Gin Part 1
 

Best Gin

 

The Fifty Best Gin Tasting 2020


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of 47 gins (Traditional/London Dry, modern, botanical, Old Tom, barrel finished) with twelve members of our spirits judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. The gins were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at room temperature. Only ice water, unflavored unsalted crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

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 highest. Double-Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries, countries and states of origin are identified for each brand.

DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

1220 Origin Gin
(1220 Spirits, MO) 85° prf

Nose: Lemon/lime, lemon verbena, lemon peel, lemon bars, citrus pastry, buttery, toffee, ripe peaches, cucumber, fresh cucumber juice, lavender, lilac, violet, rose petals, floral, floral juniper, piney juniper, sandalwood, light cinnamon.
Palate: Light lime, hint of lemon, lime soda, lemon custard, cream, sweet cream, grain, mixed berries, orange blossom, rose, rosewater, violet, floral, mix of herbs, Earl Grey tea, floral juniper, cucumber, pistachio, anise, cardamom, cloves, white pepper, pink peppercorn, chalk, smooth.
Finish: Lime, key lime, sweet lime, sweet citrus, blackberry, peach cobbler, vanilla, honey, juniper, eucalyptus, cumin, crushed peppercorns, spicy notes, resin, talc powder, fragrant, flavorful, lovely, delicious.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



1220 Origin Gin



OX44 Gin
(Chalgrove Artisan Distillery, UK) 90° prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon zest, lemon drops, key lime, bergamot, grapefruit, citrus, citrus peel, boysenberry, juniper blossoms, juniper, ginger, sweet pastry.
Palate: Lemon, lemon verbena, lemon drops, lime, lime pith, citrus, buddha's hand, melon, cucumber, juniper berry, juniper, hibiscus, rose petal, floral, rosemary, tarragon, pepper, root, pine, pine tree.
Finish: Lemon, key lime, citrus, melon, juniper, gingered carrots, fennel, lemongrass, floral, caraway seeds, white pepper, peppery, spice, earth, creamy, smooth.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



OX44 Gin



Mine Hill Gin
(Mine Hill Distillery, CT) 82° prf

Nose: Caramel, butterscotch, nougat, almond bark, vanilla, Juicy Fruit gum, pear, lemon, lemonade, lemon peel, orange peel, orange citrus, citrus, lemon cream, dried cherry, cucumber, floral juniper, soft lavender, rose petals, violets, clove, cardamom, campfire.
Palate: Custard, lemon cream, lime, citrus, verbena, cucumber, anise, juniper, roses, pink rose, violets, dried flowers, cereal grains, a touch of Earl Grey tea, mint, menthol, pine, cardamom, cumin, cracked pepper, peppercorns.
Finish: Creamy vanilla, vanilla bean, Juicy Fruit gum, juniper, rosy, Earl Grey tea, canella, cinnamon, cardamom, toasted cloves, pink peppercorn, spicy, wet stones, balanced minerals, very nice.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Mine Hill Gin



Juneauper Gin
(Amalga Distillery, AK) 96° prf

Nose: Strong lime peel, lemon verbena, classic juniper, piney juniper, floral juniper, yellow squash, anise, mint, menthol, peppercorns, salt water, maritime, flinty gunpowder, smoky, powerful.
Palate: Lemon verbena, orange peel, nice citrus, mixed citrus, lemon curd, creamy, poached pear, nice dried fruits, great juniper, pine juniper, juniper berry, violets, strong anise, menthol, grassy, hefty.
Finish: Lemon, roasted corn, spicy fruit gum, juniper, celery, anise, cardamom, velvety, smooth, fresh, great for Negronis.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Juneauper Gin



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Skeptic Gin
(Skeptic Distillery, IL) 90° prf

Nose: Lemon verbena, citrus, lime Italian ice, pink bubble gum, honeysuckle, light Earl Grey tea, fresh herbs, herbal, herbal juniper, mint, wet moss, morning breeze, pleasant.
Palate: Lime sorbet, lemon curd, soft lemongrass, deep green aloe, grassy, great piney juniper, herbs, mint, menthol, black licorice, fennel seed, cardamom, clove, peppery, sandalwood, smoky, wood, smooth, easy drinking.
Finish: Lime, dried citrus, honey, juniper, peppers, bay leaf, mineral, toasted barrel, beautifully balanced, clean, approachable, easy drinking.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Skeptic Gin



Elk Rider Gin
(Heritage Distilling Co., WA) 84° prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon peel, lime peel, key lime, bright citrus, crisp citrus, green apple, Juicy Fruit gum, herbal, spearmint, juniper, herbal juniper, cut ferns, cucumber, celery seed, bay leaf, peppercorns, pine.
Palate: Tangerine, lemon curd, clotted cream, grains, violets, juniper, cracked juniper berry, grassy, anise, black licorice, winter mint, slight mint, cardamom, bitter cinnamon, a bit of clove, spicy, black pepper, deep mineral, classic.
Finish: Tangerine rind, vanilla bean, piney juniper, long juniper, winter mint, touch of licorice, cardamom, kalonji, peppery, minerals, velvety, soft, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Elk Rider Gin



Tiger Gin
(The Shropshire Gin Co. for J.J. Lawrence , UK) 80° prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, key lime, citrus, yuzu, grapefruit, pineapple, cucumber, soft juniper, spicy juniper, rose, rose petals, lavender, elderflower, white flowers, floral, herbal, caraway, pine.
Palate: Lime, lime zest, yuzu peel, citrus, melon, tropical fruit, powdered sugar, dry juniper, ginger, violet, floral, coriander, spice, smoky, zingy, zesty, smooth.
Finish: Lime, key lime, tangerine, bitter orange, citrus, juniper, mint, clean, soft, smooth, zesty, refreshing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Tiger Gin



The Heart Distillery Gin
(The Heart Distillery, CO) 96° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, lime zest, hint of citrus, juniper berry, juniper, ginger, celery leaf, white flowers, rose, nettle, moss, sage, cardamom, coriander seed, touch of wood.
Palate: Lemon, lemon drop, lime, tangerine, juniper, honey, strong herbal notes, floral, mint, spearmint, Scots pine, fennel, cassia, rosemary, pepper, spicy, oak, creamy, smooth.
Finish: Pomelo, orange peel, lemon ice, lime zest, citrus, stone fruit, maple sap, lavender, mint, herbs, spice, smooth, lively, flavorful, perfect.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



The Heart Distillery Gin



Blue Spirits Ghost #6
American Northwest Gin

(Blue Spirits Distilling, WA) 89° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, lime peel, citrus, lemon marmalade, clementine orange, mild herbal juniper, soft floral juniper, floral, mint, light anise, creamy, almond bark, rosemary, thyme, green cardamom, spices, light smoke, wet cedar, pine.
Palate: Tangerine, light bergamot, lemon tart, creamy, sweet grains, anise, green tea, lemongrass, rose, botanicals, mossy, cardamom, clove, cinnamon bark, birch sap, pine, wet stone, well blended, in perfect balance, delicious.
Finish: Lime, light bergamot, lightly citrus, vanilla, cream, sponge cake, cereal, orange blossom, herbal, mint, cardamom, brown spices, spicy, soft, creamy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Blue Spirits Ghost #6 American Northwest Gin



Chemist South Slope Navy Strength Gin
(Apothecary Beverage Co., NC) 114° prf

Nose: Lime, kiwi, pear, citrus blossom, herbal, juniper, juniper berry, butterfly bush, South African pepper berries, pink peppercorns.
Palate: Lime, lemon curd, buttermilk, vanilla, kiwi, citrusy juniper, juniper, mint, spearmint, anise, celery seed, rosemary, cardamom, cinnamon, lemon pepper, peppery spice, nice sweetness, creamy mouth feel, delicious.
Finish: Lime peel, citrus, roses, floral, sweet roasted pepper, celery seed, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, peppery, extremely hot pepper, balanced for high proof, approachable, smoothly soft, elegant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Chemist South Slope Navy Strength Gin



1911 Gin
(Beak & Skiff, NY) 88° prf

Nose: Cara cara orange peel, marmalade, sweet citrus, lemon, melon, agave, honey, toffee, vanilla, cream, grains, floral, vegetal, mineral, light menthol.
Palate: Deep lemon, apple, grape, orange, light ginger, juniper, dark sugar, sugar syrup, powdered sugar, vanilla, whipped cream, violets, floral, grains, baking spices, spicy, black peppercorn, mocha, coffee, pine.
Finish: Orange peel, sweet citrus, cane sugar, creamy, vanilla beans, vanilla, coffee grains, mild bay leaf, peppery, approachable.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



1911 Gin



Goodwin Hill Gin
(Interboro Spirits & Ales, Brooklyn, NY) 80° prf

Nose: Butterscotch, sweet cream butter, Bit-o-Honey candy, touch of mocha, dates, sweet raisins, lemon meringue, margarita mixer, sour mix, lime notes, tangerine, citrusy, agave, Earl Grey tea, corn liquor, moonshine.
Palate: Butterscotch, unsalted butter, honeycomb, dates, pastry, hint of spice cake, toast, grain, floral, violets, rose, lemon candy, lime peel, lemon verbena, lemongrass, agave, pine, anise, black licorice, menthol, cinnamon, pink peppercorn, mineral, velvety, smooth.
Finish: Juniper, fresh orange, lime peel, violets, dried violet, herbs, grains, bread, coffee, black onion seed, eucalyptus, minty, cloves, sweet spice, resin, powdery talc, flavorful.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Goodwin Hill Gin



Tommy Bahama Island Gin
(Coral Cay Distilling, WA) 93° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, dried lime zest, tangerine rind, crushed lime leaves, verbena, apples, minty, grassy, herbal juniper, juniper flower, floral juniper, violets, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, linen, very clean, fragrant.
Palate: Lemon, lemon zest, mandarin, citrus, lime leaves, lemon curd, creamy, pineapple, piney juniper, floral juniper, highly floral, violets, sandalwood, anise, rosemary, cardamom, peppery, white pepper, chalk, nice balance.
Finish: Lemon, citrus, kaffir lime leaves, orange blossom honey, floral juniper, saffron, sandalwood, cardamom, coriander, peppery, pepper, minerals, resin, touch of smoke, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Tommy Bahama Island Gin



Watershed Distillery Four Peel Gin
(Watershed Distillery, OH) 88° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, lemon zest, grapefruit, celery, dried dates, tutti-frutti, licorice, subtle anise, subtle ginger, lively juniper, piney juniper, floral juniper, floral, lavender, herbal, menthol, frankincense, cinnamon, pink peppercorn, sandalwood, cedar.
Palate: Juniper berry, heavy juniper, grapefruit, lemon curd, creamy, honey, mocha, minty, menthol, celery, sea grass, lemongrass, elderflower, violets, floral, Red Hots, cinnamon, cardamom, nice clove, pink peppercorns, hint of cereal grain, sandalwood, bark, cedar, rich, bright, zesty.
Finish: Lingering lemon, lime oil, cherry pie filling, subtle juniper, herbs, herbal, winter mint, crushed mint, eucalyptus, toast, cumin seed, white pepper, pine leaves, cedar wood, balanced, great finish, elegant.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



   Watershed Distillery Four Peel Gin



Broker’s London Dry Gin
(UK) 94° prf

Nose: Sweet lemon, subtle citrus, watermelon, cucumber, minty, fresh herbs, Italian herbs, herbal juniper, juniper, cannabis, bay laurel, rosemary, thyme, musty books, soft.
Palate: Lemon, lemon curd, orange blossom, juniper berries, lemongrass, anise, black licorice, eucalyptus, coriander seeds, coriander, cardamom, baking spices, white pepper, pink peppercorn, woody.
Finish: Juniper, mild lime, herbaceous, grassy, mint, eucalyptus, spicy, white pepper, pink peppercorn, earth, creamy.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Broker’s London Dry Gin



Bareksten Botanical Gin
(By Stig Bareksten at Oss Craft Distillery, Norway) 92° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, lime zest, orange zest, lime pith, citrus, piney juniper, floral juniper, roses, floral, herbal, mint, tarragon, sage, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, hops, earth, spring rain.
Palate: Lemon peel, citrus peel, deep citrus, lime pith, lemon seeds, juniper, floral juniper, violets, rose, lavender, black licorice, eucalyptus, curry leaves, jalapeño, spices, baking spices, pink peppercorns, creamy mouth feel.
Finish: Citrus, citrus rind, lemony, rose petals, floral, mint, basic juniper, chestnut, cardamom, coriander seed, peppery, black pepper, earth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Bareksten Botanical Gin



Bowling & Burch Gin
(Limestone Branch Distilling, KY) 96° prf

Nose: Cara Cara oranges, tangelo, green apple, apple pie, vanilla, vanilla custard, Graham crackers, hibiscus, mint, dill, peppercorns, black pepper, meaty, savory.
Palate: Tangelos, kumquats, citrus, lemon verbena, lemon tart, grains, vanilla, violets, roses, juniper berry, fresh herbs, black tea, Earl Grey tea, minty, cinnamon Red Hots, clove, cardamom, peppery.
Finish: Lemon, lemon zest, lemon verbena, bergamot, vanilla bean, honey, piney juniper, spearmint, bay leaf, clove, vanilla coated peppercorns, minerals, great up.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Bowling & Burch Gin



Fundy Gin
(Lequille, Nova Scotia, Canada) 80° prf.

Nose: Lemon/lime, sharp lime, lemon peel, lime peel, citrus, 7UP, limoncello, tangerine, sweet cherries, birthday cake, light pastry, orange blossom, rose blossom, lavender, floral, juniper, piney juniper, cucumber, strong cardamom, coriander seed, fresh, bright.
Palate: Lemon/lime soda, citrus, lemon curd, tangerine, unripe raw banana, iris, violets, lemongrass, mint, black licorice, anise, fennel seed, cracked juniper berry, piney juniper, clove, very strong cardamom, peppery spice, peppery, pink peppercorn, bark, cedar, chalk, late spring, complex, very smooth.
Finish: Lime soufflé, citrus, vanilla bean, creamy, soft juniper, dried violet, pistachio oil, grassy herbs, anise, fennel seed, spiced cake, Chinese Five Spice, cardamom, spice, smoky, cedar, balanced, crisp, perfect up, delicious.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Fundy Gin



Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
(Radico Khaitan, India) 86° prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, lime peel, lemon peel, lemon drop, lemon curd, piney juniper, herbal juniper, mild pine, anise, dried mint, lavender, roses, rose water, scent of jasmine, wheat cereal, pink peppercorn, classic.
Palate: Lemony, sweet lemons, lemon icing, light lime, lime zest, lime oil, citrus, dusted sugar, creamy, sweet corn, roses, dried flowers, florals, myrtle, grassy herbs, grassy, pine, minty, menthol, clove, cardamom, baking spices, peppery, well balanced.
Finish: Spicy lemons, lemon oil, dried citrus, dried flowers, minty, winter mint, cardamom, coriander, biscotti, spice cake, resin, minerals, flavorful, fresh, delicate.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin



Handen Tank Line Original Gin
(Handen Distillery, WI) 88° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, orange peel, lemon zest, lime zest, tangerine candy, clover honey, lemon curd, citrusy juniper, sweet floral juniper, rose water, watermelon, cucumber, mint, parsley, fresh herbs, cardamom, cumin, jasmine, cinnamon toast, myrtle, tree bark, graphite, refreshing.
Palate: Crisp lemon custard, watermelon, sorbet, sweet fruit gum, simple syrup, mojito, honey blossoms, juniper, bitter flower petals, lemongrass, herbs, anise, mushroom, sandalwood, peppercorn, cardamom, pink jasmine, spices, quinine lemon curd, tonic water.
Finish: Key limes, eucalyptus, anise, resin, violets, dried violet, herb, lightly floral, bread, mushroom, saffron, cardamom, light canella that builds, apricot pit, white pepper, creamy, nicely balanced.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Handen Tank Line Original Gin

 

 



Best Gin Part 2
Best Gin- Part 2

 

 

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