Plymouth Gin Navy Strength
If you ask me, this is the benchmark for Navy Strength gins! Why is it Navy Strength? Well, at this proof, you could safely store it on the boat with the gunpowder and even if the gin spilled on the gunpowder, the gunpowder would still ignite! Plus, sailors like to get hammered.
You can definitely smell the oily alcohol on this gin, followed by juniper, citrus, and some cucumber skin. The taste is very thick and viscous, with sweet lemon, orange rind, citrus pith, juniper and some turpentine.
Cool fact – there used to be 4 main styles of gin, named after the main ports for the Navy – London, Plymouth, Bristol, and Liverpool. Only London and Plymouth styles remain!
Oh hello. You caught me here with my bottle of Finnish Gin from Kyrö Distillery Company. This one is made from rye and has, well, a great nordic taste to it.
You’ll smell peppery sourdough, winter forest, Douglas fir, bramble, and of course, juniper on the nose. The taste is more juniper, fir tree and forest with some lemon as well. I thought this mixed up a great G&T!
Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle Gin
Gin is great all year, but it is especially refreshing in the summer months! I’m a big fan of Sipsmith, a London-based brand who, a decade ago, setup the city’s first copper pot distillery in nearly two centuries! This new release (to the US) is dry, with a nice backbone of juniper like any good London gin. After that, you’ll smell lots of lemon peel, meyer lemon, and bitter lemon.
The taste is just as good as the smell – you can drink this neat or make incredible cocktails. If you drink it neat, you’ll taste lemon curd which changes to bitter lemons and meyer lemons on the finish. In a G&T, you’ll pick up meyer lemons and the bitter lemon will give the drink a nice crisp snap!
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
Why do I have this smirk on my face? Well, because I’m sitting outside on my patio, drinking a G&T, made with this sweet gin designed by PJ Rigney! The distillery opened in December of 2015, so this stuff is still pretty new! You’ll smell anise, cardamom, tea, citrus, and juniper. The taste starts with citrus and anise, then moves to the tea and cardamom and ends with a drying note of juniper and tea.
This gin is made with GUNPOWDER (tea) SO BE CAREFUL! BOL. This is a great gin for really anything – G&T, martini, aviation, or just sipping on its own! Plus, when you finish the bottle, wash it out, remove the label, and you’ve got a great bottle to use as a vase or for whatever you like. That’s what I did!
Suntory Roku Gin
As you know, I’m Japanese. I love my Japanese whisky and I’m super psyched and we are starting to see more Japanese gins on the shelf. This one is made by the huge Beam Suntory company. It is made with 8 traditional botanicals PLUS 6 (roku in Japanese) botanicals. You’ll get aromas of cherry blossom, green tea, and pepper. On the palate, you’ll taste cherry blossom and then waves of green tea, pepper, and leaves and pick up a botanical note and a long, dry finish.
This is a bold, wonderfully made JAPANESE gin. This could be priced a lot higher and I’d still buy it, but at around $26 or so, this is a steal. Grab a bottle, make a martini or G&T, and arigato me later!
Cambridge Distillery Japanese Gin
This isn’t a Japanese gin – it isn’t made in Japan – it is just made in the style of Japan. They call it Japanese because it has Japanese botanicals added to the classic gin botanicals.
On the nose I smell pepper, citrus, juniper, cucumber, and herbs.
The palate has a nice of balance of lime, lemon, cucumber and herbs. Of the Japanese botanicals, the yuzu really comes through, harking to the gin’s Japanese influence.
There are more and more Japanese gins landing on the shelves, but if you can’t find one, this one will tide you off until then!
Cambridge, UNITED KINGDOM
Boodles British Gin
Named for a famous London gentleman’s club and reportedly the favorite gin of Winston Churchill, who was a member there. This recipe is unique for containing no citrus. Juniper and green herbs like spruce, rosemary, sage, and bark on the nose. Juniper, rosemary, sage, and fennel on the palate with hints of lemon, lemongrass, and white pepper. Very drying on the palate. In my G&T with this guy, I added some basil, cucumber, and diced strawberries. Because that is how I roll.
Pretty (and tasty) Empress Gin with Orange. Gin is made in British Columbia and available at LCBO. Read all about it here: http://bit.ly/2rBiiMc
Fifty Pounds Gin
Do you even lift, Doge?
Here’s another London distilled gin. This one is named after the 50 pound tax, created by the 1736 Gin Act, which charged anyone who wanted to open a still and produce gin 50 pounds.
The aroma of this gin is very classic – juniper, lemon, lime, with a hint of lemon creme.
The palate tastes of drying juniper, lemon, lime, and then notes of coriander. Lemon zest and lemon creme carry into a long, long finish.
This isn’t an easy drinking gin – there’s some bite to this – this is more your grandmother’s gin (you know, the handle of gin she had tucked away in her liquor cabinet) than the kind of cucumber or lemon/lime that is all the rage these days.
If you make a G&T with this guy (which you should) add something sweet to balance the bite – maybe some lime!
Dictador Colombian Aged Gin
I hope I look fierce enough! Aged gins are getting pretty hip and this one is aged in old rum barrels and is distilled from sugar cane.
This gin gave me aromas of juniper, pepper and citrus fruits, with the fruit hovering between orange and lemon. The taste is peppery, with notes of citrus peels, tangerines, oranges, and a hit of oak and spice.
I made a really solid G&T by adding a lemon peel, an orange peel, and a few peppercorns. Give it a try and tell me what you think!