Tag Archives: No. 209 Gin

The Reader’s Choice Finals – Hendrick’s Gin versus No. 209 Gin

This is it – the finals. Out of the initial sixteen gins selected, these were the two that you deemed best. Your final task here is to pick one over the other. Will be be the lesser known No. 209 gin from San Francisco? Or will it be the popular Scottish Gin, Hendrick’s?

The choice is yours.  You have one week to vote.

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The Reader’s Best Gin Semi-Final #2: Bombay Sapphire vs. No. 209


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The Third of My Final Four Gins

One of the things that filling a 16-gin-bracket-in-order-to-determine-one’s-favorite accomplishes is that it allows one to see their predilections a more clarity. I’ve already seen this once so far in this endeavor, where I’ve come to terms with the fact that an alcohol-heavy spirit is a bug and not a feature for me. I’ve given my reasons for this before – alcohol numbs the palate, making it hard to taste the complexities within – but I recognize that ultimately this is a subjective preference based off of my own ability (or non-ability, in this case) to taste well with a higher ABV in tow.

I use this as an example to better support my second predilection that I’ve come across – I like “interesting” drinks. Imagine my discomfort as I sit here writing this line, without a clear definition of what “interesting” actually means. I admit that there’s no one consistent definition, and that puts my critical palate even more in question.

Take, for example, the third gin that I’ve put in my final four - Bulldog. I like it because it’s well made, it has a nice balance, and that there is no one flavor that smacks one repeatedly over the head.  Alas, these are the same characteristics that describe No. 209, to which I was comparing Bulldog.  So what differentiates the two? Well, Bulldog is interesting to me. It’s interesting because it has subtlety and nuance, a rarity in the gin world.  It uses different botanicals than No. 209, other than the standard juniper. It presents itself as a London Dry Gin, a more conservative gin style than No. 209′s  New Western Dry Gin style, and it does so with panache.

Yes, panache.

I drink Bulldog, and I don’t feel as if it’s off to the juniper races with other more popular gins. I get the sense that the folks at Bulldog are looking to do their own thing, but they don’t need to shout about it.  I like No. 209, but I’ve tasted their flavor profile – juniper with citrus- in other gins. Bulldog seems to show restraint, a great characteristic to have in a market full of “look at me! Look at me!” type gins.

And this makes them interesting. So their gin goes into my final four.

The Reader’s Final Four Gins

So the votes have been tallied, the polls closed, and the Reader’s bracket now is a little more filled out. The result? We (and when I say “we”, what I mean is “you”) have the final four brands of gin that will go up against one another.

The four? Batch No. 209, Bombay Sapphire, Leopold’s Small Batch,  and Hendrick’s. Overall, not a bad selection of gin there.

The next step? Once I find time and get off of my duff to do my own taste tests and fill out my bracket, we’ll get down to the nittiest of gritties: Determine which is the best gin.

The match-ups will be

Batch No. 209


Bombay Sapphire

and the undercard will be:

Leopold’s Small Batch





Vote For the Last Position in the Final Four: Spruce Gin vs. No. 209

There can be only one, as we know. But it is possible for you, the reader, to determine which are the best four gins.  In this last match-up to make it into the final four, we have two lesser-known gins. On one side, we have Rogue’s Spruce Gin. On the other side, No. 209 Gin.

Your job? Let the rest of us know which one you prefer.  You have until the morning of June 17th to let us know. The fate of the world now lies in your hands…er…voting choice.

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Gin Fight #7 Results: Was it Junipero, or No. 209?

The worst part of this bracket breakdown is that there has to be losers. When I compare one gin against another, a preference, no matter how small, will make itself known, and invariably the loser will be tossed aside on the smallest percieved flaw.

Such is the case between Junipero and No. 209.

Let me state my bias up front – I was rooting for Junipero. I am a huge fan of  Anchor Distillery, as their attention to detail, and their joy in recreating old recipes and selling them to modern consumers, enlightening them with how things used to be. As a business model, it was one right up my alley, and Anchor’s passion for the past made me love them.

Yet when I put their gin up against No. 209, I sided with the lesser-known brand. No. 209, gets to go ahead to the elite eight.

Let me be clear, both are fine gins. Both are quite different, with two purposes on the market landscape.  Junipero is a classic London Dry gin, restrained, and wonderfully balanced. No. 209 falls into the New Western Dry Gin category. No. 209 has far more distinct citrus undertones, while Junipero lands with a warm, spicy buzz, and a citrus flavoring so subtle, one can miss if it they weren’t looking for it. For with Junipero, juniper rules.

So, why did I choose No. 209? It’s the same reason as with Tanqueray – the ABV is too much, with Junipero pushing near 50% (49.3 % to be exact). That numbing of the tongue that comes with excessive alcohol does not work for me, not while I’m trying to get at the heart of what the gin tastes like.   While No. 209 sits only a little lower in ABV (46%), it’s enough for me to get at the coriander, the cardamon, and others that sit below the orange peel.

So, No. 209 goes into the next round in my bracket, as well as the reader’s bracket, due in large part to a stuff the ballot box campaign sponsored by another forum.

Gin Fight #7: Junipero vs. No. 209 Gin

I did not set out to put to gins from San Francisco up against one another. That was the fault of the bracket software I use who chooses opponents randomly.

None the less, their results gives us an interesting head to head competition, as Anchor Distilling‘s Junipero goes up against No. 209 Gin from Distillery 209.

It’s your time to choose. Which of these gins from San Francisco do you prefer?

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You’ll have one week to decide.