We do love a good gin, who doesn’t, especially in this glorious hot weather we’re having. Gin has become so popular over the last decade that they have even dedicated a day to World gins – World Gin Day!
So to celebrate, we’ve written an article featuring our 5 faves for 2021, in no particular order (they are all amazing, so that would be impossible to do anyway!)
Conker Port Barrel Gin 43% ABV
Now this is different… in a very good way. Smoother than Sean Connery, this delicious gin hails from Dorset’s finest gin distillery. It’s limited edition and very unique in character. The Conker Dorset Dry Gin spirit with its 10 botanicals matures in a Tawny Port barrel, with the end result being this beautifully coloured ruby-pink gin with piney aromas of juniper, herbs, fruit jam and vanilla. You’ll struggle to find anything negative online about Conker Port Barrel, simply because it is incredible.
On the nose, this is fruity, red berry and citrus with a crafty tickle of juniper.
As soon as it hits the tongue; strawberry, orange with a wholesome earthiness.
The finish is where this shines; sweetness that just keeps giving.
If you think you’re done with fruity gins, please don’t stop until you’ve tried this!
Conker Spirit £50
Hernö Juniper Cask Gin 47% ABV
Probably with more awards than its fellow countryman, ABBA, this Swedish gin has absolutely earned a place on the list. As it says on the bottle, this stylish little number has been aged in barrels made out of juniper wood, a true world first. Now we all know that juniper plays a major part in the gin making process, but this literally takes it 10 leaps forward.
On the nose, I’m getting fresh Nordic pine forests, with, you guessed it, juniper, but it’s not overpowering as you’d expect.
On the palate, it’s a hit of sweet, followed by that scrumptious pine mixed with citrus notes and cinnamon.
To finish, expect juniper to hang about for a long and pleasant while.
We’ve been a big fan of this brand in the past, but Hernö have nailed it this time around in our humble opinion.
Master Of Malt £52
Cotswold Gin 46% ABV
The moment I met Cotswold Gin, 4 years ago now, it was love at first sip. Maybe it was the sheer volume of awards it’s picked up, possibly the incredibly balanced flavours that zing on the palate, but most probably it’s the fact that unlike other gins, Cotswolds’ Dry Gin isn’t chill-filtered, which means it retains all of its essential oils.
It also remains the only gin we know about that when you mix with ice or tonic, the oil solubility decreases, turning the liquid a cloudy white.
So how does it perform:
On the nose, it’s super floral, light, lavender and grapefruit.
On the palate, grapefruit followed by juniper, coriander and angelica. Super delicate.
The finish is fresh, clean and very aaaaaahhhhh!
You simply won’t feel the full force of this gin without a premium tonic and a slice of fresh pink grapefruit.
Show me a tastier gin!
Cotswold Distillery £35
Aviation American Gin 42% ABV
This crystal clear fluid is an elixir of pure delight – and has become our staple for all gin based cocktails. Popularised by the founders Christian Krogstad and Ryan Magarian in 2006, and taken to new heights (excuse the pun!) by Ryan Reynolds (yes, Deadpool!) in 2018. Reynolds was desperate to join in, as he tried the Gin in a Negroni and couldn’t get over how great it tasted – and he’s not wrong!
The aroma brings the juniper and cardamom flavours we expect, with an undertone of sweet smoke, lavender and herbal spa characteristics. On the palate heavy rye and spice entry with florals and star anise, followed by juniper, cardamom, coriander, and finally dried orange peel.
Aviation doesn’t linger for too long, leaving a crisp and fresh finish which is rewarding, and emits class. The great Great Gatsby style bottle is also ornamental, so looks great when displayed in view of your guests!
We suggest you try this in a Negroni or a classical dirty martini – but to be honest this is a gin to experiment with, shake it up with something special, and see where it takes you!
Master of Malt £34
Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin 43% ABV
What better way to compliment high end Indian tonic water than with a real Indian Gin! Launched in 2018 by Radico Khaitan, one of the oldest whisky distillers in India, Jaisalmer Gin is named after the city of Jaisalmer, known as ‘The Golden City’ – in the heart of the Thar Desert of Rajasthan.
Initially Jaisalmer reads as a classic gin on the nose, however the pine, juniper and coriander make way for softer citrus notes, as well as grassy botanical undertones. The taste follows a similar pathway, with the added angelica root and liquorice, but this leads to the subtle but unusual exotic botanicals that make this gin so special – Vetiver and Darjeeling tea.
Vetiver is a perennial bunchgrass, cousin of lemon grass and is said to be used in 90% of top market perfumes – it has an almost crisp earthy aroma to it, and compliments the Darjeeling tea flavours – delivering a well rounded, yet unique experience that sparkles on the tastebuds.
You can’t go wrong with a top end Indian tonic water, a good pour of Jaisalmer, and a twist of orange peel – we’ll be drinking this throughout summer, right through to the Indian summer we’re all hoping for this Autumn!
Master of Malt £35
Hendrick’s Lunar Gin
Whether you’re indulging in garden gatherings, summer soirees or a long-awaited intimate dinner party, inject some curiosity into your celebrations by delving into Hendrick’s Gin’s Cabinet of Curiosities to discover a bottle of limited release Hendrick’s Lunar Gin. The brand new gin is certainly an intriguing one!
With its distinct combination of enthralling flavours, Hendrick’s Lunar Gin will take your tipple to new heights and transport you to a world of cosmic enchantment. Crafted by Master Distiller Ms Lesley Gracie, Hendrick’s Lunar Gin consists of a distinctly deep floral taste with rich aromatics ending on a delicate spicy finish.
Enriched by its nocturnal botanicals, Hendrick’s Lunar Gin yields an alluring complexity and a delightful warmth, and is best suited to refreshing sundowners, night-sipping, fanciful conversations, and other sensible modes of contemplative pleasure.
Certainly worth a try this weekend (and beyond!)
The London No. 1 Original Blue Gin
A high-strength (47%) gin quadruple-distilled in London by master distiller Charles Maxwell, The London Gin has a variety of traditional botanicals including cinnamon, orange root and angelica alongside less-common ingredients like gardenia and bergamot, which explains its distinct aromas of Earl Grey tea!
Beautiful quadruple-distilled gin made by Charles Maxwell in London. It is flavoured with botanicals including cinnamon, angelica, bergamot and gardenia and has a slight blue tint.
Historically London gins were always a striking blue haze, with the colour generated during in the distillation process. Recognising that colour and flavour enhance the consumer experience, the craftsmen behind London No 1 set about recapturing the essence of London-style gins from yesteryear.
London No.1 is a triple-distilled small batch gin with quality, and more importantly, colour, at the heart.
Amazon, Ocado, Booths, Master of Malt, The Drink Shop, Drink Supermarket, Hammonds of Knutsford, Partridges, Speciality drinks, Selfridges, Whisky Exchange, £34
O’ndina is the first of two premium Italian gins that make up our list. The first, O’nding, embodies the Italian Riviera. An eye catching bottle, in pendant style, holds a gin containing the the famously sweet Grande Verde de Genova Basil.
This unique take is most certainly a taste of the Med and one that is welcome on this sunny week. Predominantly a savoury gin, thanks to thyme, fresh basil leaf and a crack of black pepper, emon also lifts the gin giving it a freshness at the end.
Amazon and The Whisky Exchange, £34
Seven Hills Gin
Seven Hills Gin offers a different spin on Italy, distilled in Moncalieri, near Turin in the historic distillery of Torino Distillati, years of culture and heritage are distilled into each bottle of the multi-award winning Seven Hills.
The results creates a perfectly balanced gin with a touch of Italian romance and style. With ideas handed down from one generation to the next, the unique taste of Seven Hills is created using seven high-quality, key ingredients. Expect hits of Pomegranate, Rose Hip and Juniper, alongside some unique flavours such as Roman Camomile and Celery hand chosen by their Master Herbalist. A truly elegant and wonderful gin.
Available from Amazon, Ocado, Master of Malt
A favourite of trendy bars up and down the UK, BULLDOG is a gin that embodies all of the classic elements you’d expect from a London Dry, but comes with a modern taste and aesthetic.
Aiming to reinterpret the classic London Dry Gin, there are some unique and different botanicals present in its total of 12 on show.
The combination of dragon eye, lotus leaf, and white poppy give enough difference and complexity to make this London Dry worthy of note. Smooth, very drinkable and a solid choice – a real crowd pleaser!
Available from Amazon and Tesco
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