Gin has become more popular in recent years as many smaller producers have popped up around the world and have started to distill some great products and different bottle shapes as well as funky designs.
So, what are the best top shelf gins? Like most things to understand best you will need to define what “best” is’. In this article we define best as great quality and more on the premium side so if you are a gin connoisseur than hopefully we will be covering some great new products for you but of course even if you are not a connoisseur and enjoy drinking this wonderful clear spirit it will appeal to you as well.
Before we, get into some the brands that are in the market lets look at the ingredients used in making gin.
Ingredients used in a gin
The one common ingredient that is used in all gins is juniper berries that are used in the mash cycle of the process, so no matter where the gin is regarding the type of product e.g. value or premium product they all have this ingredient. The other common ingredient is coriander which exists also in every gin distilled, after this the ingredients vary but most gins include approximately nine or more botanicals (different plants or plant life).
Other popular ingredients include but are no way limited to:
• Angelica root
• lemon peel
• Orris root
• Bitter almonds
• Orange peel (usually sweet)
• Cubeb berries
• Grains of paradise
Other ingredients you may not think of include, lavender, cranberry, fresh lime, ginger, turmeric, star anise, pepper berry, lemon myrtle, finger limes, rosemary, basil and even thyme.
What are the best top shelf gins?
We really have to start with Aviation as its been in the press recently as the brand co owned by Ryan Reynolds and Davos Brands that is being purchased by Diagio for a huge amount of cash and due to complete by the end of 2020. The gin has described itself as “American Gin” claiming a botanical mix that is smoother and easier to drink than other London gins. This 42% ABV gin created to change the way people think about gin, Aviation American Gin is made in the traditional dry style with anything but a traditional flavor profile. Aviation explores the rich, floral, and savory notes of lavender, cardamom, and sarsaparilla to capture the lushness and spice. This blend allows the craft spirit to shine on its own as well as when mixed in vintage drinks or contemporary culinary cocktails. I am sure that this purchase by Diagio will ensure more excess ability of this fantastic gin no mater where you are in the world. Available at The Whisky Exchange or Saucey.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40% ABV is designed to be savored by spirit connoisseurs. It is micro-distilled in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs. This time-honored method of distillation requires more skill and effort than modern column stills. Their handcrafted technique offers more control over the distillation process, resulting in a spectacularly clean product of incomparable excellence. Only the heart of the run, “the nectar” is taken, leaving behind residual higher and lower alcohols. The vodka is cleansed of phenols, esters, and organic acids by filtering it through the finest activated carbon available. Critics call Tito’s “a homegrown symphonic spirit to applaud!” and say “it can go head-to-head with any of the worlds’ greats and not break a sweat. Available at Saucey.
58 Gin is made in Hackney, east London in a tiny still. Single-shot distillation is used for extra punch, and just 80 bottles are produced in each run. A slightly sweet gin with notes of pine, juniper, coriander, and wood shavings. In a G&T it becomes slightly sweeter and the pepper notes are accentuated, one for the connoisseurs.
St George Botanivore
This is their “botanical eater,” comprises 19 different botanicals working in concert. Think of a meadow in bloom—herbaceous, fresh, and elegant. What’s in it? Count with us… angelica root, bay laurel, bergamot peel, black peppercorn, caraway, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, citra hops, coriander, dill seed, fennel seed, ginger, juniper berries, lemon peel, lime peel, orris root, Seville orange peel, star anise! It is a 45% ABV product and one sure not to disappoint.
Tarquin’s Sea Dog Navy Strength Gin
This 57% Sea Dog gin is the navy-strength release of Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin. Produced at the Southwestern Distillery in Cornwall, this is made with botanicals from around the world, including hand-picked Devon violets. It has flavors of Juniper spice and tart citrus lead, with spicy cinnamon and soft coriander.
Proudly touted as “a most unusual gin,” Hendrick’s Gin is a delightfully curious liquid with a unique character that stands out from the rest. This small-batch gin is produced by William Grant & Sons and infused with cucumber, rose and traditional juniper at the brand’s Scottish distillery. Small batches are typically defined as 1,000 liters or fewer, but Hendrick’s Gin is crafted in tiny 500-liter batches, giving the master distiller more control over her artistry. The exceptionally smooth gin features a nice balance of subtle flavors, which include wonderful notes of flowers, fruits, roots, and seeds from across the world. Distilled by William Grant & Sons of Scotland suggests serving the gin over ice with tonic water. Garnish with a cucumber slice instead of the traditional lemon wedge. Another great option is to serve the gin with soda water and a bit of elder flower. Or my favorite which is Hendricks tonic with a slice of lemon, shaken and not stirred! Available from Saucey.
The creation of a chef, a sommelier, a mixologist, and a maître parfumier, GinRaw is a 42.3% ABV gastronomic gin inspired by Barcelona’s traditional foods and flavors. Using a blend of botanicals, including laurel leaves, lemon, black cardamom, and coriander seeds, Gin Raw is smooth and elegant, the palate offers aromatic spices balanced by zesty citrus.
Nolet’s – Reserve Dry Gin
This 42.3% ABV NOLET’S Reserve captures the essence of a variety of botanicals, including warm and spicy saffron, the world’s most expensive spice; and verbena, an herb known for its delicate citrus flavor and soothing nature. The gin is Intended to be sipped to enjoy its unprecedented complexity and balance. To maintain the highest standards of quality, Carolus Nolet Sr., tenth generation owner of Nolet Distillery personally tastes and approves every batch before it is bottled. Each bottle is individually numbered by hand and presented in a distinguished gift box.
Four Pillars Navy Strength
Released just once a year, Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin is a high-strength gin from Australia’s Yarra Valley. Made with organic oranges, finger limes, turmeric, coriander, and star anise, this is a fragrant gin with notes of spice, lime, pine needles and vanilla and packs a punch with 58.8% ABV.
Leopold’s Small Batch gin
This 40% gin is distilled with each botanical: juniper, coriander, pummelos, orris root, Valencia oranges, and more, separately to bring out only the purest flavors and aromas to be blended together for a softer and brighter spirit.
I hope you have got some inspiration for some great gins that you may not of heard of previously and hope that you enjoy sampling these. If you think that I should add some on to the list than or have any comments regarding the article please leave your comments below.
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