Gin 2016

Best Gin - 2016

The Fifty Best Gin Tasting


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 41 gins with 17 pre-qualified judges. The gins were judged and scored separately. 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 five flights of 7 gins and one flight of 6 gins. There was a food break after the third 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
(Long Road Distillers - Michigan, U.S.)

Nose: Lemon, lemon cream, cherry, floral, violet, juniper, floral juniper, eucalyptus, rosewater, herbal, mint, anise, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, grass, piney, pine sap.
Palate: Lime, lemon, orange peel, lemon peel, lemon frosting, lemon pie, juniper, cherry, violet, lavender, lemon verbena, menthol, mint, spicy, anise, cardamom, clove, pepper, grassy, creamy, piney, balanced.
Finish: Citrus, grapefruit, juniper, violet, lavender, spicy, black pepper, pine, soft, smooth, mellow, complex.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

   Long Road Gin

Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin
(The Netherlands)

Nose: Lemon, lemon zest, lemon drop, lime juice, lime soufflé, green Jolly Rancher, lemon verbena, lemongrass, juniper, pistachio, cinnamon, herbs, mint.
Palate: Lemon, lemon rind, lime, lemon verbena, lemongrass, juniper, rose, violet, fruit gum, cinnamon lollypop, Earl Grey tea, Thai basil, anise, grassy herbs, menthol, minty, spicy.
Finish: Prickly pear, lemon, lemon peel, citrus, limoncello, lemongrass, peppery spice, extremely complex, soft, mellow, well-rounded, well-balanced.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin

Sipsmith London Dry

Nose: Lime, grapefruit, lime peel, juniper, jasmine, lavender, rose petal, floral, basil, herbal, complex, amazing.
Palate: Citrus, melon, lavender, floral, flowery, botanical, herbs, juniper, pine, clove, spearmint, peppery, black peppercorn, dry, smooth, approachable, well balanced.
Finish: Citrus, sweet mint, floral, cardamom, clean, smooth, dry, well-balanced, delicious, perfect, beautiful, awesome.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

Odd Fellows No. 214
(Manatawny Still Works - Pennsylvania, U.S.)

Nose: Piney juniper, floral juniper, dry juniper, celery, cucumber, floral, violet, herbal, grassy, earthy, mineral, candle wax.
Palate: Berry, cranberry, cherry, citrus, dried berries, apple pie, pastry, honey, juniper, rose, floral, dried flowers, celery, mint, black licorice, herbal, eucalyptus, basil, spicy, cardamom, clove, pepper, grass, balanced.
Finish: Piney juniper, juniper, floral, potpourri, violet, spearmint, spicy, pepper, peppercorn, grass, woody, oak, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Odd Fellows No. 214 Gin

(Cutler's Artisan Spirits - California, U.S.)

Nose: Piney juniper, herbal juniper, floral juniper, lime, lemon, lemon marmalade, lemon custard, floral, lavender, mint, herbal, pepper, cardamom, grassy, pine.
Palate: Orange peel, citrus, orange blossom, cassis, custard, fruit gum, clover honey, juniper, eucalyptus, ginger, angelica, clove, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, anise, licorice, sweet mint, menthol, pine, balanced.
Finish: Lemony, lemon curd, creamy, juniper, lemon pepper, peppery, mint, clove, pistachio oil, silky.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Cutler's Gin

(Skotlander Spirits - Denmark)

Nose: Honey, kabocha squash, garden salad, spearmint, walnut, pecan, floral, black licorice, anise, clove, fennel, sweet basil, cinnamon tea, cumin, pine, bark.
Palate: Juniper, citrus, floral, rose, violet, dried flowers, lavender, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, mint, anise, black licorice, fennel, tarragon, orris root, grassy, hay, oak, pine, well-balanced.
Finish: Violet, rose, spearmint, wintergreen, anise, black licorice, spice, brown spices, pepper, caraway, grain, mineral, tree bark.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Herbie Gin

(Eau Claire Distillery - Canada)

Nose: Lime, orange, dates, honey, butterscotch, piney juniper, juniper, floral, violet, blossom, rose, faint lavender, herbal, mint, basil, almond, cardamom, wheatgrass, pine trees.
Palate: Orange peel, lime, citrus, berries, bananas, mango, tropical fruit, prickly pear, fruit gum, juniper, honey, flowers, lemongrass, wintergreen, clove, anise, pepper, peppercorn.
Finish: Citrus, dried citrus, sweet cream, floral, violet, bitter herbs, lemongrass, menthol, spice.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Parlour Gin

(The Netherlands)

Nose: Lemon, orange, citrus, grapefruit peel, lemon oil, marmalade, juniper, ginger, rosewater, edelflower, floral, eucalyptus, herbal, spearmint, vibrant, smooth, very organic.
Palate: Citrus, berry, honey, dark truffle, buttery, floral, juniper, cucumber, herbal, eucalyptus, spicy, peppery, wooden barrel, smooth.
Finish: Orange, cucumber, juniper hot flash, peppery, Bourbon barrel, balanced, pow!, clean.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Goodman's Gin

Cold River
(Maine Distilleries - Maine, U.S.)

Nose: Herbal juniper, floral juniper, piney juniper, orange peel, lemon, citrus, raspberry leaf, cucumber, almond, herbal, mint, anise, clove, grassy, pine, mineral.
Palate: Orange, citrus, lemon curd, raspberry leaf, juniper, cracked juniper, floral, violet, menthol, mint, spices, anise, clove, cinnamon, pepper, grass, pine, woody, oak.
Finish: Juniper, cherry, violet, herbal, eucalyptus, mint, fennel, anise, coffee grains, peppery, spicy, well-balanced.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Cold River Gin

True Born
(Sons of Liberty Spirits - Rhode Island, U.S.)

Nose: Lemon, citrus, pineapple, apples in fermentation, cherry, black cherry, grape, dried cherry, vanilla, piney juniper, juniper, violet, hops, grape leaves, cumin, anise.
Palate: Lemon peel, orange rind, cherry, grape, melon, dried berry, dried peach, grilled pineapple, lemon verbena, juniper, rosemary, floral, violet, dried flowers, herbal, sweet basil, mint, coriander, clove, turmeric, anise, pepper, grass.
Finish: Orange peel, dried citrus, creamy, floral, violet, rose, mint, almond, pepper, clove, flavorful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

True Born GIn


Conniption American Dry
(Durham Distillery - North Carolina, U.S.)

Nose: Piney juniper, lemon, mango, light citrus, prickly pear, lemon verbena, lemon oil, cucumber, butterscotch, vanilla, pastry flour, herbal, floral, violet, nutty, almond, almond bark, clove, piney.
Palate: Lemon, lime, orange rind, citrus, watermelon, juniper, cucumber, honey, grain, dried flowers, herbal, thyme, dried leaves, cinnamon, clove, mulled wine, well-balanced.
Finish: Juniper, citrus, dried citrus, honey, violet, dried floral, herbs, wintergreen, pepper, soft, mild.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Conniption American Dry Gin

(Vapor Distillery - Colorado, U.S.)

Nose: Orange, lemon rind, citrus, tropical fruit, honey, limoncello, herbal juniper, Doublemint gum, daisy, herbal, cardamom, anise, black licorice, mineral.
Palate: Berries, blueberry, plum, mango, orange, citrus, raisin, honey, juniper, lavender, rose, violet, dried flowers, herbs, anise, fennel, pepper, grass, grain, tree bark, nicely balanced.
Finish: Juniper, sweet berry, sweet pepper, violet, spearmint, slightly spicy, peppercorn, clove, licorice, chewy, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

RHok Gin

(Beak & Skiff Distillery - New York, U.S.)

Nose: Lemon, citrus lime margarita, watermelon, banana, mulled cider fruity, whipped cream, custard, taffy, vanilla, spice cake, Earl Grey tea, celery, hops, wet stones, mineral.
Palate: Lemon, citrus, sweet melon, cherry, fruity, dried fruit, candy, vanilla, whipped cream, floral, rose, herbs, mint, menthol, anise, thyme, cumin, nutty, clove, cinnamon, pepper, pink peppercorns, grain, well-balanced, smooth.
Finish: Citrus, floral, herbal, eucalyptus, spicy, peppery, dried peppercorn, grassy, mellow, flavorful, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

1911 Gin

Mayfair London Dry

Nose: Light citrus, apple, piney juniper, juniper, juniper blossoms, floral, chamomile, mint, dried herbs, almond, clove, grass, earthy, birch, balsa wood.
Palate: Orange peel, citrus, prickly pear, raspberry, juniper, apple croissant, light cream, light chamomile, herbal, mint, spicy, peppery, clove, cinnamon, grassy, woody, silky.
Finish: Juniper, sweet berry, honey, creamy, vanilla, sweet herbal, floral, violet, mint, peppercorn, peppery, clean, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Mayfair London Dry Gin

(Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery - New York, U.S.)

Nose: Lemon, lemon oil, lemon peel, lime, citrus, piney juniper, citrus pastry, lemon cream, lemongrass, violet, fresh herbs, cucumber, dandelion, grassy, white pepper, licorice, piney, garam masala.
Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, berry, citrus, juniper, floral, rose, herbal, celery, cilantro, menthol, anise, pepper, grassy, smooth, well-rounded.
Finish: Juniper, lemon, lemongrass, lemon mint, caramel, vanilla, custard, rose, herbal, Asian spices, wet stone, tree bark, pine.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Warwick Gin

(Jersey Spirits Distilling Co. - New Jersey, U.S.)

Nose: Herbal juniper, floral juniper, piney juniper, floral, summer flowers, dried cherry, apple pie, almond cookie, biscotti, bubblegum, Juicyfruit, cinnamon, black licorice, anise, mint, spearmint, basil, eucalyptus, piney.
Palate: Vanilla, lemon peel, citrus biscotti, fruit gum, floral, celery, anise, black licorice, menthol, spearmint, clove, pepper.
Finish: Orange, violet, floral, marzipan, black licorice, peppermint, tarragon, spice, peppery.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Nose: Piney juniper, floral juniper, orange, citrus, cherry, watermelon, honey, floral, green tea, lavender, lemon verbena, basil, white pepper, cucumber, grass, piney.
Palate: Lemon, lemon oil, lemon sorbet, cherry, peach, fruit gum, custard, vanilla, juniper, lemon verbena, lemongrass, licorice, menthol, mint, almond, clove, spices, black pepper, grassy, mineral, pine, mellow.
Finish: Citrus, cherry, brown sugar, vanilla, anise, mint, spices, pepper, white pepper, grassy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal


(Cooperstown Distillery - New York, U.S.)

Nose: Cherry, pear, grapefruit, piney juniper, floral juniper, juniper, floral, rose, lavender, rosewater, honey, honeycomb, spice cake, cinnamon, herbs, basil, mint, anise, tea, fennel, rye, piney.
Palate: Juniper, lemon rind, bubblegum, fruit gum, chocolate, sweet cream, flowers, mint, grassy herbs, spices, cinnamon, clove, anise, licorice, pine, garam masala.
Finish: Vanilla bean, custard, creamy, lemon peel, grains, cinnamon, slightly peppery, black licorice, sweet herb, spicy mint.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Fenimore Gin

(Sound Spirits - Washington, U.S.)

Nose: Floral juniper, minty juniper, juniper, lemon peel, apple pie, key lime pie, creamy, cake frosting, floral, violet, herbal, eucalyptus, artichoke, pepper, minty, pine.
Palate: Juniper, lemon, lemon rind, orange rind, citrus, key lime pie, floral, violet, rosewater, clove, cardamom, coriander, cumin, black pepper, allspice, licorice, tea, eucalyptus, mint, hemp, well-balanced.
Finish: Lemon peel, citrusy, juniper, herbal, cardamom, anise, fennel, spicy, peppery, wet stones, flavorful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Ebb+Flow Gin


Nose: Lime, lemon, citrus, aged fruit, watermelon peel, lemon pie, piney juniper, floral juniper, juniper, floral, orange blossom, not a typical gin, very subtle fruit.
Palate: Citrus, lemon verbena, juniper, fruit gum, violet, lavender, tea leaves, peppermint tea, menthol, pepper, clove, grassy, pine, smooth.
Finish: Vanilla, floral, anise, herbal, pepper, white pepper, wet stone, creamy, mellow, complex, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Monopolowa Gin

(Treaty Oak Distilling Co. - Texas, U.S.)

Nose: Juniper, piney juniper, lemon, lemon peel, peach pit, honey, vanilla, floral, violet, lavender, pepper, piney, sandalwood, candle in the wind.
Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, citrus, juniper, orris root, sunflower seeds, plantain, creamy, herbs, rose, violet, lavender, floral, pepper, peppermint, spicy, garam masala, spearmint, anise, grassy, piney.
Finish: Vanilla bean, citrus, herbal, floral, eucalyptus, spicy, peppery, grass, sweet pine, well-made.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Waterloo Gin


Nose: Orange, key lime, citrus peel, citrus, piney juniper, floral juniper, herbal, anise, grass, earthy, clean.
Palate: Orange peel, citrus, orange blossom, citrus candy, lemon curd, creamy, juniper, lavender, rose, orris root, mint, spice, clove, nutmeg, peppery, mineral.
Finish: Citrus, dried citrus, creamy, raisins, herbal, wintergreen, spice, pepper, saffron, mineral, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Hendrick's Gin

Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry
(Greenhook Ginsmiths - New York, U.S.)

Nose: Citrus, lemon-lime soufflé, orange peel, juniper, herbal juniper, floral, lavender, cucumber, herbal, nuts, sandalwood, minerals, wood.
Palate: Tangerine, orange, citrus, juniper, watermelon, floral, lavender, violet, celery, fennel, spicy, anise, coriander, curry, baking spice, clove, peppery, mint, spearmint, menthol, lemongrass, piney.
Finish: Citrus, floral, herbal, wintergreen, menthol, spice, minerals, creamy, soft, gentle.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin

(KGB Spirits - New Mexico, U.S.)

Nose: Cherry, berry, Juicyfruit gum, floral juniper, juniper, floral, rose, rosewater, herbal, dried herbs, thyme, cumin, almond, nutmeg, anise, cucumber, pine.
Palate: Citrus peel, pear, mango custard, vanilla, custard, flaky pastry, raisins, fruit gum, juniper, floral, violet, lavender, rose, rose blossom, herbal, mint, anise, licorice, cumin, grassy, oak.
Finish: Juniper, citrus peel, dried stone fruit, cotton candy, vanilla, floral, lavender, mint, spearmint, lightly spicy, cinnamon, anise, talc, soft, gentle, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Hacienda Gin

Schlichte Steinhäger

Nose: Light citrus, apple, piney juniper, juniper, juniper blossoms, floral, chamomile, mint, dried herbs, almond, clove, grass, earthy, birch, balsa wood.
Palate: Orange peel, citrus, prickly pear, raspberry, juniper, apple croissant, light cream, light chamomile, herbal, mint, spicy, peppery, clove, cinnamon, grassy, woody, silky.
Finish: Juniper, sweet berry, honey, creamy, vanilla, sweet herbal, floral, violet, mint, peppercorn, peppery, clean, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Schlichte Steinhäger Gin


Nose: Lime, grapefruit, light citrus, autumn berries, piney juniper, juniper, honeycomb, raisin, light floral, rosewater, herbal, anise, piney, creamy.
Palate: Lemon, melon, cantaloupe, berry, juniper, floral, lavender, violet, dried flowers, herbal, tarragon, menthol, spicy, anise, pepper, grass, hay, piney, tree bark.
Finish: Fruity, floral, basil, herbal, aloe, eucalyptus, sweet mint, wintergreen, licorice, mulling spices, spicy, peppercorns, resin, well rounded, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Mahon Gin



Nose: Piney juniper, lime, orange rind, lemon, citrus, watermelon, cantaloupe, dates, pastry, grain, pine nuts.
Palate: Juniper, lemon, citrus, melon gelato, blackcurrant, raspberry, dried berry, honey, vanilla, floral, rose, violet, herbs, dried mint, mint, clove, pepper, mineral, wet stones, balanced.
Finish: Orange peel, sweet citrus, lime, dried citrus, mint, herbal, spicy, pine, wet stones, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Bulldog Gin

(New Artisan Spirits - Texas, U.S.)

Nose: Piney juniper, herbal juniper, lemon, tangerine, lemon peel, citrus, lemon verbena, lemon meringue pie, lemon cream, banana taffy, herbal, anise, Earl Grey tea, earthy, woody, piney.
Palate: Lemon, lemon zest, lime, orange, tangerine, citrus, applesauce, plum, berry, fig, date, creamy vanilla, juniper, lavender, violet, lemongrass, mint, anise, clove, cinnamon, grain, oak.
Finish: Lemon, citrus, Juicyfruit gum, floral, sweet spice, spicy, cinnamon, anise, peppery, soft.

Silver Medal
Silver medal


(Coppercraft Distillery - Michigan, U.S.)

Nose: Lemon, citrus, honeydew, fig, honey, light vanilla, Irish cream juniper, floral, violet, herbal, toasted nuts, almond, coffee, bran cereal, anise, dried leaves, mineral, oak.
Palate: Lime, citrus, honeycomb, toffee, creamy, vanilla, juniper, lavender, floral, sandalwood, pecan, black licorice, anise, fennel, cinnamon, spice, pepper, pine, smoky.
Finish: Juniper, citrus, dried citrus, dried flowers, grain, spice, anise, licorice, smoky, crisp, flavorful, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Coppercraft Gin


Nose: Very fresh apple juice, apple, red delicious apples, blackcurrant, raspberry, dried cherries, cantaloupe, mango, watermelon, citrus, gummy bear, Skittles, grape gum, bubblegum, custard.
Palate: Blackcurrant, currants, raspberry, champagne grapes, grape, apple, banana, watermelon, dried cherries, Kool-Aid, Skittles, Swedish fish, Juicyfruit gum, blossom, lavender, mint, balanced.
Finish: Strawberry, raspberry, banana, grape, raisins, bubblegum, Juicyfruit gum, Kool-Aid, creamy, mint, cinnamon, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Brockmans Gin

Orange County Distillery
(Orange County Distillery - New York, U.S.)

Nose: Butterscotch, honey, banana, clementine, lime, piney juniper, herbal juniper, juniper, herbal, Earl Grey tea, anise, pine, pastry, bran, Raisin Bran.
Palate: Orange rind, lemon verbena, citrus, watermelon, dried fruit, fruitcake, Juicyfruit gum, custard, buttery, pastry dough, sweet bran, floral, dried flowers, sandalwood, bark, herbal, pepper, anise, piney.
Finish: Juniper, vanilla, citrus, dried citrus, fresh flowers, cinnamon, pink peppercorns, mint, Juicyfruit gum, clean, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Orange County Distillery Gin

Chuckanut Bay Distillery Wheat
(Chuckanut Bay Distillery - Washington, U.S.)

Nose: Floral juniper, piney juniper, lemon, lemon peel, orange rind, citrus, lemon cream, mango, peach, plum, watermelon, honeycomb, floral, violet, eucalyptus, herbal, licorice, pine, wet stones, earthy.
Palate: Juniper, lemon, grapefruit peel, cherry, plum, honey, vanilla, cream, clotted cream, pastry frosting, cotton candy, steel-cut oatmeal grain, quinoa, violet, herbal, mint, anise, lemon pepper, pepper, oregano.
Finish: Black cherry, floral, rose, dried leaves, wintergreen, pepper, citrus pepper, anise, saffron, sweet spice, mineral, smooth, creamy.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Chuckanut Bay Distillery Wheat Gin

Herbie Jutland
(Skotlander Spirits - Denmark)

Nose: Lemon, citrus, lemon verbena, lemon chiffon, sweet berry, juniper, aloe vera, violet, lavender, herbal, spearmint, anise, black licorice, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, clove, licorice root, mineral, pine.
Palate: Lemon oil, kaffir lime leaves, juniper, violet, clover, cinnamon, spicy, cardamom, anise, fennel, poppy, licorice, pepper.
Finish: Lime peel, violet, clover, black licorice, anise, dry fennel, cardamom, peppery, spicy.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Herbie Jutland Gin

Darnley's View

Nose: Lemon, faint citrus, subtle fruit, juniper, floral juniper, cake with buttercream, floral, zucchini, cucumber, garden salad, mineral, pine, day-old snow.
Palate: Honeydew, citrus, juniper, floral, blossoms, dried flowers, fruit gum, vanilla, buttered rolls, fresh cream, cucumber, garden salad, sweet basil, cinnamon, anise, pepper, clove, spices, mineral.
Finish: Pineapple, citrus, honey, vanilla bean, floral, lemon pepper, spice, pepper, peppercorn, clove, mineral, mellow, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Darnley's View Gin



Best Old Tom & Barrel Aged Gin

Old Tom & Barrel Aged Gin



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Comments and Suggestions:

Tue. November 7, 2017 12:16 AM - by: Jack
I am testing right now of these best gin of 2016 that really good for me till now.The research paper help us to understand which is better and why it better then others.
Thu. February 23, 2017 11:02 AM - by: Pete Heseltine
You guys need to try Manchester Three Rivers. It's only been on the market since late 2016 but is excellent!
Thu. January 12, 2017 4:38 PM - by: Lynsey Doel
Please list what type of grain each gin is made from. I for instance am allergic to corn based alcohol (vodka) but can drink wheat or rye based. I cant find anything online so Ive become a vodka drinker but I'm missing my G&Ts Thank you

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Fifty Best > Spirits Archive > Gin 2016
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