Welcome to Round 3 of the Gin battle! It’s been just over 2 years since I last compared or tasted Bulldog so I’m really looking forward to trying it again this duel. Up against our champ we have the heavy hitter Tanqueray, a globally well-known gin.

1) Bulldog London Dry Gin – 40% ABV – 750ml, (Lawrenceburg, IN, USA), ~$43 CAD @ Newport Village

  • Came into the market in 2007. (homepage)
  • 12 botanicals from 8 countries: Italian Juniper, German angelica, coriander seeds, Chinese licorice, Spanish almonds, Italian orris root, Seville lemons, CHINESE DRAGON EYE (longan), TURKISH WHITE POPPY SEEDS, ASIAN LOTUS LEAVES, ASIAN CASSIA, FRENCH LAVENDER. (differing ingredients in bold)
  • 90-95 points rated by Paul Pacult, Wine Enthusiast Magazine; Restaurant Magazine’s 2008 Spirit of the Year.


2) Tanqueray London Dry Gin – 40% ABV – 750ml, Diageo (London, but distilled in Scotland), $27.50 CAD @ BC Liquor Stores

  • First distilled in 1830, now distilled in the Cameronbridge Gin distillery in Scotland. (wiki)
  • recipe contains at least: Tuscan juniper, angelica root, coriander, and licorice.


Nose: The initial whiff of Bulldog is actually too aggressive and offensively burning. Subsequent nosings reveal fruity juniper and florals but still a lot of sharp nasal burn. Tanqueray: did I just pour water in my glass? Where’s the alcohol? Incredibly mute until you really stick your nose in there, light juniper and mild nasal tingliness. Kind of a toss-up, flavour or smoothness – depends on what you want. Me, I want something because I’m drinking a gin, not vodka. My preference is Bulldog.

Taste & Texture: I get medium thick, initially sweet and then fruity longan-juniper with a lemon bite. Also a there’s a peppery finish. Good depth of flavour, heat control and elegance exhibited. Tanquery on the other hand, drinks watery, sweeter, juniper with bursting lemony citrus, all the while accompanied by alcohol burn and tingliness from the mids to the flat finish. Nowhere near as graceful nor smooth. Bulldog has my vote.

Final Notes:

  • Bulldog has distinct one-shot composure from start to finish: mellow entry, juniper to sweet longan transition, rounded floral finish. Very sippable.
  • Tanqueray has a mainly citrusy lemon juniper character. Not sippable, better for highballs and not 15%+ ABV cocktails (flavour is too flat)
  • I’d likely stock Beefeater over Tanqueray if want a citrusy gin. I’ll have to do a proper head-to-head to find out for sure.

WINNER = BULLDOG London Dry Gin (Round 1-2-3 champ)


Sublime Pineapple Hefeweizen – Moody Ales, 4.8% ABV, 650ml., (Port Moody, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)

on the back label:

“Mix together German yeast, American hops, and pineapple juice and it adds up to sunshine. That’s beer math. But enough studying for today – it’s summertime. This beer may be cloudy, but the weather isn’t, so go outside, enjoy the sun, and cool down with this sessionable, fruity, refreshing brew.

Moody Ales is a craft brewery in Port Moody, British Columbia. We are doing the same thing as when we were homebrewing – making the beer we want to drink. We hope you enjoy this brew as much as we do. Cheers.”

  • Style: (Pineapple Hefeweizen) Flavoured Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Acidic sour pukey lemon banana wheat malt dry hoppy bitter
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $6.75 (after 10% off) – 650ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: forget it

Visual: Pours clear light yellow with a decent foamy dissipating head, a thin layer of retention, micro lacing, scatter bubbles but no streams.

Nose: pineapple pukey, banana wheat malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-sour, bubbly-fizzy

Mid-palate: persistent sour acidity, (lvl-2)-sweetness, (MAIN) pukey, lemon, clove, banana wheat malts

Finish: dry hoppy bitterness, rough dry wheat malt finish.

Summary: Very sour, pukey and palate rough almost from start to finish. Barely drinkable with disagreeable flavours and texture. Other local craft brews such as Tree Brewing’s Mellow Moon and Whistler Brewing’s Pineapple Express Wheat are loads better. Refreshing? I think not.


Patrick o’Pumpkin (bourbon) Barrel aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Central City Brewing, 8.0% ABV, 650ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)

Ingredients: water, munich malt, pale malt, specialty malts, german magnum hops, yeast, pumpkin & spices, barrel aged.

  • Style: (bourbon barrel-aged, pumpkin) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Root beer bourbon caramel vanilla malt stealth ABV
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $7 – 650ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50, forgettable

Visual: Pours dark cola brown without much head, ringed retention, scatted steady streams throughout.

Nose: bourbon, caramel malt, oak, root beer. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: initial cola malts, thin-slick, fizzy-tingly

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) roasted pumpkin, root beer, vanilla, nutmeg, caramel malts

Finish: soft bitter mostly pumpkin malty sweet finish.

Summary: Certainly better than their canned Red Racer Pumpkin and bottled Spiced Pumpkin, this one is rather drinkable with a nice stealth ABV. Not a whole lot of spice but plenty of bourbon.


Jumpin Jack India Pumpkin Ale – Tree Brewing, 6.5% ABV, 650ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

printed on the back:

“Crafting a brew that brings together the classic flavours of a full bodied India Pale Ale and our Pumpkin Ale resulted in our newest IPA – Jumping Jack India Pumpkin Ale. This unique brew displays classic aromas and flavours of citrus and grapefruit that marry seamlessly with the flavours from real pumpkins used in the mash. Full bodied and dry, with a snappy bitterness, combined with subtle pumpkin pie spice and a clean finish make it a perfect fall brew. We hope you enjoy our new interpretation of an IPA as much as we enjoy brewing it.”

  • Style: (pumpkin, spices = Pumpkin IPA) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Caramel malt biting wormwood grapefruit bitter hops pumpkin cinnamon
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.75 – 650ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: if you like curious pumpkin beers

Visual: Pours cloudy copper brown with a smallish head, ringed and thin layer of retention, suspended micro sediment, only a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: brown sugar malts, hints of honey. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: malty bittersweet hopped crisp bite

Mid-palate: light tingly throughout, (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) caramel malts, wormwood, grapefruit, pumpkin dept + cinnamon

Finish: lingering biting bitter dry hoppy, more cinnamon, malt finish, hints of nutmeg exhale.

Summary: A pretty interesting spin on a pumpkin ale and IPA. Good depth and flavour; still and IPA at heart, but with an augmented layer of complexity. The spices really come out at 18°C.


La Trappe Quadrupel – Brouwerij de Koningshoeven, 10% ABV, 750ml, (Netherlands)

  • Style: Quadruple
  • Taste: Sweet brown sugar cake brandy boozy malt alcoholic
  • Where I got it : 16th Street Liquor Store (W.Van)
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 750ml, September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Reinforced twisty top, synthetic cork, hefty bottle. Pours light blood red with a small dissipating head, ringed retention, suspended large sediment, slow and fast steady streams.

Nose: carrot cake, caramelized brown sugar, sweet dark malts. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: thick-full, incoming dark fruity christmas cake

Mid-palate: (lvl-8)-sweetness, sour-alcohol hit, fizzy-bubbly, (MAIN) carrot cake, brandy, caramelized brown sugar malts

Finish: cola, alcoholic, mild alcoholic heat, sweet brandy finish.

Summary: Lots of caramelized sugar, brown cake flavour mixed with a pretty stealth alcohlic hit.


Grapefruit Radler – Tree Brewing, 2.5% ABV, 500ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

printed on the side:

“Radler (German for cyclist) is popular in Europe as a thirst quenching mixed beverage. Our radler is a refreshing blend of beer and fruit juice. At 2.5% alcohol, you’re likely not to fall off your bike anytime soon…Enjoy!”

Ingredients: 50% beer; malted barley, hops, water and 50% grapefruit juice, Sulphites.

  • Style: (grapefruit juice + beer) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Tangy-juicy yellow grapefruit citrus mild malt lemon squash bitter peel
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12 – 4x500ml., Summer 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not crazy

Visual: 4pk cans. Pours translucent light yellow without any head, very thin ringed retention, slow steady streams.

Nose: pressed yellow grapefruit juice, tangy citrus, very bright and fruity. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: citrus-fruity sweet, fizzy-crisp-tingly, (lvl-5)-sweetness

Mid-palate: tangy bite, medium-sour, peel bitterness,  (MAIN) yellow grapefruit, sweet barley malt;

Finish: bittersweet grapefruit oils & peel, long “lemon squash” off-dry exhale.

Summary: Much more tangy than Stiegl which I had side-by-side; I prefer this. A good juice-beer blend. Refreshing, don’t dilute with ice otherwise you’ll lose the subtle bitter peel flavour. Drink in a chilled glass.


Savant IPA – Elysian Brewing, 6.3% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Seattle, Washington, USA)

on the front-right label:

“The star of the show in this beer is the citrus and passion fruit aroma and flavor of New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops.”


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Caramel malt red apple fruity dry stealth bitter hop
  • Where I got it: Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $7.25 – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., March 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: worth a try

Visual: Pours almost clear toffee brown with a smallish head, a thin murky layer of retention, lots of fast steady streams.

Nose: brown sugar toffee malt, lightly toasted, traces of woody apple juice. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp-slick-tingly

Mid-palate: bright, (lvl-4)-sweetnesss, (MAIN) red apple, caramel maltd

Finish: alcohol detection, dry stealth mild bitter lingering hopped finish.

Summary: A rather fruity IPA as opposed to herbacious or piney; didn’t have a whole lot of passion fruit as advertised, but some citrus. Drinkable, but the finish is a bit flat.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 169 other followers