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Review

Bogart's Gin

Distillery

ROK Drinks, Albrighton, Wolverhampton (and Culver City, California, USA) but made by an undisclosed distillery (we believe it's the English Spirit Company, Dullingham, Cambridge) in Cambridgeshire, England, UK.

Website

Bogart Spirits, ROK Drinks and English Spirit Company.

History

ROK Drinks was established in 2012 and is co-owned by Jonathan Kendrink and John Paul DeJoria. UK based Jonathan Kendrick runs ROK Stars and is an established entrepreneur. John Paul DeJoria is a co-founder of the producer and manufacturer of Paul Mitchell hair care products (the largest privately held salon Hair Care Company in North America). He is also known for other businesses including co-founding Patron Tequila and as a director of Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). ROK Drinks is an expanding business and includes brands like ABK Beer, Rokhard Vodka and Uisce Beatha Irish Whiskey.

This Gin was launched in summer 2014 but was not available in retail outlets until the end of 2014. It is produced in association with the Humphrey Bogart Estate (Bogart LLC), co-run by Stephen Bogart - the son of famous Hollywood actor Humphrey Bogart and actress Lauren Bacall.

Production

The Gin is made in traditional copper pot stills.

The Gin is presented in a clear, circular and squat bottle with rounded shoulders. It has a large white label with silver/grey and navy blue design, text and images. “Bogart’s" can be clearly seen in the middle, with an image and signature of Humphrey Bogart above and a quote from him at the bottom.

Category

Distilled Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

45% (90 Proof).

Price Range

Unknown, it expected to start appearing in liquor stores at the end of 2014 and we believe it will cost $40 - $50.

Botanicals

Botanicals include: citrus peel (undisclosed), coriander (5 types), juniper berries and macadamia nuts.

This has a similar (possibly the same) botanical recipe as Dr. J's Gin, produced by the English Spirits Company Distillery.

Name

Humphrey Bogart is a Hollywood screen icon, having appeared and starred in 75 films from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. He had a few passions in life and these managed in creep into his films. He loved sailing and owned a clipper modified for fast yacht racing called Santana - the name of the boat in the film Key Largo was called Santana accordingly. Bogie (his nickname) was a good chess player and used to take on willing contestants for $1 a game (once managing to draw with a grandmaster) and he is seen to play chess in the film Casablanca.

It is fair to say Bogie enjoyed a drink and it is quite possible he was an alcoholic. He would drink beer and scotch but Gin was also a favorite and this passion incorporated itself into his films too. In the film, The African Queen he plays a Gin swilling boat captain and his passenger Audrey Hepburn pours away all his Gin (we’re talking several cases!) and there is a great product placement scene showing a lot of empty Gordons Gin bottles floating on the river (the Congo). While filming The African Queen (on location in Africa) most of the cast and crew went down with Dysentery when their water became infected but Bogart and Director John Huston were unaffected, allegedly because they were drinking excessive alcohol.

Besides Bogart’s love of Gin, hence the choice name for this brand, there is another minor connection to this spirit. Gin originated in The Netherlands and Bogie’s father had Dutch roots, plus Gin was made popular in England and his mother was of English descent.

Tasting Notes

The information from Bogart Spirits and ROK Drinks say this Gin is smooth by nature, complex in character and bright with sharp citrus – not that they have any bias! They recommend it: drunk neat with some ice and two salted capers; in a ratio of 1:1 with mixers; and with a cucumber garnish in a G&T.

While we have not tried Bogart's Gin, we have tried Dr. J's Gin and we strongly believe they are one and the same! How do we deduce this:

1. ROK Drinks state it is made by a distillery in Cambridgeshire and there are only two distillers in this area, including the English Spirits Company who make Dr. J's;

2. The botanicals used in Dr. J's could easily be the same i.e. they both uniquely use 5 different types of coriander and macadamia nuts. Dr. J's also uses lemon, lime and orange peel and Bogart's just specifies "citrus peel".

3. The makers of Dr. J's and Bogart's both recommend drinking their Gin neat with two salted capers, a singular and rare garnish i.e. to our knowledge no one else has recommended this before.

4. The tasting notes provided for Bogart's Gin would easily fall within the parameters of our tasting notes for Dr. J's Gin.

Surely these cannot all be coincidences!

Awards & Accolades

Gold Medal, Artisan Awards, 2014.



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