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259 posts

Ultimate Geek

#189455 30-Dec-2015 15:44
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We've got a Whisky thread (although there should also be a whiskey thread) so it's time for a Gin thread. Tonic Water discussion is on topic as well.

First up: Where can I get Malawi Gin?!? I can only find a retailer in the UK. Luckily they deliver to Ireland, so I'll get them to send it to me when I've there next year.

Secondly: I can't stand Bombay Sapphire! It's far too floral for me. I much prefer Beefeater and will even make do with Gordon's.

Thirdly: How can anyone drink Gilbey's?

Fourthly: Lemon, or lime?

Fifthly: Pink?

Lastly: I think I'll have a Gin Party. How should I have a Gin Party and not get everyone totally faceless?

Ooh, and a troll question: What's the best NZ Gin?


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240 posts

Master Geek

  #1459101 30-Dec-2015 16:12
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We just picked up a bottle of Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin.  Yet to try it, so will return after new years when I have had a taste with some notes (if I remember them).

Not sure where to get obscure gin from, but if you ask a local importer they may grab a few bottles to try.  Usually these products are sold by the same company they are already procuring some other liquor product from.

Bombay Sapphire = BS  ;)  Most people I know cannot stand it.
we all drink a combination of: (favourite at the top, least favourite at the bottom)


  • Hendrick's
  • Monkey 47 Gin
  • The Botanist

Drinking Parties:
Heavily water down the drinks if you don't want people getting blotto.  lol or offer limited number of drinks within the hour (2 perhaps).

Best NZ Gin:
The absolute best New Zealand gin I have had is not available to purchase!  I was lucky enough to be gifted a bottle.  I may never get another one unfortunately, but it was world class!
The closest I ever got was with Rogue Society Gin.
Or if near Kaiapoi you should pop into Kaiapoi Distillery.  You can sample any of their products (both distilled there or imported).  Their Coach Gin is very very good quality.  Only down side is you have to purchase from their store, or over the phone as they do not supply other markets nor have an online store.

2266 posts

Uber Geek


  #1459625 31-Dec-2015 19:27
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Hmm Gin.

UK Gin


  • Brookers I'm currently enjoying and a nice change
  • Tanqueray - my goto at Duty free
  • Tanqueray No. Ten - if on offer at Duty free and sooo nice. Got 2lt for NZD 70 in Fiji Duty free.
  • Botanist is simply stunning
  • Hendrick - a great treat
  • Beefeater 24 - a pleasant change and on offer last time I came through duty free
  • Gordons - it a pinch
  • Bombay Sapphire classic - I'd rather have Tanqueray, but my wife likes Bombay.

NZ Gins


  • Lighthouse - Awesome
  • Lighthouse Hawthorn Edition - Totally amazing and possibly the best Gin I've ever had
  • Mahurangi Gin - very different
  • South Gin - Been a while since I've had it but always enjoyed it.



  • Rogue Society Gin - Just didn't like it
  • The recent Bombay Sapphire additions like amber etc


  • Juniper in Wellington

Pet Peve


  • NZ Duty free stores just stock  the standards with little variations. Premium Gin can be a great Bargain Duty free but even the new stores at Auckland Airport appear to be in the back-pockets of the usual distillers.

Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


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Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1459667 31-Dec-2015 22:17
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Good timing for this thread! Amongst a few bottles of other spirits I brought a bottle of Christies Crisp New Zealand Gin just before christmas. Apparently quadruple distilled and contains Horopito and Kawakawa. I've just cracked it open and am enjoying my glass with tonic and lemon fresh from the lemon tree in my garden.

Opinion: a reasonably dry spirit with an interesting flavour due to the infusion from the native pepper trees. I'm finding the flavour fades from the palate reasonably quickly which is a little disappointing. Overall, pleasant enough to drink but definitely not something I'd rave about and I doubt I'll buy another bottle. Also, for what it's worth, I note one of the transparent labels indicates it's a Lion Nathan product.

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Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

  #1459672 31-Dec-2015 22:30
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Tanq 10
Lighthouse Hawthorn Ed
Black Robin Rare

Definitely lime

14790 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1459685 31-Dec-2015 23:31
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Lighthouse Gin is partly owned by one of my neighbours, so I will vote that as a good local one!

I prefer Bombay for mixing or Sloe Gin for winter sports like shooting or fox hunting (or Percy Special - whisky mixed with cherry brandy).


259 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1467128 10-Jan-2016 17:46
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Just saw this about UK gins.
Also I have some Cork dry gin from Ireland. It has a kind of coffee flavour.

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

299 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1467131 10-Jan-2016 18:03
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Have to say Lighthouse is a fantastic gin - tried it at this bar when I was in Paihia last year. Haven't heard of it before and was strange to only hear about it from some bar in a small town.

Hendricks has been my go-to for gin for a while but love a bit of Rogue Society every now and then.

Honestly don't know how people can drink Bombay Sapphire.

Lannah - find me on twitter.


16713 posts

Uber Geek

  #1467135 10-Jan-2016 18:10
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Flickky: Have to say Lighthouse is a fantastic gin - tried it at this bar when I was in Paihia last year. Haven't heard of it before and was strange to only hear about it from some bar in a small town.

Hendricks has been my go-to for gin for a while but love a bit of Rogue Society every now and then.

Honestly don't know how people can drink Bombay Sapphire.

There are many boutique businesses like that in NZ making all sorts of products that are arguably better than mainstream products. To get such a product in a mainstream city retailer / bar is incredibility difficult, as you tend to need huge volumes. Moor WIlsons in Wellington tends to sell many of the boutique products. Not cheap, but that is due to economies of scale.

2237 posts

Uber Geek


  #1467325 11-Jan-2016 08:27
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My favourite gin is the gin I distill myself! Got two 25ltr fermenters on the go now. When they are done I fast run each through my reflux still then combine the two outputs into a slow run. Output is 95%+. 

Very cheap but labour intensive as it takes two days for the distilling process so really only for retired codgers.

Big beef is the outrageous cost of limes for most of the year ($40 a kg) and even more outrageous is that sometimes those expensive limes are dry. I have a little tree in a half wine tub but the lemon borer saw it off. However, it has re-shooted from the stump so I look forward to another round till the borer kill it again! Wife bought me another fast growing lime plant so look forward to what it will produce.

Lemon is sort of OK but Lime is way better!



259 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1602169 1-Aug-2016 12:45
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Well, I've just got back from Ireland and I have a few special bottles tucked away including a couple of highly prized Malawi Gin! More on them later.


In the meantime, I must wax lyrical about a new discovery: Blackwater Distillery's Juniper Cask Gin. You can see it at and just look at that colour! It has been aged in juniper casks for a length of time (not sure how long) and the taste is complex, earthy and the complete opposite of that foul floral Bombay Sapphire (which as time goes on I feel is more and more like sipping my granny's perfume).


The Blackwater river itself is a lovely tannin-stained torrent passing through some beautiful Irish countryside and it's one of my favourite Irish rivers, after the upper reaches of the Liffey, and the Poddle.


I'm now in love with it (Juniper Cask Gin), but due to supply issues was not able to get a bottle back to NZ. I'm going to have to start searching locally for an equivalent juniper-cask-aged gin. Can anyone point me in the right direction??







I reject your reality and substitute my own!
- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

5973 posts

Uber Geek

  #1602206 1-Aug-2016 13:09
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I quite like South which is/was made in NZ. 


It uses NZ botanicals including (from memory) Kawakawa.  Has a warm rounded flavour unlike any other gin I have tried.


1032 posts

Uber Geek


  #1603574 3-Aug-2016 14:08
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The closest I ever got was with Rogue Society Gin.




I tried that last year at The Tudors in ChCh... thought it was amazing!

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