Gin Part 2
 

Best Gin - Part 2

 

The Fifty Best Gin Tasting 2021


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of 53 gins (Traditional/London Dry, modern, botanical, Old Tom) with eleven 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. Medals are provided based entirely on merit and only to products judged worthy of such award.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries, states, countries of origin and alcohol proofs are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.

SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Salcombe Rosé Sainte Marie Gin
( Salcombe Distilling Co., England)  82.8° prf

Nose: Rose, rose petals, violets, elderflower, chamomile, spring flowers, honeysuckle, honey, sweet berry, tangerine, lemon zest, hint of lime, citrus, juniper, sweet juniper, cereal, herbs, clove, herbal pine, pretty..
Palate: Light lime, citrus, ginger, vanilla, sweet grains, strong juniper, cracked juniper berry, floral, grassy, herbs, dried herbs, black licorice, mild menthol, fenugreek leaves, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seed, peppercorn, black pepper, sweet mash.
Finish: Lemon curd, creamy vanilla bean, ginger, herb, sandalwood, cinnamon, coriander seed, cardamom, clove.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Salcombe Rosé Sainte Marie Gin



Pickering's Gin
(Summerhall Distillery, Edinburgh, Scotland)  84° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, lemon/lime zest, orange, citrus, fruity herbs, floral, arak, spearmint, minty, pine, juniper, vanilla, creamy, cotton, fresh linen.
Palate: Orange, orange peel, tangerine, lemon, lemon peel, lemon curd, citrus, blood orange syrup, bold juniper, anise, black licorice, creamy hint of mint, botanicals, oregano, nutmeg, cumin, peppers, jalapeño, spicy, bold earth, tannins, olives, briny, salinity, ocean breeze.
Finish: Lime, limeade, lemon verbena, orange peel, citrus, sugar cane, lingering mint, fresh basil, Mediterranean spices, zaatar, coriander, cumin, oregano, earth, balanced, perfect for cocktails.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Pickering's Gin



Simon’s 1794 American Dry Gin
(Starlight Distillery, IN)  92.4° prf

Nose: Strong lime, blackberry, blueberry, orange blossom, vanilla cream, buttered toast, anise, juniper, piney juniper, pine tree, brandy.
Palate: Juniper forward, cracked juniper, lemon, citron, citrus, lime custard, cream, vanilla, purple Popsicle, rose petals, chamomile, floral, herbs, anise, licorice, grain, chicory, creamy, smooth.
Finish: Verbena, sweet citrus, lime soda, melon, rose sorbet, chocolate mint, juniper, wormwood, resin, spruce, mineral, silky, creamy, really interesting, great for craft cocktails.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Simon’s 1794 American Dry Gin



Circa 17 Gin
(503 Distilling, OR)  86° prf

Nose: Lemon & lime, grapefruit peel, faint watermelon, fruit gum, lavender, violets, floral juniper, fresh baked scones, Earl Grey tea, cardamom, pink peppercorns, menthol, crisp.
Palate: Lemon peel, lemon verbena, bergamot, juniper, cracked juniper berry, dried fruit, cupcakes, pastry, rose sorbet, lavender, black licorice, herbs, grassy herbs, clove, mint, menthol, gum Arabic, pine.
Finish: Lemon, citrus, lavender, fresh flowers, floral, juniper, spearmint, wintermint, menthol, cardamom, spices, white pepper, bitter herbs, mineral, well balanced, silky smooth, pretty, easy drinking, delicious.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Circa 17 Gin



18th Street Distillery Gin
(IN)  90° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, sweet citrus, juniper, floral juniper, celery, banana skin, honey, baked goods, pastry dough, Earl Grey tea, mint, clove, pepper, pine, forest after the rain.
Palate: Lime peel, citrus, hints of cucumber, cooked apple spices, juniper, piney juniper, mint, Red Hots candy, violet pastille, cardamom, spice, pink peppercorns, black pepper, quinine, wormwood, creamy.
Finish: Bright citrus, lemon, juniper, violet, eucalyptus, grassy, mint, dried mint, herbs, saffron, cardamom, pepper, green pepper, oak, balanced, well-made, flavorful, lively.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



18th Street Distillery Gin



Ornamental Gin
(The Industrious Spirit Co., RI)  80° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, lemon crème, berry, dried cherry, brown sugar, sugarcane, buttery caramel, nougat, yellow cake, spice cake, juniper, herbal juniper, floral juniper, sweet floral hops, floral, lavender, orange blossom, celery, allspice, cumin, pink peppercorn, bran, slight brine, dogwood bark, oak, pine.
Palate: Juicy lime, lemon peel, lemon verbena, lemon curd, lemon crème, juniper, grain, licorice, anise, violets, mint, menthol, grassy, coffee grinds, tarragon, salty, cedar chest, creamy.
Finish: Creamy lemon, juniper, dried violet, herbal, mint, anise, lingering pepper, touch of smoke, woody, smooth, great in a martini, delicious.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Ornamental Gin



Firedog Gin
(Hook & Flask Still Works, PA) : Distilled from corn.  80° prf

Nose: Juniper, piney juniper, lime, tangerine, pineapple, citrus, honey, almond cookie, pastry, cocoa powder, floral, herbal, touch of spearmint, grassy, tea, earth.
Palate: Juniper, cracked juniper berry, verbena, mango slices, pineapple, apple, lemon curd, lemon cream, lemongrass, lavender, rose, blossoms, floral, herbal, herbs, grassy, menthol, cassia bark, resin, creamy, very nice.
Finish: Juniper, orange peel, citrus, lavender, floral, winter mint, dried herbs, pistachio oil, pink peppercorn, peppery, well balanced, creamy, soft, smooth, tasty, a beach gin, a nice sipper, appealing, lovely.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Firedog Gin



Fifty Pounds Gin
(UK)  87° prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon peel, orange peel, subtle citrus, watermelon rind, juniper, floral juniper, raisin bran cereal, fresh herbs, Earl Grey tea, wintermint, cinnamon bark, crisp, clean, ocean breeze.
Palate: Juniper forward, lemon, lime peel, berry, chamomile, dried flowers, botanical, dried herbs, mint, grassy, peppery spice, pink peppercorn, pepper, grain, slightly briny, nicely sweet, soft, very traditional, gentle interpretation.
Finish: Juniper, berry, floral, botanical, mint, pink peppercorns, lemony salt, really saline, strong minerality, bright zing, very zesty, soft, elegant, lovely.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Fifty Pounds Gin



Dry Line Cape Cod Gin
(South Hollow Spirits, MA) : Distilled from 100% sugar cane.  94° prf

Nose: Lime, lime soufflé, lemon cream pie with lime zest, orange pastry, marzipan, coffee candy, caramel, buttery, butterscotch, sweet berries, hibiscus, herbal juniper, sweet spices, raisin bran, hops.
Palate: Lemon zest, lime peel, grapefruit peel lemon cream, honeycomb, banana candy, orange sangria, sweet juniper, raisin, mountain flowers, herbs, tobacco leaves, green tea leaves, coriander seeds, peppery spice, black pepper, almond, hops, chicory, nicely sweet, round.
Finish: Lemon, lime, dried orange, baked bread, cinnamon, baking spices, toasted coriander seeds, black pepper, wintermint, menthol, clean, fresh, yummy, delicious.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



   ”Dry



Great Basin Bristlecone Gin
(Dented Brick Distillery, UT)  90° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, citrus peel, citrus, lemon cream, watermelon, watermelon rind, cucumber, subtle blackberry, orange blossoms, soft herbs, almond bark, cloves, dry rocks.
Palate: Lemon, lemon zest, lime, soft verbena, citrus, citrus peel, lemon curd, juniper, herbal juniper, violets, stinging nettle, slightly floral, spun sugar, bubble gum, sweet herbs, mint, lemongrass, grassy, spices, pepper, chalk, silky, smooth.
Finish: Bergamot, rose sorbet, vanilla bean, juniper, anise, mint, menthol, rosemary, chicory, slightly spicy, peppery, great balance, smooth, great for martinis.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Great Basin Bristlecone Gin



Kavalan Gin
(Taiwan)  80° prf

Nose: Mango, pineapple, subtle citrus, sweet corn, Cheerios, cocoa, dark cacao, chocolate, mocha, malted milk balls, sweet toffee, butterscotch candy, honey, white flowers, grape must, dried herbs, earthy herbs, cut grass, light mint, sandalwood, woody moss, pine.
Palate: Lemon, orange, dried citrus peel, papaya, cucumber juice, cotton candy, carob, cocoa, Whoppers, gardenia, potpourri, extremely floral, rosemary, wheat, earth, wet stone, bold minerals, saline, char, applewood, sorghum spirit.
Finish: Dark chocolate, chocolate covered cherries, marzipan, flowers, mint, herbaceous, citrus, tropical, rosemary, coriander, earth, pine, savory, interesting.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Kavalan Gin



Old Dominick Formula No. 10 Gin
(Old Dominick Distillery, TN)  95° prf

Nose: Lime, lemon peel, tangerine Hi-C, papaya, apricot, Bartlett pear, pomegranate, watermelon, watermelon rind, green olive, juniper, lavender, jasmine, penny candy, bread, grain.
Palate: Lemon verbena, lime, bergamot, Bartlett pear, apple, cherry, passion fruit, sweet berries, juicy, honey, lavender, botanical, floral, Earl Grey tea leaves, juniper, herbal juniper, anise, pine, creamy mouth feel.
Finish: Meyer lemon juice, lime peel, bergamot, sour apple, juniper, honey, vanilla, geraniums, lavender, light potpourri, peppery, creamy, soft, quite nice.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Old Dominick Formula No. 10 Gin



D1 Daringly Dry London Gin
(D.J. Limbrey Distilling Co., London, Great Britain)  80° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, cucumber, celery, fresh cut grass, light juniper, rose hips, rosewater, floral, herbal, white peppercorns, pine, mineral spirits, vanilla, cream.
Palate: Lemon peel, hint of lemon, floral juniper, confectioners sugar, honey, honeysuckle, English tea, rosewater, grassy, sage, clove, black licorice, menthol, black peppercorns, pepper, cayenne, slight brine, smoky, silky.
Finish: Lemon, lemon peel, citrus, wintermint, minty, juniper, floral juniper, herbal, licorice, creamy vanilla bean, grain, white pepper, pink peppercorn, peppery, spicy, zesty, delicate, velvety.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



D1 Daringly Dry London Gin



Forest Gin
(The Forest Distillery, UK)  82° prf

Nose: Light lemon, lemon peel, lemon pith, citrus, hibiscus, rosewater, grass, grassy herbs, very subtle herbs, Earl Grey tea, celery salt, tarragon, sandalwood, pine, very fresh.
Palate: Lemon rind, verbena, lemon cream, creamy vanilla curd, soft coconut water, fruit gum, spicy pear, juniper, piney juniper, violets, dried herbs, minty, black licorice, peppery spice, white pepper, black pepper, clove, wet stone, creamy.
Finish: Lemon zest, citrus, dried citrus, juniper, saffron, dried herbs, eucalyptus, menthol, pepper, white pepper, well balanced, develops, velvety, mellow.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Forest Gin



Barren's Harbor Gin
(Blue Barren Distillery, ME)  84° prf

Nose: Lime, lime zest, tangerine, citrus, dried stone fruit, pastry frosting, celery, juniper flower, lavender, white flowers, dried flowers, herbal, mint, minerality, wet stones, cedar.
Palate: Lemon curd, lemon custard, lime Popsicle, verbena, orange peel, citrus pastry, buttery floral, lavender flowers, herbaceous, grassy, eucalyptus, black licorice, peppery, baking spice, earthy, wet stones, clean, soft, creamy.
Finish: Verbena, dried fruit strips, violets, floral, herbal, mint, eucalyptus, lemon pepper, cinnamon, dry talc, well balanced, creamy, smooth, excellent.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Barren's Harbor Gin



Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin
(The Kyoto Distillery, Japan)  Distilled from rice.  91.4° prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon zest, lime, lime peel, lemon verbena, lime custard, honeydew melon, pastry dough, juniper, floral juniper, grass, pine.
Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, lemon zest, lime, lemon verbena, lime pie lemon cream, pastry dough, juniper, floral, jasmine, mint, spices, wormwood, spruce, pine, creamy mouthfeel.
Finish: Lime, limeade, citrus, rose, juniper, herbs, herbaceous, cardamom, spicy, white pepper, wet stones, creamy, interesting.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin



Lochside Summer Gin No. 5
(James Bay Distillers, WA)  80° prf

Nose: Meyer lemon, lemon bars, frozen lemon ice, lemon cookies, yuzu, verbena, orange peel, citrus, sweet berry, subtle herbs, dried violets, grain, wet stones.
Palate: Meyer lemon, lemon bars, frozen lemon ice, lemon cookies, yuzu, verbena, orange peel, citrus, sweet berry, subtle herbs, dried violets, grain, wet stones.
Finish: Lingering lemon cream, lemon sorbet, sweet citrus, lime, lime zest. winter mint, eucalyptus, vanilla bean, cinnamon, spicy, fresh, soft, velvety.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Lochside Summer Gin No. 5



Portage Gin
(Three of Strong Spirits, ME)  Distilled from cane.  90° prf

Nose: Melon, cantaloupe, banana, fig, lemon, Juicy Fruit gum, Bazooka Joe bubblegum, honey, caramel, Raisin Bran cereal, juniper, herbal juniper, herbal, tea, vegetal, goldenseal, pepper, minerality, pine, wow.
Palate: Lemon zest, lime, citrus, berry, prunes, raisins, pastry dough, grain, juniper, cracked juniper, anise, mint, spearmint, menthol, herbs, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, black pepper, moonshine.
Finish: Juniper, fig, citrus, corn, licorice, eucalyptus, herbs, potpourri, basil, oregano, pepper, chili pepper, minerals, clean, creamy, smooth, flavorful, easy drinking.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Portage Gin



Cantilever Juniperus Gin
(Cantilever Distilling Co., MN)  90° prf

Nose: Lemons, lemon verbena, pear, dates, honey, rosewater, cherry pie filling, chocolate covered cherries, raisin bran, cereal, olives, herbs, green herbs, mint, saffron, baking spices.
Palate: Lemon, grapefruit, dried cherries, dates, mango custard, sweet grains, raisin bran, oats, herbal, dried herbs, mint, chamomile, saffron, cinnamon, angelica root, Chinese five spice, spicy, rich, cordials.
Finish: Ripe mango, fresh banana, honey, chocolate, grain, mint, dried violet, floral, paprika, spicy, smooth, rich


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Cantilever Juniperus Gin



BRONZE MEDAL WINNERS

Sonoma Brothers Distilling Gin
(CA)  Distilled from grapes & grain.  84° prf.

Nose: Anise, black licorice, fennel, eucalyptus, minty, herb, Earl Grey tea, floral, tangerine, dried cherry, watermelon, bread, yeast, clove, woody.
Palate: Anise, fennel, fennel seed, licorice, black licorice candy, juniper, wormwood, minty, menthol, violets, yarrow, herbal, basil, saffron, spices, pink peppercorn, pine resin.
Finish: Anise, licorice, juniper, vanilla bean, violet, herbal, mint, Thai basil leaves, cinnamon, cloves, rich, perfect for cocktails.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



Sonoma Brothers Distilling Gin



New Alchemy Fleurette Gin
(New Alchemy Distilling, CA)  Distilled from grapes.  92° prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon peel, citrus, raisin, prune, juniper, herbal juniper, herbs, lavender, floral, earth, cinnamon bark, pine, cedar, woody notes, delicate.
Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, citrus peel, lemon curd, juniper, herbal juniper, pine, wintergreen, minty fresh, eucalyptus, grassy herbs, marjoram, peppercorn, baking spices, grain, cereal grains, cedar closet, smooth, delicate.
Finish: Lemon, orange peel, wintergreen gum, sweet mint, herbal, juniper, cardamom, spicy, woody.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



New Alchemy Fleurette Gin



GT Gin
(Salt Flats Spirits, UT)  88° prf

Nose: Orange, Cara Cara orange peel, tangerine, lemon, lemon zest, citrus, sweet berries, rosewater, lavender, herbal juniper, herbal, eucalyptus, mint, fresh cut grass, mineral, river rocks, leather, pine.
Palate: Orange, lemon, citrus, marmalade, Cointreau, orange liquor, juniper, cracked juniper berry, anise, black licorice, botanical, rose hips, floral, herbal, sweet mint, menthol, pink peppercorns, grain, musty, leather, cigar box, cedar, rich.
Finish: Cara Cara orange, lemon, sweet citrus, juniper, licorice, eucalyptus, bitter herbs, pepper, spice, earth, resin, cedar, woody, silky, good for cocktails, perfect for a Negroni.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



GT Gin



Anclote Gin
(Tarpon Springs Distillery, FL)  90° prf

Nose: Dried cherry, fig, celery, fermented grapes, manuka honey, raisin bran, grain, cloves, hops, hay, moss, mineral oil, earth, resin, tannins, cigar box, wood chips, tree bark, tea tree wood, sweet whiskey.
Palate: Cherry, red grape skins, rose, honey, creamy, grain, saffron, baking spices, fermented grapes, hops, mushroom, musty, earth, leather, minerals, minerality, very woody, whiskey like, grappa.
Finish: Cherry, juniper, ginger, tea leaves, herbal, wintermint, menthol, dried spices, malt, leather, earth, Negroni cocktail, unique.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



Anclote Gin

 

 



Best Barreled Gin
Best Barreled Gin

 

 

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