This is our annual look at our top 10 favorite gins of all time for the year 2012.
Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin
Its going to be hard to displace this gin from the top perch of my chart, but let me say, in this past year there were a lot of worthy competitors for this title. I still love the blend of juniper, citrus and the subtle sweetness that cucumber brings to this gin. Refreshing, invigorating and it works in every cocktail.Quote from review: “Miller’s gin balances a crisp clean Juniper flavor with a hint of Citrus sweetness. These two flavors are in such perfect harmony, that Miller’s is the epitome of versatility in gin.“
St. George’s Terroir Gin
Those of you going straight off of my “ratings” may be surprised to see a gin that I gave 4.5 stars to rising above others that I gave five to, but let me offer you this. The way that this flavor sticks with you, vividly in your memory long after the bottle is finished is exactly why this gin ranks so highly in my book.
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This might be one of those rare moment where those who follow me for my “American Perspective” might be rather thrown off.
I [like many others] have been watching the Euro 2012 tournament and I [like many others] have been enjoying a satisfying adult beverage while watching said games. But here’s the question: what should I have to quaff while watching? And most importantly, I don’t want to be drinking the same thing as the supporters of the French side, especially not when I’m cheering on Sweden.
If you Support Germany, the favorites at this point….
In your case you want something that fits your position. You’re clearly the favorites, so you can take it easy- but not too easy. Right? So you need an effortless cocktail. For you I’m going to recommend a Negroni, a cocktail surely befitting a tournament favorite. But wait, you shouldn’t take that with just any gin. How about Schlichte, the only gin to be a protected regional style in Germany. Go with a 1:1:1 ratio of Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Campari and enjoy the games.
Are you supporting the French in the Euro Quarters?
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We’ll G’vine, we meet again. again.
Long time readers of the Gin is In will know that this was the first gin I officially awarded five stars too.
A lot of what I wrote about Floraison is equally true about Nouaison, so let’s get on to the actual tasting notes, shall we?
The smell is a more muted variation on Floraison. A subtle floral bouquet, but no intimations of its strength (44% vs Floraison’s 40%) nor of its more juniper-like stature.
On the Tongue
There’s some warm citrus notes a powerful note of cassia. The floral notes are there but very quickly give way to juniper and a burst of London Dry style heat. But don’t be fooled. it’s not as intense as other classic gins. Its a muted, slightly floral take on it. In other words, I think its the ideal balance between the strong floral notes of Floraison and the juniper notes of a classic gin. If you’re a gin buff who didn’t really dig Floraison, Nouaison meets you half way.
The finish is a little bit of ginger, a little bit of cinnamon and a little bit citrus.
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The Ultimate Cocktail Challenge in NYC this past April sought to figure out a) what the best makes of each liquor was and b) which liquors worked best in various drinks.
Of course this is a commendable idea in that this is exactly what I am working on doing in this blog, gin by gin. However, I feel that their gin results are somewhat off base. First, there are notable omissions. Not only is my favorite gin Miller’s not on the list- but the list of Gins reviewed hardly matches the breadth of the gins on the market currently. Some of my least favorite gins: the dull Plymouth, the oddly spiced Citadelle and of course Tanqueray dominated the top 10 whereas strong new varieties of gin such as Hendrick’s, G’vine and Bluecoat seem relegated to the bottom of the list almost without fail.
Tanqueray won nearly every drink category as the best gin of choice for any beverage. How did they overlook Bluecoat’s subtle citrus notes in a proper tom Collins; the way saffron and violet eerily go together in an Aviation; or the way that a straight gin and tonic brings out the unique flavors of G’vine?
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The first thing you’ll notice about G’vine gins is that this isn’t your standard Beefeater or Tangueray. You also don’t need to have a wine drinker’s palate to recognize that there’s something grapey and floral about the taste of this gin. It has just enough hint of a tart sweetness to make the gin interesting no matter how you mix it.
Firstly, in a tonic Nouaison really shines. Since the flavor of the gin is so strong and sweet, I suggest going easy on the lime juice or even leaving it out altogether. This gin has such a strong flavor, that though it pairs well with other flavors, such as in a Tom Collins, it doesn’t stand out so much that I would recommend it over a more inexpensive option. It stands strongly on its own, which makes it an excellent choice for a classic martini. It is exceptionally smooth, even when consumed straight. Its exceptionally fragrant- so much so that I may go as far to say this is the kind of gin you can serve to friends who don’t like gin. Consider it a gateway.
Best consumed: Straight or with Tonic
Availability: Fairly uncommon.
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