Gin 2016
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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.

 



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

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
(U.K.)

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
(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



Herbie
(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



Parlour
(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



Goodman's
(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



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

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



RHok
(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



1911
(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
(U.K.)

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
(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



DSP.7
(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



DSP.7



Oxley
(U.K.)

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



Oxley



Fenimore
(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



Ebb+Flow
(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



Monopolowa
(Austria)

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



Waterloo
(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



Hendrick's
(U.K.)

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



Hacienda
(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
(Germany)

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



Mahon
(Spain)

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



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Bulldog
(U.K.)

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



ROXOR
(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



ROXOR Gin



Coppercraft
(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



Brockmans
(U.K.)

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
(U.K.)

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 or questions welcome, please e-mail to: editor@thefiftybest.com

 

Comments and Suggestions:

 
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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