Gin - Part 2
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Best Gin – Part 2

The Fifty Best Gin Tasting


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held the largest tasting of gins in the World with 68 gins and sixteen 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 "blind" tasted through nine 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.



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Nightside Gin

(Nightside Distillery, WA) 90° prf

Nose: Banana taffy, banana pudding with Nilla wafers, banana, orange ripe tropical fruit, cherry, maraschino cherry, watermelon, Juicy Fruit gum, dark cherry gum, bubblegum, blossom, floral, vegetal.
Palate: Caramel, sweet cream, vanilla pudding, crepes, banana cream, honey, dates, cherry, Juicy Fruit gum, fruit gum, unripe plantains, licorice, burnt butter.
Finish: Banana, crème brûlée, confectioner’s sugar, Juicy Fruit, Big Red, green banana, anise, licorice, peppery, clove, light cinnamon, rum.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Nightside Gin



Fenimore Gin
(Cooperstown Distillery, NY) 80° prf

Nose: Cane sugar, lemon, lime, floral, cucumber, celery, grassy, fresh herbs, grain, almond, juniper, licorice, musty, earthy, clean.
Palate: Citrus, candied lemon, sweet berry, lavender, violet, floral, juniper, vegetal, celery bitters, grass, clean anise, mint, Earl Grey tea, cinnamon, cinnamon bark, caraway, pink peppercorn, cold mineral water, earthy, savory.
Finish: Sweet cane sugar, sweet berry, mint, caraway seeds, onion seeds, cinnamon, spicy, chalky, earth, refreshing.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Fenimore Gin



Town Branch Gin
(Alltech’s Lexington Brewing & Distilling, KY) 80° prf

Nose: Lime, faint lemon, lemon cream, lemon marmalade, lavender, extremely light floral, pine, classic London gin, very soft.
Palate: Lime, verbena, lemon curd, slightly creamy, berries, lavender gum, juniper, bitter pith, celery, greens, mint, menthol, clove, pine, delicate.
Finish: Vanilla, vanilla frosting, light honey, dried citrus, Earl Grey tea, celery, greens, bitter almond, cardamom, saffron, peppery, spice, oak, light pine, perfect pine, smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Town Branch Gin



Abernathy New American Gin
(Tenn South Distillery, TN) 86° prf

Nose: Toffee, caramel, lime, citrus, lemon peel, juniper, floral, peppermint, cayenne, mineral, saline, musky, wet stone, mild pine.
Palate: Lemon peel, lemon verbena, sweet berry, raisin bran, creamy, almond bark, juniper, bell pepper, anise, vegetal, rosewater, sandalwood, sweet spices, raw pepper, pepper, tabasco, wet stone, woody.
Finish: Grapefruit, lime zest, cantaloupe, sweet berry, juniper, lemongrass, peppery, peppercorns, mineral, wet stones, soft, smooth, interesting.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Abernathy New American Gin



Rutte Dry Celery Gin
(Rutte Distillateurs, Holland) 86° prf

Nose: Iced lemon, lime, herbal, floral, juniper, celery salt, fennel seed, pink peppercorn, grain moonshine, faint cream, delicate.
Palate: Lemon peel, lemon verbena, candied lemon, candied lime, honey, violet, lavender, lavender tea, juniper, mint, anise, bay leaf, cardamom, cumin, celery salt, fennel seed, pink peppercorn, sweet pine.
Finish: Lemon peel, candied lemon, lemony herbal, lavender, fennel, bay leaf, spicy juniper, canella, spicy, white pepper, pink peppercorn, peppery.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Rutte Dry Celery Gin



Highland Gin
(Forsaken River Distillery, NV) 80° prf

Nose: Lime, ripe banana, dates, dried raisins, raisin bran, toffee, honey, honeycomb, violet, cucumber, corn, wheat, grain, hops, hay, bourbon mash, mineral, musky, moss, new pine wood, pine needles, bark, cedar.
Palate: Sweet berry, faint watermelon, honey, pineapple-mint, violet, floral, bran, wheat, hops, grain mash, licorice, cinnamon, soft pepper, mineral, woody, light cedar, mild cedar, chewy.
Finish: Watermelon, honey, chamomile, floral, grassy, dried sage, dried oregano, mild caraway, sweet spice, pepper, chalkiness, wet stones, resin, woodsy, smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Highland Gin



South Sister Gin
(Cascade Street Distillery, OR) 86.5° prf

Nose: Caramel, maple, brown sugar, honey, sweet berry, pineapple, peach, lemon, citrus, floral, white rum.
Palate: Orange, citrus, sweet berry, grapes, sweet orange sherbet, peach and mango candy, caramel, cream, honey, vanilla, hazelnut vodka, grappa, eucalyptus, sage, pepper, earthy, sweet pine.
Finish: Toffee, creamy, orange, sweet berry, floral, cumin, spice, faint eucalyptus, woodsy.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



South Sister Gin



Tilted Cedars Gin
(Isanti Spirits, MN) 80° prf

Nose: Dates, figs, light lemon pith, honey, lavender, flowers, herbs, celery, parsley, vegetal, soft mint, thyme, clove, smoke, mineral, earthy, clean, soft.
Palate: Faint lime, light lemon peel, powdered sugar, vanilla, buttery, creamy, pastry dough, honey, violet, rosehips, floral, fennel seeds, mild caraway, soft spice, clove, pink peppercorn, peppercorn, smoky, smooth, clean.
Finish: Creamy, light whipped cream, night-blooming jasmine, floral, juniper, spicy cucumber, mild caraway, black peppercorn, mocha, minerals, stone, clean.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Tilted Cedars Gin



Boot Hill Distillery Gin
(Boot Hill Distillery, KS) 86° prf

Nose: Toffee, vanilla fudge, buttermilk, cream, sweet butter, ripe bananas, lavender, soft violets, floral, dried flowers, pastry, oat cereal (Cheerios), hops, sandalwood, juniper, celery, dill, herbal, baking spice, saffron, steak seasoning, celery salt, black lava salt, brine, moss, earthy.
Palate: Orange peel, dried peach, sour figs, sweet butter, chocolate-covered orange, mocha, grain, sweet floral, dried flowers, grassy herbs, leafy, herbal, celery, olives, saffron, basil sauce, black peppercorn, sandalwood, cedar, brine, earthy, soft.
Finish: Dried citrus, dried violet, floral, sandalwood, celeriac bitters, thyme stem, herbal, cinnamon, soft spice, spicy, juniper ash, grassy, leafy, dried grass, earthy, autumn, woody.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Boot Hill Distillery Gin



Rush Creek Distilling Gin
(Rush Creek Distilling, IL) 80° prf

Nose: Lime, citrus, cherry, cucumber, celery seed, elegant juniper, rosewater, honey, very light cream, clean.
Palate: Vanilla vodka, nougat, cane sugar, honey, orange blossom, juniper berry, floral, grassy herbs, almond, pastry dough, chalk, limestone, wet rocks, soft.
Finish: Honey, brown sugar, floral, barely juniper, cinnamon, herbal, grassy, chalk, limestone, earthy, slightly creamy, clean, balanced, delicious.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Rush Creek Distilling Gin



Abandoned Gin
(Green Door Distilling, MI) 90° prf

Nose: Lemon-lime, lemon, celery, olives, medium juniper, ginger beer, caramel, iced tea, black tea, clove, sage, fennel seed, black pepper.
Palate: Caramel, cream, lime, lemon iced tea, grass, olives, celery seed, fennel seed, sage, garam masala, spice, clove, toasted nuts, brine, bark, wood, pine, cedar.
Finish: Spicy peppers, fennel seed, celery seed, canella, clove, spicy, musty, wood, pine, cedar, vanilla, very complex.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Abandoned Gin



Archrival Gin
(Archetype Distillery, CO) 80° prf

Nose: Butterscotch, buttery, tres leches cake, honey, maraschino cherries, raisin bran, orange water, tropical flowers, floral, juniper, eucalyptus, lemongrass, cucumber, musky, clean, very mild pine.
Palate: Lime, cucumber, rose, anise, eucalyptus, leafy, purple sage, spicy, cola, creamy, toast, chalk, minerals, black asphalt, earth, woody, smoky pine, pine forest, old oak wood.
Finish: Eucalyptus, grassy, violet, dried leaves, white pepper, spicy moss, autumn, resin, piney, woody, bitter cedar, musty wood.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Archrival Gin

 

 


 

 

Best Old Tom and Barrel-Aged Gin

The Fifty Best Old Tom & Barrel-Aged Gin Tasting



DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Sleepless In S. Pulteney Barrel Rested Gin

(Krooked Tusker Distillery, NY) 90° prf

Nose: Butterscotch, toffee bits, nougat, burnt caramel, burnt sugar, maple, vanilla, flan, fruitcake, apple juice, dried cherry, lime, mint, Earl Grey tea, herbal, leafy, black olive, hazelnut, nutty, tobacco, briny, saline, smoky.
Palate: Caramel, molasses, burnt sugar, honey, malty honey, sweet sap, maple, maple syrup, vanilla, fruity, floral, flowers, honeysuckle, herbal, almond, cinnamon, allspice, anise, talc, resin, rum, wood, oak, sweet, smooth.
Finish: Caramel macchiato, demerara, grain, Earl Grey tea, sandalwood, cardamom, brown spices, spices, great.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Sleepless In S. Pulteney Barrel Rested Gin



Liberator Old Tom Gin
(Valentine Distilling, MI) 90.4° prf

Nose: Toffee, caramel, molasses, cocoa, vanilla, coconut, spice cake, ginger, mint, Big Red, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, Amaro, dark wood, cedar, oak, clean.
Palate: Caramel, chocolate, cocoa, burnt sugar, demerara, vanilla, honey, lemon, fennel, wintergreen, rosemary, sage, curry leaf, saffron, thyme, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, Christmas spice, spicy, dried leaves, oak, cedar.
Finish: Caramel, chocolate, honey, tropical fruit, anise, cinnamon, Indian cinnamon, saffron, allspice, cardamom, pepper, wood, woody, smooth.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Liberator Old Tom Gin



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

MINIONS Old Tom
(Proof Artisan Distillers, ND) 90° prf

Nose: Caramel, brown cane sugar, chocolate, vanilla, honey, fruitcake, candied cherries, cherry, pickled pear, almond, cinnamon, clove, old spice box, leather, Triple Sec, cedar, oak barrel.
Palate: Caramel, vanilla, honey, cherry, mango, citrus, juniper, light sweet pepper, rye, grain, almond, nutty, grass, herbal, sandalwood, cardamom, cinnamon, musty, dark wood.
Finish: Mandarin peel, vanilla, honey, anise, cinnamon, spice, resin, cedar, balanced, smooth, clean, Old World.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



MINIONS Old Tom



Boulder Ginskey Barreled Gin
(Vapor Distillery, CO) 94° prf

Nose: Caramel, burnt caramel, apple toffee, molasses, honey, honeycomb, mandarin orange, citrus, orange peel, raisin, floral, herbs, nutty, walnut, wood.
Palate: Caramel, creamy, dates, dried cherries, burnt orange peel, lemon, berry, cherry, blackberry, flowers, floral, grassy, nutty, mocha, nutmeg, chalky, saline, smoky, wood, oak.
Finish: Vanilla, chocolate, orange peel, dried citrus, dried cherries, floral, anise, cinnamon, brown spice, pepper, talc, wet stones, wood, cedar.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Boulder Ginskey Barreled Gin



MINIONS Barreled Reserve Gin
(Proof Artisan Distillers, ND) 90° prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, orange peel, citrus bouquet, orange oil, lemon tea, citrus candy, fruit juicy gum, juniper, celery, cucumber, mint, Earl Grey tea, floral, musk.
Palate: Lemon, orange, orange peel, lemon rind, key lime pie, limoncello, caramel, well-balanced sugars, honey, juniper, black licorice, fennel seed, clove, cinnamon, baking spices, pepper, cedar.
Finish: Orange peel, orange blossom, dark fruit, dried fruit, Big Red, caramel, gingerbread, freshly-baked bread, spicy, peppery, black pepper, cedar.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



MINIONS Barreled Reserve Gin



St. Augustine Distillery Barrel Finished Gin
(St. Augustine Distillery, FL) 100° prf

Nose: Orange, lemon, honey, dried mango, juniper, flowers, floral, celery, herbal, spice, pink peppercorn, grain, oak.
Palate: Sweet orange, tangerine, citrus, marmalade, dried fruit, anise, eucalyptus, sandalwood, toasted sandalwood, cinnamon, fresh pond water, resin, woody, bright cedar.
Finish: Spicy apples and pears, minty, fennel root, sandalwood, cassia bark, woody, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



St. Augustine Distillery Barrel Finished Gin



J. Carver Barrel Gin
(Lake Country Libare Distillery, MN) 96° prf

Nose: Toffee, caramel, butterscotch, molasses, vanilla cream, vanilla, orange marmalade, coconut, tropical fruit, citrus peel, juniper, floral, nutmeg, toast, fresh, approachable.
Palate: Crème brûlée, molasses, honey, fruitcake, pineapple, citrus, herbs, grassy, Christmas spice, spicy, Madeira wine, rich cognac, rum-like, bourbon barrel, woody, cedar.
Finish: Caramel, vanilla, vanilla bean, panna cotta, chocolate, eggnog, orange peel, mint, resin, oak barrel, soft, rich, delicious.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



J. Carver Barrel Gin



Rogue Pinot Spruce Gin
(Rogue Spirits, OR) 90° prf

Nose: Toffee, caramel, honey, tangerine, mandarin peel, orange blossom, kumquat, celery, cucumber, black tea.
Palate: Deep caramel, sweet cream, vanilla, vanilla bean, honey, lemon frosting, mango, citrus, dried orange, dried mango, sweet berry, cucumber, anise, mint, cinnamon, bourbon barrel, sharp light oak.
Finish: Caramel, vanilla, easy cherry, dried fruit, cucumber, eucalyptus, brown spices, spicy herbs, light oak, soft, lovely.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Rogue Pinot Spruce Gin



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

StilltheOne Comb Barreled Gin
(StillTheOne Distillery, NY) 94° prf

Nose: Caramel, molasses, vanilla, lemon curd, lemon peel, dried tangerine, dried cherry, herbal, juniper, olives, anise, cinnamon, eucalyptus, old hay, tree resin, pine cones, barrel aging.
Palate: Caramel, aged apples, orange, grassy, herbal, olives, eucalyptus, cinnamon, grain, coffee, woody, wood barrel, Fernet Branca, great.
Finish: Marmalade, orange rind, lemon peel, anise, eucalyptus, menthol, spice, black pepper, straw, Amaro, barrel aging, wood, smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



StilltheOne Comb Barreled Gin



Rabbit Hole Kentucky Rye Barrel Finish
London Dry Gin

(Rabbit Hole Distilling, KY) 89° prf

Nose: Lemon meringue, orange, molasses, vanilla, cucumber, thyme, cardamom, very light cinnamon, dried spice, dusty, minerals, very light wood.
Palate: Salted caramel, cream, vanilla bean, sweet berry, pineapple, orange, orange marmalade, spicy herbs, grassy, dried leaves, incense, mineral, earthy, musk, fresh.
Finish: Vanilla fudge, creamy vanilla, Bartlett pears, sweet berry, smoky agave, dried flowers, dried leaves, coffee grounds, slight spice, mineral, Far East incense, tasty.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Rabbit Hole Kentucky Rye Barrel Finish London Dry Gin



Gray Skies Barrel Finished Gin
(Gray Skies Distillery, MI) 80° prf

Nose: Caramel, burnt honey, lime, kumquat, juniper, celery, anise, licorice, wheat, eucalyptus, bay leaf, cardamom, clove, roasted cinnamon, brown spice, spicy salmon, wet stones.
Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, bitter orange, dried berries, rose petals, dried flowers, sweet onion, mint, licorice, pepper, celery seed, celeriac, sage, curry leaf, strong clove, mild canella, nutty, smoke, wood, smooth, approachable.
Finish: Lemon verbena, rose, tea tree oil, horseradish, clove, earthy, woody, soft, well-balanced.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Gray Skies Barrel Finished Gin



Baltimore Shot Tower Barreled Gin
(The Baltimore Whiskey Company, MD) 100° prf

Nose: Orange peel, orange zest, orange creamsicle, fresh lemon peel, cantaloupe, dried citrus fruit, juniper, cinnamon, allspice, spice, brown spice, celery salt, fennel seed, black tea.
Palate: Vanilla, orange, Granny Smith apple, cucumber, vegetal, dandelion, fennel seed, celery salt, sandalwood, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, spicy, pepper, malt, wood, cedar.
Finish: Caramel apple, orange peel, orange rind, orange blossom tea, melon, grassy, fennel seed, allspice, spicy, dark wood, pleasant.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Baltimore Shot Tower Barreled Gin



Two James Barrel Reserve Old Cockney Gin
(Two James Spitits, MI) 91° prf

Nose: Salted caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, pineapple, lemon, cucumber, juniper, olive, fresh herbs, herbal, dried herbs, cedar, oak, clean.
Palate: Caramel, sweet cane, vanilla, juniper, rose petals, anise, celery, lemon, herbal, spicy, hot peppers, pepper, seaweed, mild oak, old cedar.
Finish: Caramel, vanilla, anise, grassy, herbal, cardamom, spicy, turkey brine, light earthy, resin, mild oak, balanced.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Two James Barrel Reserve Old Cockney Gin

 

 

Best Gin Part 1

Best Gin - Part 1

 


 

 

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Fifty Best > Spirits > Gin - Part 2
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