Gin Ratings & Introduction

Posted By Mike Gill on June 7, 2018 | 0 comments


Did you know gin is the only alcoholic drink where what we detect is completely natural? We detect what botanicals recipes are used by the various gin distilleries.

Think about it. Strawberries aromas on French Pinot Noir, Orange or chocolate on a single malt whisky. In other words, the fermentation or other influences such as cask maturation or other techniques cause a reaction to all drinks. In gin you get what is in the botanical recipe. That’s it.

Also, in most cases you will detect in order what the gin maker gets when distillation occurs. IE: the most volatile botanical oils come first, such as citrus, followed by Junipers etc. and last the heavy botanicals oils such as spices.

You will find you detect more when in your mouth with gin and best to use a chewing motion. Your nose and palate are working together in total harmony.

The key is balance when judging the gin. Not for the different aromas to abruptly come in but rather each one from light to heavy botanicals coming in gently.

Yes, many gins today are a wonderful SIPPING experience.

Tip: To bring out some of the subtler botanicals such as oils from the flowers chosen in the recipe – add a tiny bit of water. Not one drop! Try 3 or four drops with an eye dropper (Pipette).

My Gin Ratings and before I start an explanation or two are in order.

Main Categories: New Traditional, Somewhat, Not really!

New Traditional: Definite Juniper notes, but without the pine cones and woody aromas. The base botanicals with lots of citrus fruit, spices and well balanced.

Somewhat: Subtle juniper notes, citrus remains however fruit notes balanced with slightly sweeter fruits – Seville oranges (orange marmalade) berries, spices and floral notes.

Not Really: No evidence of junipers, or citrusy notes resulting in what could be an amazing drink but is it really a Gin?

A gin should technically be of “predominately Junipers”. This has only been a rule of the EU since 2008, but actually in effect for a few hundred years!

Finally, the ratings will vary, since many gins are made to be a mixer in the classic martinis, G & T with various Fever Tree tonic combinations, Negroni and many more.

Sipping gin is still in its infancy with more craft distilleries producing gins today that can be enjoyed with just water or a fresh ice cube.

Scoring will be out of a possible 5 points. If a gin receives a low score for sipping it maybe high for a martini and vice versa.

My ratings will be different and more accurate than most you can find on -line. For the first 20 gins, the score will be determined by a minimum of 16 people attending my Gin Experience classes. Thereafter, at least six trade and gin enthusiasts will sample the gins with me.

It’s a whole new gin world in 2018. Have fun!

Tanqueray 10
Of all the big names in gin, my least favorite is Tanqueray. I find it far too woodsy for my liking.

So, it’s quite ironic that my first review would be one of the stars of our first Gin Experience 2018.

I held the glass to my nose. Wow! Took a small sip without water, smiled and looked for a reaction. The same smile appeared on the entire group. This was a sipping gin and we all eagerly added a few drops of water and began to describe the aromas and tastes. The Tanqueray 10 is nothing like its cousin that we find in stores and bars all over the world.

New Traditional: Its name derives from using new botanicals distilled in the tiny # 10 pot still before being added to the base Tanqueray recipe in the larger still. The new botanicals balance so well giving this gin a softer more mellow feel on the palate. Junipers are subtle, with both citrus and sweet orange, with a touch of anise and floral notes on the finish.

Sipping 4.5. So well balanced. A stunner!

G & T. 2.5. Why would you? There are many less expensive gins that make a perfect G & T.
However, if you must, try Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic which will help to compliment the gin’s soft fruits and floral notes.

Martini 4.5. Absolutely! A perfect marriage.

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