Best Gin –
The Largest Tasting of Gin in the World.

The Fifty Best Gin Tasting

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 62 gins with eighteen members of The Fifty Best's spirits judging panel. Traditional, London Dry and Navy Strength Gins were tasted and judged separately from the Old Tom and Barrel Finished Gins. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the gins were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate. The judges tasted through eight flights of 7 gins and one flight of 5 gins. There was a food break after the fifth flight.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states and countries of origin are identified for each brand.


Long Road Michigin
(Long Road Distillers - Michigan, U.S.) 90 prf

Nose: Vanilla, honey, lemon, citrus, lemon peel, lemon cream, peach, fruity, floral, lavender, cucumber, grass, mint, spearmint, juniper, new wood, pine..
Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, citrus, orange, lemon curd, Juicy Fruit gum, cucumber, juniper, floral, lavender, spice cake, spice, pink peppercorn, black licorice, kirsch, grains, woody, pine, intriguing.
Finish: Vanilla bean, honey, lemon peel, juniper, flowers, dried violet, grassy, almond, spice, cinnamon, pepper, earthy, minerals, wet stones, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

   Long Road Michigin Gin

Cold River Traditional
(Maine Distilleries, ME) 94 prf

Nose: Caramel, vanilla bean, vanilla cake, lemon, Meyer Lemon, lime, orange peel, lemon peel, citrus, cherry, dates, orange blossom, rose, floral, thyme, spearmint, spice cake, cinnamon bark, pine.
Palate: Lime, lime zest, grapefruit, tangerine, orange, citrus, orange peel, lemon, lemon curd, lemon verbena, berries, violet, lemongrass, mint, subtle notes of spices, clove, black licorice, Earl Grey tea, grain, pine, soft.
Finish: Sweet citrus, lemon, grapefruit, dried citrus, floral, rose, herbs, spicy, tropical spices, peppery, resin, easy.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Cold River Traditional Gin

Half Moon Orchard
(Tuthilltown Spirits, NY) 92 prf

Nose: Lemon marmalade, lemon sorbet, limeade, lime, lemon, lemon zest, grapefruit, lemon verbena, citrus grass, berry, floral, lavender, herbs, juniper, clove, cinnamon, spice cake, intense.
Palate: Lemon, lime, citrus, lemon zest, candied lemon peel, lemongrass, raspberry, violet, grenadine, vanilla, herbal, juniper, rosemary, coriander, tarragon, baking spice, mint, black licorice, mineral, pine.
Finish: Citrus, orange oil, lemon peel, lemon drops, honey, floral, perfume, violet, juniper, coriander, spice, black licorice, Earl Grey tea, peppercorn, lively.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Half Moon Orchard Gin

Il Mio
(Il Mio Gin, Denmark) 84 prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, orange, citrus, bergamot, tropical fruit, berries, juniper, floral, flower bomb, lilac, violet, lavender, jasmine, elderflower, mint, spearmint, cardamom, pine.
Palate: Lemon, bergamot, lime, citrus, lemon rind, blueberry, berries, blackberries, dried fruit, candied ginger, juniper, orange blossom, violet, orris root, floral, dried flowers, coriander, fennel, dry, creamy, smooth.
Finish: Candied ginger, dry ginger, juniper, lavender, violet, floral, cinnamon, well-balanced, smooth, flavorful, delicious.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Il Mio Gin

(Beak & Skiff Distillery, NY) 88 prf

Nose: Lime, citrus, lemon curd, lemon cake, lime soufflé, apricot, honey, vanilla, cream, juniper, violet, rose, lavender, dried flowers, floral, herbal, celery salt, vegetal, Earl Grey tea, Celestial Seasonings.
Palate: Pink grapefruit, citrus, berry, stone fruit, dried fruit, fruit gum, lemon curd, custard, vanilla, juniper, rose, violet, dried flowers, grassy herbs, winter mint, star anise, black licorice, cumin, coriander, tarragon, spice, pepper, smooth.
Finish: Citrus, eucalyptus, herbal, herbes de Provence, spice, peppery, pink peppercorn, earthy, resin, grain, wet stones, flavorful, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

1911 Gin

Long Road Bartender’s Blend
(Long Road Distillers, Michigan) 90 prf

Nose: Citrus, melon, dried fruit, juniper, mint, attractive floral, violet, pepper, butter.
Palate: Juniper, ginger, floral, lavender, very herbal, anise, mint, cinnamon, spice, botanical, leather, complex, bright.
Finish: Juniper, floral, pepper, easy.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Long Road Bartender’s Blend Gin

Cotswolds Dry
(The Cotswold Distilling Co., U.K.) 92 prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, citrus, lemon oil, vanilla, floral, lavender, violet, juniper, sweet peppers, cucumber, spearmint, mint, thyme, herbs, clove, spice, eucalyptus, pine sap.
Palate: Lemon, lime, citrus, lemon oil, vanilla, floral, lavender, violet, juniper, sweet peppers, cucumber, spearmint, mint, thyme, herbs, clove, spice, eucalyptus, pine sap. Palate: Lemon, citrus, lemon peel, lemon cake, orange blossom, perfume, rose, juniper, herbs, watercress, grassy, mint, spices, clove, pine, smooth, good example, everything is correct.
Finish: Sweet lemon, lemon peel, honey, floral, violet, rosemary, sweet peppers, peppery, spice, beech wood, minerals, wet stone, dry, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Cotswolds Dry Gin


Waterloo Texas-Style
(Treaty Oak Distilling Co., TX) 94 prf

Nose: Citrus, pineapple, dates, lemon curd, honey, vanilla, toasted almond, cereal, flowers, lavender, sandalwood, pastis, mint, eucalyptus, menthol, spice, pine sap.
Palate: Lemon, kumquat, chocolate, vanilla, creamy, buttery, floral, lavender, juniper, licorice, anise, ouzo, herbs, mint, peppermint, cinnamon, clove, spices, chalk, sweet, full-flavored, silky, pleasant.
Finish: Lemon, citrus, juniper, vanilla, dried flowers, orris root, licorice, anise, spearmint, angelica, spicy, chalk, dusty.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Waterloo Texas-Style Gin

The Walter Collective
(The Walter Collective, OR) 90 prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, Kaffir lime, citrus, tangerine, lemon curd, orange blossom, floral, juniper, botanical, mint, pine, zesty, clean, pretty.
Palate: Peach, plum, lemon, Kaffir lime, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon verbena, lemon cake, custard, very floral, violet, lavender, lilac, dried roses, botanical, spice, clove, anise, pepper, pine, woody, brilliant blend of flavors.
Finish: Lemon, orange, orange peel, sweet frosting, lavender, violet, floral, winter mint, anise, spices, peppercorns, earthy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

The Walter Collective Gin

(Belle of Dayton Distillery, OH) 93 prf

Nose: Honey, lime soufflé, lemon peel, cucumber, herbal, rosewater, juniper, coriander, clove, pine.
Palate: Lemon, citrus, lemon candy, juniper, violet, dried herbs, grassy herbs, wintergreen, menthol, clove, cinnamon, pepper, pine, balanced botanicals, well-balanced.
Finish: Lemon peel, floral, rose, violet, juniper oil, sandalwood, nutmeg, licorice, anise, spicy, talc, resin, pine, bark, smoky, flavorful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Dayton Gin

(Arizona Distilling Co., AZ) 85 prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, dried lemon peel, lemonade, plums, rose, jasmine, floral, dried violets, spice cake, herbal, basil, juniper, celery, tea, tobacco, almond bark, spices, minerality, earthy.
Palate: Lemon, lime, citrus, juniper, floral, violet, sandalwood, herbs, anise, mint, eucalyptus, grassy, evergreen, clove, cardamom, peppery, spicy.
Finish: Citrus, lemon peel, lemon curd, juniper, floral, anise, basil, herbal, soft brown spices, peppery, minerals, wet stone, flavorful, mellow yellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Commerce Gin

Monopolowa Dry
(J.A. Baczewski, Austria) 87 prf

Nose: Lemon, Seville orange, vanilla, juniper, floral, dried flowers, violet, lavender, herbal, lemongrass, cucumber, mint, sweet spices, white pepper.
Palate: Lemon, lime, citrus, pineapple, dates, honey, lemon curd, lemon pie, creamy, frosting, vanilla, floral, herbs, juniper, clove, mint, spices, sweet, resin, smooth, delicate, savory.
Finish: Lemon peel, vanilla egg cream, juniper, floral, cinnamon, lemon pepper, spicy, sweet, resin, talc, dry.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Monopolowa Dry Gin

The Source Cardrona
(The Cardrona Distillery, New Zealand) 94 prf

Nose: Citrus, candied fruit, juniper, floral, myrtle, jasmine, anise, cinnamon.
Palate: Juniper, candied apple, dried fruit, sweet rosemary, anise, peppermint, pepper, cardamom, wood.
Finish: Lemon, floral, nutty, spice, smooth, beautiful, exquisite.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

The Source Cardrona Gin

Tamworth Spruce
(Tamworth Distilling, NH) 85 prf

Nose: Lime, citrus, lemon peel, bergamot, dried fruit, gingerbread, juniper, lemongrass, herbs, mint, menthol, brown spice, pepper, cumin, coriander, cedar.
Palate: Lemon, lime, citrus, ginger, pepper, juniper, lemongrass, lavender, violet, floral, dried flowers, hay, grassy herbs, cumin, tarragon, anise, mint, tea, bark, delicate.
Finish: Sweet Meyer lemon, citrus, lemon peel, lemongrass, bright floral, violet, herbal, mint, peppermint, brown spices, pine, lively, refreshing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Tamworth Spruce Gin

Barr Hill
(Caledonia Spirits, VT) 90 prf

Nose: Peach, citrus, lemon verbena, vanilla, vanilla flavored custard, cream, rose, dandelion, herbal, clove, cinnamon, juniper, olive, Earl Grey tea, bark, earthy, fresh.
Palate: Lemon, lime, lemon marmalade, honey, vanilla, creamy, caramel, sweet pastry frosting, cotton candy, floral, rose, rosewater, juniper, cardamom, coriander, sweet, creamy mouthfeel, rich, well-made.
Finish: Fruity, citrus, jam, creamy, vanilla, sweet floral, sandalwood, herb, spice, mineral, soft, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Barr Hill Gin

(Anchorage Distillery, AK) 98 prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon curd, orange, cream, vanilla, honeycomb, sour candy, floral, blossom, celery, juniper, talcum powder, spice, pine, wood.
Palate: Lemon, prickly pear, citrus, peach, berries, fruit gum, lemon curd, honey, vanilla, floral, juniper, lemongrass, grassy, herbal, mint, spice, clove, anise, licorice, roasted peppercorn, pine, wood, correct, nice character, distinctive.
Finish: Lemon, berries, vanilla bean, creamy, floral, herbal, almond, saffron, anise, sweet licorice, pepper, peppery, talcum powder, dusty.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Aurora Gin

(Steinhart Distillery, Nova Scotia, Canada) 95 prf

Nose: Lemon, honeysuckle, juniper, rosewater, lavender, jasmine, sandalwood, grass, herbs, spice cake, spices, clove, cinnamon, stone, pine.
Palate: Lemon, lime, orange, marmalade, ginger cake, red apple, blossoms, violet, herbal, dried flowers, lemongrass, grassy, juniper, anise, pepper, white pepper, spicy, pine.
Finish: Lemon, sweet citrus, orange peel, floral, sandalwood, mint, coriander, juniper, spices, light mineral, talc, strong, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Steinhart Gin

(Eau Claire Distillery, Alberta, Canada) 80 prf

Nose: Lime, lemon, citrus, lychee, banana, apricot, red apple, candied apple, apple pie a la mode, honey, caramel, bubble gum, juniper, cucumber, mint, herb, dough, peppery, tobacco, musty, pine, wood.
Palate: Lime, lemon, citrus, apple, lychee, tropical fruit, caramel, smooth grain, juniper, anise, floral, rose, lavender, lemongrass, grassy, herb, sandalwood, menthol, white pepper, pine.
Finish: Lilac, rose, floral, violet, sandalwood, vanilla bean, juniper, dried herbs, pine, smooth, silky.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Parlour Gin

Old St. Pete Tropical
(St. Petersburg Distillery, FL) 90 prf

Nose: Citrus, cucumber, juniper, floral, rose, dried flowers, mint, menthol, spearmint, tarragon, cinnamon Red Hots, anise, pastis, licorice, pine, lemon pine.
Palate: Lemon, lime juice, tangerine oil, citrus, lemon peel, herbal, mint, spearmint, menthol, spice, clove, coriander, licorice, anise, juniper, sugarcane, grassy, pine, spruce, creamy.
Finish: Tangerine, sweet citrus, eucalyptus, mint, wintergreen, black jellybeans, black licorice, clove, coriander, spice, brown spice, bark, minerals, smooth, appealing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Old St. Pete Tropical Gin

Dancing Dog
(Fox Den Distillery, OR) 80 prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, lemon rind, citrus, dates, lemon verbena, honey, vanilla, almond bark, juniper, violet, rosewater, leafy, basil, cinnamon, spice, peppercorn, mint.
Palate: Citrus, lemon rind, melon, plum, lemon oil, creamy, vanilla, floral, lavender, herbal, juniper, licorice, anise, fennel, wintergreen, mint, menthol, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, spice, peppercorn, peppery, pine.
Finish: Lemon peel, fruity, marzipan, creamy, juniper, dried citrus, cereal, floral, saffron, herbal, anise, grassy, mint, spearmint, spice, peppercorns, even, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Dancing Dog Gin

(William Grant and Sons, U.K.) 88 prf

Nose: Kaffir lime, lime, orange peel, dried cherry, dried fruit, cucumber, herbal, juniper, grain.
Palate: Lemon, citrus, orange, lychee, lemon oil, lemon squares, clotted cream, creamy, chocolate, orange blossom, juniper, rose, floral, dried flowers, tea, herbs, chamomile, cucumber, mint, spice, clove, delightfully blended, smooth, delicate, balanced.
Finish: Lemon, orange peel, dried citrus, sweet cream, honey, ginger, juniper, floral, violet, spice, black pepper, briny, mineral, wet stone, dry, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Hendrick’s Gin

Russell Henry London Dry
(Craft Distillers / Tamar Distillery, CA) 90 prf

Nose: Lime, lemon, citrus, melon, berry, lime soufflé, lavender, lemongrass, juniper, herbal, mint, menthol, celery salt, almond, spicy, tree sap, pine.
Palate: Citrus, melon, raspberry, raw unripe maple, honey, vanilla, creamy, lime curd, juniper, botanicals, cracked ginger, coriander, lavender, herbal, mint, spice, dry pine, correct.
Finish: Wintergreen, celery, juniper, licorice, dried herbs, spice, peppery, pine, woodsy, dry, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Russell Henry London Dry Gin

McElroy’s Corruption
(Tom’s Town Distilling Co., MO) 90 prf

Nose: Berry, Juicy Fruit, juniper, floral, fresh herbs, coriander, clove, spice, spearmint, mint, mint toothpaste, pine.
Palate: Orange, bergamot, citrus, mango, berry, vanilla, rose, dried flowers, cinnamon Big Red, herbs, toasted grain, black licorice, anise, cardamom, curry powder, cloves, spearmint, mint, menthol, pine, perfume, sweet, velvety, attractive.
Finish: Citrus, rose, herbs, Thai basil, mint, cloves, cinnamon, brown spices, spicy, pepper, minerals, resin, perfumed, sweet, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

McElroy’s Corruption Gin

Battle Standard
142 American Dry Navy Strength

(KO Distilling, VA) 114 prf

Nose: Lime, lemon oil, dried fruit, cucumber, pickle, herbs, juniper, vanilla, pine, spruce.
Palate: Lemon, citrus, juniper, dried violets, herbal, mint, coriander, spice, clove, peppery, white pepper, pine, strong, smooth, warms your heart.
Finish: Lemon peel, flowers, cinnamon, coriander, saffron, spice, caraway, clove, wood, clean, dry, assertive, not for the weak.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Battle Standard 142 American Dry Navy Strength Gin

Long Road Dry
(Long Road Distillers, MI) 90 prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, citrus, lemon cake, lemon cream, vanilla cream, creamy, lactic, candied fruit, almond, bran, cereal, tea, floral, rose, agave, menthol, musty, pine.
Palate: Elegant tropical fruit, citrus, honey, cane sugar, vanilla, creamy, vanilla cream, grain, juniper, dried flowers, Kaffir leaves, floral, rosewater, clove, peppery, pine, tart, smooth.
Finish: Lemon, citrus, lime rind, honey, vanilla, floral, wintergreen, coriander, fennel, spicy, talc, pine, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Long Road Dry Gin

Opihr Oriental London Dry
(G&J Distillers, U.K.) 85 prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, lemon peel, citrus, lychee, banana, dried cherry, dates, lemon curd, orange blossom, floral, lavender, sandalwood, coriander, spice, mint, clove, pine.
Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, orange peel, citrus, bergamot, ginger, rose, violet, dried flowers, potpourri, straw, herbal, black licorice, mint, wintergreen, baking spice, coriander, chili powder, cilantro, eucalyptus, spruce, pine.
Finish: Candied lemon, floral, violet, wintergreen, eucalyptus, herbal, allspice, coriander, spice, nutty, clove, pine, flavorful, attractive.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Opihr Oriental London Dry Gin

Tamworth Flora
(Tamworth Distilling, NH) 84 prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, orange, citrus, melon, apple, papaya, banana, caramel, molasses, honey, vanilla, vegetal, juniper, cucumber, herbal, rosemary, leafy, forest floor, musty tobacco, spices, resin, pine.
Palate: Lime, citrus, honeydew, berries, apple cider, orange blossom, banana taffy, pastry, vanilla, creamy vanilla, molasses, juniper, rosemary, grassy herbs, lemongrass, tea, cucumber, licorice, mint, menthol, clove, curry, spices, chalk, sweet, nutty like a scotch, pine, woody, smooth.
Finish: Lemon, tangerine, citrus, tropical fruit, honey, vanilla, juniper, herbs, peppermint tea, rosemary, saffron, curry, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Tamworth Flora Gin

(KGB Spirits, NM) 85 prf

Nose: Lemon, Meyer Lemon, lime, orange peel, lemon peel, citrus, cherry, dates, caramel, vanilla bean, vanilla cake, orange blossom, rose, floral, thyme, spearmint, spice cake, cinnamon bark, pine.
Palate: Lime, lime zest, grapefruit, tangerine, orange, citrus, orange peel, lemon, lemon curd, lemon verbena, berries, violet, lemongrass, mint, subtle notes of spices, clove, black licorice, Earl Grey tea, grain, pine, soft.
Finish: Sweet citrus, lemon, grapefruit, dried citrus, floral, rose, herbs, spicy, tropical spices, peppery, resin, easy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Hacienda Gin

(Goodman’s, The Netherlands) 88 prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon verbena, raisin, dried fruit, orange blossom, floral, honey, vanilla, juniper, sandalwood, wheat field, straw, peppercorns.
Palate: Lemon, grapefruit, citrus, banana, lemon verbena, lemongrass, rose, violet, honey, vanilla, herbal, Earl Grey tea, hay, cardamom, anise, juniper, jalapeño, wet pink peppercorns, black pepper, menthol, pine, creamy, smooth, appealing.
Finish: Lemon cream, vanilla, citrus, juniper, basil, herbs, spices, peppercorns, almond, pine, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Goodman’s Gin

(Catskill Distilling Co., NY) 80 prf

Nose: Tangerine, clementine, citrus, lemon peel, lemon verbena, vanilla, celery, celery salt, grass, anise, very subtle.
Palate: Orange, citrus, lemon zest, melon, prickly pear, plum, vanilla, cream, spice cake, floral, light herbs, lemongrass, juniper, bell pepper, clove, licorice, pink peppercorn, pine, chalk, balanced botanicals, well-balanced to intrigue and refresh, gentle.
Finish: Orange, bergamot, Juicy Fruit gum, custard, floral, herb, saffron, spice, clove, peppery, grain, talc, resin, creamy, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Curious Gin


(Nordisk Brænderi, Denmark) 80 prf

Nose: Lemon, tangerine, citrus, peach, raspberry, melon, lychee, dried fruit, bubblegum, vanilla, violet, rose petals, floral, juniper, herbal, thyme, lemongrass, eucalyptus, mint, menthol, woody.
Palate: Lime, lemon, citrus, lychee, dried fruit, sweet cream, honey, rose, violet, lavender, gardenia, juniper, black licorice, herbs, lemon verbena, lemongrass, grass, cucumber, spicy, peppercorns, earthy, salty, resin, minerals, distinctive.
Finish: Orange, citrus, mango, rose, violet, grass, moss, winter mint, lemon pepper, spice, resin, wet stone, bright, wonderful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Svinkløv Gin

Cadée Traditional
(Cadée Distillery, Isle of Whidbey, WA) 88 prf

Nose: Citrus, lemon icing, honey, honeycomb, rose, floral, juniper, mint, thyme, grain, almond bark, cassia bark.
Palate: Lemon, lime, citrus, lemon rind, watermelon, lemon curd, creamy, burnt sugar, vanilla, floral, herbs, baking spice, anise, clove, pine, good balance.
Finish: Bright orange, citrus, brown spice, black licorice, white pepper, wet stones, earthy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Cadée Traditional Gin

Solar London Dry
(Solar Spirits, WA) 86 prf

Nose: Juniper, vegetal, pepper, rose, herbal, moss, forest floor, musty, cedar.
Palate: Lemon, star fruit, juniper, mint, floral, violet, lavender, mushrooms, forest floor, moss, mineral, very attractive.
Finish: Lemon, honey, floral, violet, mineral, earth, easy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Solar London Dry Gin

(Ventura Spirits, CA) 86 prf

Nose: Lime, citrus, melon, herbal, juniper, licorice, rose, flowers, rosemary, myrtle leaf, sage, lemongrass, mint, almond, white pepper, pine.
Palate: Citrus, watermelon, berries, honey, molasses, burnt brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, cream soda, juniper, lemon myrtle, lavender, violet, floral, cocoa, coffee, almond, herbal, mint, sage, saffron, coriander, clove, spice, pine, smooth.
Finish: Crème brulee, creamy, prickly pear, floral, soft lavender, peppermint, tea, licorice, coffee, white pepper, peppery, pine, wonderful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Wilder Gin

Wheeler’s Western Dry
(Santa Fe Spirits, NM) 80 prf

Nose: Mango, dark cherry, banana, buttery, lemon cream, rose, myrtle leaf, rosemary, almond bark, licorice, mint, menthol, spice, pepper, musty, forest.
Palate: Melon, raspberry, pastry frosting, buttery, creamy, vanilla, roasted grains, Earl Grey tea, black licorice, rose, herbal, herbes de Provence, rosemary, leafy, grassy, spice, cinnamon, clove, wet stones, smooth.
Finish: Vanilla, sweet cream, oatmeal, fruity, dried citrus, rosemary, black licorice, mint, spice, pepper, resin, minerals, wet stone, soft, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Wheeler’s Western Dry Gin

(Proof Artisan Distillers, ND) 80 prf

Nose: Lime, orange marmalade, fruity gum, vanilla, floral, rosewater, violets, dried herbs, cardamom, cinnamon, anise, licorice, mint, spearmint.
Palate: Lime, orange, fruit gum, creamy, vanilla, ginger, orange blossom, floral, lavender, anise, fennel, licorice, herbal, mint, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, spice, wet grass, pine.
Finish: Marzipan, dried fruit, vanilla, honey, dried flowers, anise, wintergreen, pepper, spicy, minerals, wet stones, woody.

Gold Medal
Gold medal


Bilberry Black Hearts
(Journeyman Distillery, MI)  Organic  90 prf

Nose: Honeycomb, caramel, buttery, butter cream, sweet berry, stone fruit, unripe plums, lemon peel, lemon verbena, juniper, herbal, menthol, straw, spice cake, nutty, spice, pepper.
Palate: Toffee, cocoa, caramel, pastry frosting, candied fruit, peach, sweet citrus, lemon, floral, grassy, herbal, almond, mint, sweet spice, juniper, anise, caraway, tea, coffee, rye bread, hay, straw, bark, crisp, nicely-balanced.
Finish: Cocoa, cream, hot lemon cream, ginger candy, dried citrus, dried flowers, nutty, mint, spice, peppery, pine tar, mineral, tangy, good balance of herbality and heat.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Bilberry Black Hearts Gin

(Vapor Distilery, CO) 94 prf

Nose: Creamy vanilla, lemon peel, juniper, floral, lavender, lilac, cut grass, mint, spices.
Palate: Lemon, lime, grapefruit, citrus, watermelon, juniper, honey, flowers, floral, dried flowers, herbal, mint, anise, licorice, cinnamon, pink peppercorn, peppery, earthy, stone.
Finish: Lemon peel, spice cake, honey, vanilla, mint, pink peppercorn, spicy, soft.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

RHok Gin



Best Gin Part 2

Best Gin - Part 2


Gin – An illustrious history.
The discoverer of Gin was a German physician Francois de la Boe, also called Franciscus Sylvius – or “Francis from the woods”, because he spent much of his time in the impenetrable forests of sparsely populated Europe. In the Netherlands around the year 1650, he mixed oil of juniper berries with grain alcohol – which he prescribed as a medicine for kidney and bladder ailments, and named it Genever from the French word for juniper. Heavier in body and stronger flavored than traditional London Dry Gin, Genever is still made by the Dutch.

English troops were introduced to the spirit during the Anglo-Dutch wars in the 17th and 18th centuries. When the British soldiers with a preference for this new drink returned home, Genever quickly spread throughout Great Britain, and the name was shortened to "Gin". Gin mixed naturally with quinine and water which helped lessen the effects of malaria, making Gin & Tonics quite popular with the English Foreign Service in the "colonies" of India and Africa. Gin eventually became identified as the national drink of England.

London Dry Gin first appeared when the continuous still was invented in the early 1800’s, making a purer spirit possible. Originally, the phrase "London Dry Gin" specified a geographic location – that the gin was made in or near London. Now, the term is considered to be generic and is used to describe a "style" of gin. (Currently there are only a few gins distilled in London.) Old Tom is a style of gin somewhere in between the full-bodied Genever and the sweet, botanical London Dry. In the mid-1800's, if you went to a bar and asked for "gin", you were served either Genever or Old Tom. By the 1900's, London Dry style surpassed both.

Gin is made by distilling a 75% typically corn grain mash, and then adding various natural flavoring agents without redistillation. This method is called "compounding". London Dry uses the column distillation method. Gin gets its primary flavor from Juniper berries, but many other herbs and spices go into the make-up. The botanicals come from all over the world, such as: Cardamom from Sri Lanka, Cassia bark from Vietnam, Orange peel from Spain, Coriander seed from the Czech Republic and Angelica root from Germany. Most of the Juniper berries are imported from Italy. There are also dozens of other possible ingredients including anise, licorice root, cinnamon, almond, lime peel, grapefruit peel, saffron, frankincense, coriander and nutmeg. Each distiller has his own secret formula and no two gin brands are exactly alike. By law, gin is fermented and distilled, but never aged. However, barrel-finishing is becoming increasing popular, especially among those new to gin.

While traditional London dry gin will never go out of style, it's now joined on the shelves by the growing ranks of American and New World gins. In addition to the required juniper component, today's gins are toning down the juniper and adapting a growing array of herbs, spices, botanicals and citrus. And with the recent introduction of new-fangled artisanal tonics, sodas and bitters, gins have become the new favorite with mixologists as the principal ingredient in their cocktails inventions. According to figures from the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS), super-premium gins – defined as those priced at $30+ per bottle – currently account for only 1.3% of total gin sales volumes, but were up 37.8% in volume and 38.5% in value in 2015.



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