Updated! Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22 by Holly (Guest Review), or WWHD? (What Would Hemingway Do?) with Dan, Laura & Ryan

IMG_20131122_172921bSimon – My good friend, fellow blogger, theoretical band bandmate and four kinds of ninja Holly has been bribed to write for us with the promise of an Ontario gin! Check out her blog as well. Apologies for the crappy photo (left).

WWHD? (What Would Hemingway Do?)

**Though I have been unable to appreciate the taste of Scotch, I have a strange fondness for men who drink it.  I personally think an affection for scotch is something every man over 30 should have…it has a certain timeless gravity with just a hint of angry Celt.  Dudes who like scotch are hot, let’s just say that and carry on.**

My friend Simon has a blog (that’s me! -ed) wherein he and his sophisticated pals review scotches ….and the occasional gin.  That’s where I come in.  He asked if I’d guest-review and I realized that could involve drinking gin (instead of scotch) and said yes.  We find ourselves here.

Ok, Imageso I went to the website for the fancy gin – Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22 – and one of the first things it does is mention Hemingway. It says something to the effect of “Hemingway didn’t drink our gin, but based on the cliches we know about him, he probably drank something like it.” They’re really just trying to get half-macho/half-nerd 30-somethings to want their gin the way they want to be Hemingway, I know that, and I frankly kinda hate Hemingway, yet…..

It makes me want to drink it. It not only makes me want to drink it, it makes me want to drink it while on safari, or bull-fighting, or while toting a blunderbuss or some shit. I feel like I should make an effort to be as manly as possible. I’ll prolly have to do this thing in drag.

Now I’m really glad that I decided to Vlog it. I’ll be back once I’ve Hemingway’d myself up a bit.

If you want to see 5-minutes of me wearing a fake mustache (who wouldn’t?) check out the link below.  If you want to read some random gin facts I gleaned from Wiki-surfing, the Nerd Notes section is at the bottom of the post.  :)

Hemingway-esque Nonsense!

Now here are my review notes in normal every-day text!  Words!


  • It smells fantastic. Doesn’t smell the way chewing on pine needles taste, like other gins can. That crazy suspended-herb alchemy might be worth it.
  • Citrussy smell – Not just lemon, not orange.  Lemon-lime?  Yes.  If you inhale deeply it smells like lemon-lime.
  • Trev says it smells a bit like cedar instead of pine.  I’m not quite sure what that means.


  • It’s smooth, no burn (which strikes me as sort of un-Hemingway, like a real Manly-Man would drink liquor that tasted foul and burned his trachea instead.)
  • The gin feels light – not very viscous or oily.
  • The other botanicals balance out the juniper berries so it doesn’t taste over-piney and weird.
  • There’s something vaguely….floral? But not cloying.  (In my mind it’s the scent of Ernest’s mustache-wax.)
  • The taste evaporates clean away in seconds.  No aftertaste to speak of.
  • It’s very drinkable straight. 350% more drinkable straight than Beefeater.

Mixed (G & T):

  • Mixes really well, doesn’t overpower the tonic.
  • Still delicious in all the ways mentioned above, but with bubbles and a slice of lime!
  • Classy as Fuck.

vs. Normal-People Gin:

  • For drinking straight, this is infinitely superior to the standard mid-level gins that I’m used to.
  • I think this would be a great gin to use in martinis or other ‘pure’ cocktails.
  • Might not be worth the expense if you’re just doing a G & T though.


  • I would definitely drink this gin again.  The lack of oppressive juniper overtones is a big plus for me.  I ‘m willing to spend the couple of extra dollars for feeling less like I’ve licked a freshly-mopped floor.
  • I’d buy this gin as a gift for someone, and they’d think I was fancy.  If I had anyone to impress I’d do that.
  • I don’t really think Hemingway would have drank this gin though.

Nerd Notes:

  • They had nearly-automated gin-dispensers in the 1700s called Old Toms.

“Old Tom Gin is the last remaining example of the original lightly sweetened gins that were so popular in 18th-century England. The name comes from what may be the first example of a beverage vending machine. In the 1700s some pubs in England would have a wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an “Old Tom”) mounted on the outside wall. Thirsty passersby would deposit a penny in the cat’s mouth and place their lips around a small tube between the cat’s paws. The bartender inside would then pour a shot of Gin through the tube and into the customer’s waiting mouth. Until fairly recently limited quantities of Old Tom-style Gin were still being made by a few British distillers, but they were, at best, curiosity items.“

  • Spain has the highest per-capita gin consumption, and it is mostly mixed with COLA. This drink became popular there in the 1960s and though it never would have occurred to me, I now have to try it. (but not with this gin, it’s too precious.
  • Gin was known as Mother’s Ruin during its heyday in England. It was sold EVERYWHERE (seriously, even barbers sold it) and wetnurses would even use it to quiet the infants in their charge.
  • (Gin and Tonic) was created as a way for Englishmen in tropical colonies to take their daily dose of quinine, a very bitter medicine used to ward off malaria.
  • Top-quality gins aren’t just grain-liquor with a bunch of juniper berries & shite dumped into them to flavour it. Nooooooo. Fancy gin like this requires borderline alchemy:

“Top-quality gins and genevers are flavored in a unique manner. After one or more distillations the base spirit is redistilled one last time. During this final distillation the alcohol vapor wafts through a chamber in which the dried juniper berries and botanicals are suspended. The vapor gently extracts aromatic and flavoring oils and compounds from the berries and spices as it travels through the chamber on its way to the condenser. The resulting flavored spirit has a noticeable degree of complexity.“

Updated! I found a piece of paper that had some of our tasting notes on it too. Didn’t want to step on Holly’s toes originally but I think this can use a wee refresh. Here’s what we thought:

Dan – so good, grape, juniper, evergreen
Simon – little like shine, floral, forest
Ryan – delicious, mash, anise, basil
Laura – craziness, very fresh

Dan – flowery licorice candies
Simon – mountain dew, medicine, perfume
Ryan – ginger, heavy burtation
Laura – a lot going on

Dan – grapefruit
Simon – great in the mouth but aftertaste not so good
Ryan – fresca
Laura – better w/ tonic

Try it? Yes! Buy it? No.

Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22 Batch 5 – 40% 750ml – $39.55 – Ontario

One Reply to “Updated! Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22 by Holly (Guest Review), or WWHD? (What Would Hemingway Do?) with Dan, Laura & Ryan”

+ Leave a Comment