deserving of some measure of acknowledgement.

    The first gin in my bracket set to make it into the final four comes from Portland, Oregon, and yes, it is hardly a secret now that there’s a picture atop this post proclaiming its new status. Aviation Gin is worth a moment of your time, or at least some measure of consideration.  It is warm, well balanced, but not overly heavy on the juniper. It has botanicals that put me in the mind of chai, although that does Aviation a bit of a disservice, as it’s far more nuanced and subtle that a peppery, spiced, tea.

    When I compared it against Old Raj London Gin, the difference between the two were quite apparent. Setting aside the obvious varietal differences between a London Gin (Old Raj) and a New Western Dry Gin (Aviation), the difference that stood out was the over-junipered flavor of Old Raj. When compared against Aviation, it seemed out-of-balance and obvious.

    Let me play with some fonts in order to help demonstrate the difference.

    Old Raj - I AM A GIN!!

    Aviation - I am also a gin.

    In other words, Old Raj shouted at me, and Aviation just let itself be known.  And, for the record, it’s difficult for me to side with anyone  or anything that is too loud.

    Aviation? Congratulations! You’ve made it to my final four. I’ll never fault anyone for having you in their collection.


    The Results of The Battle of the Northwest Gins

    Methinks that there has been a bit of ballot stuffing.

    That’s okay, really. Some people, and some companies are really proud of their products. And rightfully so. Ebb + Flow Gin  is good. Quite good, as a matter of fact, a gin that I would gladly recommend to anyone. It has a strong nose, full of citrus, vanilla, and, of course, juniper. There’s nary a chemical taste to the drink, outside of the alcohol, which, at 47% ABV, can be a bit strong for some. I am satisfied that it won the reader’s round. Plainly put, Ebb & Flow Gin is a damn fine gin (Yo’! You folks at Sound Spirits – feel free to use that in your promotional literature).

    However…I do get my own say in this matter.

    There is always a problem in placing two well made gins aside one another, and invariably a preference will follow. My own preference? Aviation Gin.

    But I need to qualify this. Aviation Gin, in my opinion, isn’t the better gin, per se.  Yes, yes, it has a lively nose, with the orange peel being apparent, but not obnoxious, and the lavender balancing it nicely. And yes, the flavors play nicely with each other, with no one ingredient dominating the other .  But Ebb + Flow had similar qualities.

    So what’s the difference between the two?

    Certainly there’s the alcohol difference, with Ebb & Flow having a bit more punch, as Aviation carries 42% ABV to Ebb & Flow’s 47%.

    But there’s one other thing. Aviation has a subtlety about it.

    Ebb & Flow comes at you with it’s flavor, like a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ concert. It’s loud, bold, playful, and fun.

    Aviation doesn’t come at you. It invites you in. It pulls out an Dave Brubeck album, and asks you to listen. If Ebb & Flow Gin is the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a liquor format, Aviation Gin is Thelonious Monk.

    And if the goal here is to find the right gin for a Martini, then I’m always going to side with the gin that reminds me of jazz, because a Martini  is not anything if not jazz.

    This shouldn’t be seen as an indictment of Ebb & Flow. Not at all.  When these two gins come face to face, one isn’t of higher quality than another. When these two gins are compared side by side, it all comes down to preference.







    Gin Fight!: Round 3 – Aviation Gin vs. Ebb & Flow Gin

    Two Pacific Northwest gins go head-to-head in order to help us fill out our brackets.

    On one side with have the highly respected Aviation Gin,  the New Western Dry Gin made in Portland, OR.

    On the other side, we have the Seattle newcomer to gin production – Ebb + Flow Gin by Sound Spirits.

    Your task? Tell me which one is your favorite, using the poll below.

    [poll id="6"]

    The poll will be open for a week, and afterwards I will announce the winner as well as my preference.

    Also, there’s still time to vote whether you prefer Plymouth or Bombay Sapphire.