Is New Amsterdam Gin among the very best at a secretly, low price? If you read my review on Taaka Gin and the Dirty Martini, you know that it takes more than price and prestige to get me to buy a bottle of Gin. Taaka Gin is by far the cheapest you can buy, yet by the time you add olive juice, tonic, vermouth or whatever else it is that you mix with your gin, the quality and smoothness of the raw flavor becomes less important, and the savings more substantial. Taaka is pretty good gin even straight from the bottle, but for the price, I always thought it was unbeatable. That is, until I found New Amsterdam. What makes New Amsterdam unique?
New Amsterdam Gin Taste Test
Don’t let the attractive bottle fool you. New Amsterdam tastes even better than it looks. Unlike, the cheap, $7.99 per 1.75-Liter, plastic Taaka Gin packaging, New Amsterdam actually comes in an attractive, geometrically-sophisticated, diamond glass bottle that would make Bombay Sapphire drinkers jealous. Inside the bottle is a majestic view of the Empire State building. The back of the bottle explains that New York City was once called, New Amsterdam, thus the reason for the name. If you can get by the fact it’s actually bottled and manufactured in Modesto, CA, it all makes perfect sense. Well, okay – probably, about as much sense as how a gin so affordable and tasty is made in the U.S at all, instead of London or France. I twisted off the silver cap and poured a splash into my bare martini glass and sniffed. Nothing about the aroma suggested that I was about to taste the best gin I ever had. It smelled clean and juniper-like, as you would expect from any decent bottle of gin. The unique surprise came when I brought the glass to my lips and let the first sip of gin moisten my tongue. I was immediately greeted to a first-taste that was so unusually clean, fruity and pleasant that I had to examine the branding on the bottle again, just to make sure it was gin and only gin that I was tasting and not one of those fruit-flavored liquors that are so popular. The bottle confirmed that New Amsterdam Gin is infused with some botanicals, which explains the subtle, fruity overtones. My taste buds were unable to offer even a slight clue as to why I was suspicious in the first place. Upon taking a second sip, the clean, smooth fruitiness of the juniper berry was the only flavor I could distinctly name, yet there was a bit of a very pleasant citrus hint to it. Yet, unlike even the best quality gins, there was not that initial bite and reminder that it would take a few sips of getting used to. At once I knew, there would be no reason for vermouth or anything else to tame the flavor. The flavor is so easy, smooth and likable that the last thing I would want to do is mix it with anything. I shook it lightly in my stainless steel shaker with a few fresh ice cubes and poured it into my martin glass. I dropped in a couple of olives, careful not to let any excess olive juice taint this gin’s excellent flavor. My wife, who is not a martini drinker asked for me to mix her some with lime, so I obliged. She immediately liked it to. As I sipped on my martini with my new favorite gin, I told her that for the first time ever, I’ve found a reason to no longer buy $9.00 a bottle Taaka. Unlike other straight liquor, the first sip of New Amsterdam gin tastes every bit as good as the 2nd, 3rd….and last. It’s really that good. If there is one critical piece of feedback I might offer about New Amsterdam gin is that it does lean a little bit towards the sweet side, compared to other gins. However, it is certainly not to be confused with other gin alcohol which is infused with fruit to make it sweeter. For example, Damson Gin which is a very popular, sweet liqueur from macerated plums and sugar. For a more exotic example, Hendrick’s Gin is a small-batch, handcrafted gin from Scotland which is infused with cucumber and rose petals. New Amsterdam is neither pretends to be like a Hendrick’s Gin or Damson Gin. It is simply a very smooth gin with subtle overtones of citrus fruit. Since I’m mixing it, I don’t have a problem with it – and I am certainly not one who favors sweet drinks. So what does a great bottle of gin like this cost?
New Amsterdam Pricing
I paid $16.99 for a 1.75 liter bottle at my local liquor store in the Costco shopping center. This was not a sale price, but their everyday price!
While the cost is nearly double my standby favorite, Taaka, it is easily worth it. I would gladly by one bottle of this to two bottles of Taaka, even with the economy the way it is. Afterall, it beats the heck out of a $33.00 bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Life is too short not enjoy something so good that is so reasonably priced.
- Taste: 95
- Price: 90
- Value: 95
- Overall: 93