Kara Newman

Spirits Editor

Reviews spirits.

Kara Newman is the Spirits Editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and author of Cocktails for a Crowd (coming in Spring 2013) and Spice & Ice: 60 tongue-tingling cocktails, both from Chronicle Books. An active member of the New York cocktail and mixology scene, she loves dive bars and speakeasies alike.

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96
points

Tanqueray No. Ten

  1. $42
More citrus-forward than the standard Tanqeray Dry bottling, this is gin & tonic perfection. The classic aroma features juniper and touches of mint, anise and coriander. The same is echoed on the palate, though it’s also bursting with grapefruit and lemon peel, finishing soft and herbaceous but perked up with a white peppercorn spark. The No. Ten also has a new art…  — K.N.  (7/1/2014)
94
points

Bourbon Barrel Gin

  1. $40
Infused with citrus peel and spices, then aged in a former Bourbon barrel for 12 months, this mellow, soft gin has lots of body. Look for a good dose of vanilla chased by cinnamon heat, plus touches of honey, oak and citrus on the finish. With a splash of simple syrup, this complex, golden gin is almost a cocktail on its own.  — K.N.  (7/1/2014)
94
points

Tanqueray Malacca Gin

  1. $28
For years, Malacca was best known as a cult gin. Slightly sweeter and less junipery than London dry gins, it is supposedly based on Charles Tanqueray’s own 1830s recipe. It was made available briefly in the late 1990s, before it was whisked off the shelves. Once again, this is a limited-edition bottling. It’s soft, herbal and fresh, with green notes that evoke…  — K.N.  (7/1/2014)
93
points

Karner Blue Distilled Gin

  1. $30
This brisk, citrusy gin is made for classic cocktails. Bold lemon and grapefruit notes meld with a light floral note and just enough juniper to hold it all together. Amid the bright citrus bouquet, you might detect another, more elusive fruity scent. Surprise! This gin is distilled from apples.  — K.N.  (7/1/2014)
93
points

Waterloo Texas-Style Gin

  • Best Buy
  1. $19
So what is “Texas--style” gin, exactly? It’s “big as Texas,” the producer boasts. More specifically, it’s bright, fresh and well-structured, bursting with juniper, rosemary and grapefruit. Bottled at 94 proof, it’s also quite muscular, finishing with a warmth that should be tempered when mixed into drinks. Pecans are listed among the botanicals used, although they…  — K.N.  (7/1/2014)
92
points

Bluecoat American Dry Gin

  1. $28
Made in the London dry style and packaged in a distinctive peacock-blue bottle, this gin has mild aromatics and fleeting sweetness on the palate chased by citrus, juniper and spice. The finish is crisp and assertive, even slightly hot at 94 proof, but that won’t matter once mixed into a tall gin-and-tonic or Tom Collins.  — K.N.  (7/1/2014)
92
points

Four Peel Gin

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $28
As the name suggests, this is a citrus-forward gin. It’s lightly sweet, with notes of candied lemon peel and lemon verbena, finishing with white pepper and ginger sparks plus a subtle floral note. Score a bottle to lend extra presence to citrusy drinks like gin-and-tonics or sour-style cocktails.  — K.N.  (7/1/2014)
91
points

Counter Gin

  1. $30
The gingerbread-like aroma entices with a fleeting whiff of nutmeg and baking spice, while the palate zings with grapefruit-peel bitterness and lemon verbena. The mouthwatering finish harmoniously echoes the spicy notes detected in the aroma: anise, cardamom, baking spice, and a final dose of citrus, all smoothed over by a cucumber-like freshness.  — K.N.  (7/1/2014)
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