Gin Reviews

Gordon’s Gin

Gordon's gin Bottle

Gordon’s Gin hasn’t been reviewed yet? The world’s best selling brand of gin? It’s been around since the late 18th century, so the odds are if you consider yourself a good Victorian or American Transcendentalist, Gordon’s was already old enough to be your grandfather.

Odds are you’ve seen it. And if you’ve ever sought out cheap gin, you know it.

But I’ve never reviewed it. So let’s take a look at Gordon’s. Purportedly the best bargain in gin.

The nose is quieter than I remembered it being. Citrus, primarily lemon and a good deal of juniper. Not quite overwhelming, and not off putting. I think it smells exactly as a London Dry Gin should. Good, solid, strong, traditional. Just the way we like it.

The taste is sharp. There’s a slight acidic tang, and lots and lots of juniper. Bright, spicy, and a citrus note. Less defined than on the nose, almost like coriander here. The palette dances with lots of juniper. Yes, this would be that “pine trees on fire” taste that some find so unlikable. But classic London Dry drinkers won’t find anything with to complain about here. Sharp, bitter note as the gin finished with the dry sensation. Nice.

This is most definitely grandpa’s gin as grandpa drank it. Not a lot of depth in terms of flavor, but it does what it does and it does it well.

This is where I thought that Gordon’s might really shine.

W/Tonic: Juniper comes through. Nice and classic. Predominantly juniper,  but more subtle than expected. Very drinkable, not overbearing in the slightest.

2:1 Martini: Well, I was experimenting a bit – especially given Gordon’s reputation for being strong and assertive. But this came out a bit disappointing. The juniper notes were overpowered and Gordon’s sulked silently into the night, overpowered by a little dry vermouth. I’d ease up a bit, maybe going 5:1 to taste the gin. But then again, Gordon’s is drinkable, but not as smooth as other gins. I’m not sure that I found a sweet spot with Gordon’s where the martini has a solid gin like character but also smooth enough. It lacked depth to appreciate in bigger ratios, and it lacked punch in the smaller ratios. I’d recommend looking elsewhere or for a higher strength of Gordon’s.

Negroni: Again, decent, but the juniper punch I like in a Negroni is absolutely overwhelmed. If I’m drinking a London Dry Gin [as I like to do] I expect to get that gin like character in the classic cocktails. Sadly, Gordon’s just quietly fades into the background without a fight.

Concluding On Gordon’s.
Overall, I found myself disappointed. Known as a bargain, I wasn’t expecting the smoothness of some more well known and more expensive gins. But I was looking for a bit more punch as a mixing agent. It’s more quiet than I remember it being. While it made a decent gin and tonic, it lacked the punch to assert itself in more complex cocktails.

It’s London Dry and a great deal. But it’s not doing much more for me. If I’m looking for a punchier London Dry Gin and have more than $15 dollars in my pocket, I’d look elsewhere. But in the <$15, bottom shelf category, I think this might be one of the best options there is.

Price: $11/ 750 mL
Origin: [flag code="UK" size="16" text="no"] United Kingdom
Best consumed: 
 Solid option for a gin and tonic. 
Availability: Worldwide and everywhere, although in differing strengths and in some regions slightly different formulations.
Rating: London dry with a punch, until you start mixing with it. If you’re going to stick to Gin and Tonics, a great option. But if you want to do some serious mixing, I suggest looking to other London Dry or Classic style gins. 

11 thoughts on “Gordon’s Gin

    David T Smith

    I’d say the 40% is not so great but the 47.3% is a 4 maybe even 4.5 star gin.


    I was disappointed because I know that Gordon’s Gin is better than this. I don’t know, I’m going to need to get some of the stronger stuff and see how it holds up. Is it just my palette after so many gins isn’t feeling Gordon’s the way I used to? or was the 40% just much weaker than I had remembered it being?

    Well-Dressed Mongrel

    I think it’s just impossible for a standard gin to stand up to the traditional recipes at 40%. 40 to 47 is quite a substantial jump right off the bat.

    The question, though, is where to find the higher proof Gordon’s in the States? I’d be all over that.


    All I know is this was the first gin I had and it roped me in. Did its job, then.

    Larry H

    I suppose you already know this, but the Gordon’s sold in the U.S. is made in the U.S. and is not the same as the Gordon’s found in (most of) the rest of the world. When I’m in the Caribbean, I can find a 1.75 liter bottle of U.S. Gordon’s right next to a liter bottle of British-made Gordon’s. The British Gordon’s is much better all around than the cheap American version, and the American version is more expensive per liter!

    Leif Norlin

    In Spain, they sell a bottle you can´t open without a sharp knife and a lot of patience. You probably spill a quarter until you get it open. The most stupid I’ve seen the last 60 years.


    As a gin and tonic expert (self appointed) with fresh lime, you can’t beat Gordons with Schweppes mixer. Have tried others but all fall short. Gordons for me every time.

    Scotty Freebairn

    I think Gordon’s is a good gin, but prefer Beefeater for martinis. Gordon’s at higher proof would be really outstanding if you can find it in the US. Current Gordon’s is produced in Canada for delivery to the US.


    Just doing a gin and tonic tasting session tonight. With duty free Gordons 47%, Duty free Tanquery 47.3%, and Sipsmith 41.6%.

    I have been just using a twist of lemon peel, twisted above the glass tgen dropped, virtually bo pith on the peel. Schweppes tonic water.


    Sipsmith absolutely stunning, classic juniper and citrus. Creamy smooth mouthfeel. Lingering spices, a ripper!

    Gordons: very good, clean crisp very well made, citrusy, juicy spirit, beautiful nose, clean mouthfeel…perfect for summer.

    Tanquery: Nice nose. Bitter mouth puckering palate, not good. Juniper and a lot of licoroce. Big bitter licorice aftertaste. Quite yuk. Maybe a bad batch. I am usually a Tanquery fan. Wife thought the similar for all tastings by the way, especially that Tanquery!! I have got one more unopened bottle of tanquery…will be interesting.

    Ps my Mum has also gone off Tanquery..hmmm. “just don’t get me the green one” she says!

    Over and out


    Sorry for grammar errors above. A gin review after tastings posted from a phone….!

    Bob Lucas

    47% export strength Gordon’s isn’t bad. You are fortunate to be able to buy 40% strength in the USA because they have reduced the strength to 37.5% in the UK and in many other European countries (to reduce the duty). Furthermore, Schweppes tonic water in the UK contains saccharine – so it tastes really vile.

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