When Gilt Gin burst onto the scene I remember a couple of folks on Twitter saying “New Make Scotch?! That’s not even a thing!” Well for the sake of clarification, its just that the base is made of malted barley 100%. Which is the same base neutral spirit which would be used to make Scotch Whisky if they chose to pursue that route. They haven’t. Technically, there’s nothing “Scotch” about this, except that it is Scottish. And Scottish Gin is definitely a thing, a trend, and an emerging area of the gin thing that’s exploding everywhere.
A little bit of hay/grass on the nose. A tad bit of sweetness as well and a touch of anise. The taste is crisp juniper at first, a building bit of heat, caramel and burnt sugar in the middle, giving it a touch of sweetness. Lots of earthy notes. Coriander, citrus and anise again. The closing warm with a touch of heat and Orris root.
A little bit discordant in a gin and tonic. Though it doesn’t have as strongly of a whiskey character as some of the other novel grain bases, it does have that sort of “this just doesn’t meld” sort of taste. A little bitter, emphasis on the grass and coriander type notes coming through. Only “okay,” and probably not the best drink you can mix this gin with.
Martini I found to work. A little bit of heat and edge come through still with vermouth. Nice, but despite the very traditional bouquet of botanicals, its not feeling like a harmonious gin. A little loud, a little bit of malty character, but not quite a martini as one might expect it.
I thought the Negroni was probably the most stand out of the cocktails I tried it. I found it to be among the least good in the floral category: Moonlight, Aviations, etc. Leave the Gilt on the shelf. It had the flavor to compete with strong ingredients like Absinthe, but despite that it never really stood out to me.
The base adds an interesting note. But perhaps its the relatively weak strength (80 proof) or the ho-hum botanical selection. But I found myself looking for a place that Gilt Gin stood out. And really, at the end I found only a couple of ways:
Neat, I enjoyed it probably most of all on its own. It fought with other ingredients in terms of mixing, but had something interesting when sipped on its own.
Old-Fashioned: This was on the recommendation of Summer Fruit Cup. But with the right bitters, a dash of sugar- you can push this gin into being something interesting and worth exploring further.
Price: £30/ 700 mL
Origin: [flag code=”UK” size=”16″ text=”no”] Scotland. United Kingdom
Best consumed: On its own or in an old fashioned. Proper Old fashioned.
Availability: UK and Online.
Rating: An interesting idea which ties the gin to its Scottish roots, Gilt Gin succeeds more as a “very mild whiskey with juniper and other botanical touches” than it does a gin. If you stick to Negronis, Old Fashioned Cocktails and maybe even sipping it neat, you’ll probably enjoy it. But it just doesn’t work in most of the ways you might expect a gin to.
*image from Summer Fruit Cup.
Thanks for submitting! Your review will be posted shortly.