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08 Apr. 2016
Alexander Stein & Christoph Keller

Mythbusters: Gin=Juniper

The dumbest thing that anyone can say about gin is certainly the following: Gin should taste like juniper, and nothing else. (And sad to say, we have indeed heard this nonsense very often!) This is certainly NOT the case. Rather, it is a widespread assumption that is simply false. Distilled...

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Alexander Stein 24 Mar. 2016
Alexander Stein

Open-Heart Surgery – The Test Phase

It is true that with regard to our sensory preferences, we were in agreement, but the joy I felt after arriving at this harmonious state lasted only until Christoph showed me the paradigm that he had developed specially for our project, which in its complexity fit in perfectly with the rest of...

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Christoph Keller 11 Mar. 2016
Christoph Keller

The Final Countdown: So Many Contenders, Just One Prize

After a series of morning tasting orgies, Alexander showed up nearly every time at the distillery armed with a sensory “ranking list.” We subjected our distillates to further tests, and analyzed the results, and argued, often continuing on late into the night. Having at this point by necessity...

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26 Feb. 2016
Alexander Stein & Christoph Keller

Mythbusters: Neutral Spirits Have No Flavor

Alcohol is an essential and important component in every gin, in addition to water and a number of plant-based ingredients and spices -- or so it should be. And so it is shocking to discover that many experts on gin who have no experience producing this spirit continue to propagate the...

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Christoph Keller 12 Feb. 2016
Christoph Keller

The Alcohol Problem, Chapter III

It was news to me, and I could hardly believe it: neutral spirits are, quite simply, not neutral, and the joyful expression on my partner's face confirmed it. Alexander had indeed been right when he brought in a neutral spirit (ethanol) made from molasses for us to sample in our private...

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Alexander Stein 29 Jan. 2016
Alexander Stein

The Alcohol Problem, Chapter II

An essential element in our business partnership, the glue, so to speak, that holds two people as different as Christoph and myself together, consists in “being right!” And thus I recall with great pleasure and satisfaction how we settled on a neutral spirit for our gin. During the development...

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Alexander Stein 15 Jan. 2016
Alexander Stein

We decipher the Black Forest DNA code!

Let's imagine we're back in the late 1950s in the Black Forest. We find ourselves in a valley in the Black Forest, just about right in the middle, in the region around the town of Freudenstadt, far away from the big highways and the already halfway-rebuilt big cities that had been bombed-out,...

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Alexander Stein 08 Jan. 2016
Alexander Stein

Alcohol Problems, Chapter I

Uh-huh. Right. “Aroma paradise,” “distiller's heaven,” “Middle Eastern bazaar,” – looking back, it all sounds so very nice (personally, I actually think all of that rapture sounds like a cross between a Rosamunde Pilcher romance novel and a really kitschy Bollywood movie!), and I can imagine...

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Christoph Keller 18 Dec. 2015
Christoph Keller

Tasting, testing, and more tasting...

In order to meet the standards that we had set for ourselves, we had to slog our way through many test distillations, with hundreds of rejected combinations of a number of exotic ingredients, in addition to many from the Black Forest, and some ingredients traditionally used in the making of...

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Alexander Stein 11 Dec. 2015
Alexander Stein

A Gin from Germany?

When we settled on a classification for our gin we made a deliberate choice. We did not merely intend to produce one more dry gin just like any other, not in the least. What we were aiming for was something I called “Schwarzwald Dry Gin.” This was not envisioned as an official classification,...

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