- Jonathan Winters
Corgi Earl Grey Gin Review
This one is for the dogs.. They donate a portion of proceeds to save rescue dogs!
Review Corgi Earl Grey Gin
Made in: Jersey City, NJ, by Corgi Spirits
Method: Copper pot still, Istill 500.
40% alcohol/80 proof
Botanicals: Juniper, earl grey tea, lemon peel, camomile, orris root, angelica root, cubeb berries.
Style: Modern gin.
When I say this gin is for the dogs, I mean it. Inspired by the dogs of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, their logo is a corgi wearing a crown, but their social mission includes donating a portion of their profits to local animal rescue organizations.
I was intrigued by the Earl Grey gin when I saw it, a) as it was local, and b) because tea is a very interesting botanical, which is more and more finding its way into the gin botanical mixes.
Now ordinarily for a gin this local I’d hope for a ride, (or in this case a ferry) to go out and talk to the distillers myself. But in these times of COVID their distillery is closed to the public except for curbside pick up. So instead I emailed them some questions and got my questions answered that way.
According to their man in the field who replied to my email the two most important factors in making this gin is the earl grey tea, and juniper which is sourced from a single source in Macedonia. Certainly interesting thoughts, but the proof ( or in this case 80 proof) is in the tasting, lets see what they offer.
The color of this gin screams old tom, and I think honestly that’s how you need to classify this gin. Sipped with just ice it’s pleasant without too much in the way of heat, although it’s certainly got some on the back end.. I don’t think I’d call it a sipping gin, unless you dilute it a bit, its flavors might just be a bit too intense.
This definitely is not your grandad’s gin when you taste it. You taste tea, carmelized orange, pepper. juniper, and licorice and in the background maybe just a hint of thyme, camomile, caraway, and orris. There is just a tad of sweetness and a lingering caramel with the tea aftertaste.
The mouthfeel has just a hint of oiliness that coats the palate well.
I had a feeling this one would make some very interesting cocktails and in this case I took the recipes suggested by their website as a starting point.
It certainly didn’t make a classic martini, but it made a good one, and the tea/carmelized orange flavor (which I have to say made me think a bit more about an orange pekoe than an earl grey), made for a flavorful but not sweet martini. It didn’t garnish all that well with olives, but with a piece of star anise, and lemon zest I liked it a lot.
With this gin, pairing is very important. So for gin and tonic, I skipped the mediterranean tnic and went to Fever Tree’s Elderberry tonic. It was light and elegant, and enjoyable but I suspect it might be better with a classic tonic.
For something a little more adulterated, and less clean I tried with some of the suggestions from the distillery, and made their variation of the Bees Knees cocktail which they call the Corgi Cup. While I found it a little sweet for my tastes at first, the gin did meld well with the flavors of the honey to produce a fairly lush cocktail which only got better as it diluted a bit with the ice.
I think it would work very well in a gimlet, or a French 75.
This is a good mixing gin for those looking to elevate cocktails and impress with fancy martinis, but it's’ definitely not for everyone. The strong taste of the earl grey will alienate some, and for those who want their spirits a bit more astringent this definitely won’t be on your list of favorites.
That said, while i greatly enjoyed it, I’d save it for martinis and cocktails.
Overall rating: 85. It’s a very interesting gin, and well worth tasting for it’s unique flavors.
What you need to know about reviews: All my reviews are my honest opinions based upon my own personal tasting. I am NOT a paid reviewer, and no compensation was given, or expected. I may from time to time choose to do a second review and amend my opinion of a product, should I feel like it and find my review criteria has evolved, or that I’ve found it different at a later date. That said, as I’m unlikely to repurchase anything I thought was less than very good to excellent, it would be by chance or at the request of a distiller who thought I rated them very unfairly - BUT even then, whatever you get will always be my honest opinion.