By Garrett Curley
Gin is a spirit that derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries and produces an absolutely excruciating hangover, but is so delicious. Knowing how highly you value our opinions on booze, The Cadre assembled a panel of hardened drinkers to put our heads and livers together and give you some expert gin advice. Our crack team of local booze enthusiasts started with the paper’s senior editors, myself and Connor Simpson, and quickly expanded to include UPEISU Executive VP Josh Coles, soon-to-be medical student Jeff MacDougald (boy, is he going to regret this), SU Board of Governors Rep/Supermodel Nicole Lane, and decrepit old alumnus Ryan Merry. And then we hit the bottles hard.
Tanqueray - 8.2/10
Josh Coles, who has the most educated palate for gin of any of us, offered that Tanqueray “has that classic gin taste, more than almost any other gin.” Those more uninitiated were greater sceptics. “It tastes like there’s pine,” said MacDougald, to which Nicole added that “it tastes a bit like a cleaning product, doesn’t it?” Whatever. Connor got the last word when he said that “it’s the gin other gins are measured against.” Any true ginhound loves the Tanqu.
Beefeater - 6.25/10
We drank the Beefeater right after the Tanqu, and “it tastes worse,” offered MacDougald. Indeed, it has “less of a classic gin taste, less of a classic gin aroma,” said Coles. “Yes,” replied MacDougald, “it has got more of an ‘ass’ aroma.” The Beefeater got low marks all around. If you are a monarchist and are offended by that, you can go fist yourself.
Strait Gin - 7.89/10
Since PEI’s Myriad View Distillery bottles Strait Gin (get it? Strait?) at 51%, we expected it to kick like a sunnavawhore. “It’s kicking my ass,” said Connor, though he agreed the stuff is awfully tasty for being over 100 proof. “I’ve had great experiences with it before,” Colesy added, “and I find it’s really strong but pretty mild-tasting.” Nicole agreed. “Strait Gin is pretty good,” she said. “I’d let it go under the shirt, but over the bra.” But it was Merry who put it more succinctly than any of us: “That’s delicious. I fuckin’… fuck, gin is awesome.”
Shiver - 5.46/10
“There’s a bad taste at the very end of Shiver that I associate with bad vodkas,” Coles chirped. Merry said that it “burns a little in the chest; the others went down smooth, but this has a bit of a kick in the chest.” Connor offered that Shiver “tastes like junior high.” Unlike the other gins, whose flavours were rounded out with botanicals, the only flavour that Shiver had was the booze. It is yuck. Would not buy again.
Lemon Gin Collins - 8.5/10
“Oh my God,” Merry squealed, “this tastes, like, the best.” Collins is pretty weak at 27% ABV, but it’s delicious, even straight out of the bottle. Lemon gin is also probably responsible for your conception. If you want to never look at your dad the same way again, ask him what he calls lemon gin; “liquid panty remover,” he will reply, while cracking a smug little stupid grin. But are the stories really true? There was only one way to find out. “Are your panties still on?” Ryan asked Nicole. She checked. “Yes.” Well, so much for that.
Bombay Sapphire - 6.3/10
The Bombay Sapphire is a pretty acceptable gin, but after the Tanqu, the Strait, and the Collins, it was just awfully boring on the palate. “It wasn’t my favourite, but it was still pretty good,” said Ryan. Halifax radio personality and longtime gin enthusiast Morgan Sheppard told us that she “recently switched from Bombay to Tanqueray because it’s more gangster.” Solid choice. We all felt pretty lukewarm about Bombay. Anyway, at this point we all decided to go to Baba’s and dance and probably make out with strangers.
To recap: Collins is really delicious, but it doesn’t actually count; Tanqueray is the best choice for your standard gin; and the Strait is worth the extra change if you can afford to invest $33 in a bottle of 102 proof über-gin.
I’d also like to add that in the wake of the last Cadre BOOZE PANEL, wherein we concluded that spiced rum is delicious, a number of people approached me with questions about the accuracy of our results. Even our methods, which I defend as empiricist, were called into question: “but how do you judge how good the booze is when you’re drinking so much of it and getting smashed?” said the nonbelievers. There’s quite a simple answer to that question, really; we at The Cadre do not believe in the concept of drunkenness, which is a bourgeoisie construct invented to keep the working man down. You have nothing to lose but your chains, guys.