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.