The little bottle of Oliver Cromwell 1599 Gin that I had the pleasure of tasting was again thanks to the kindness of the kind gin-loving compatriots over at Summer Fruit Cup.
Spirits competitions remind me a bit of beer competitions. For example, let’s take the example of Budweiser or Pabst Blue Ribbon. Most beer connoisseurs would probably be reluctant to say “those are great beers” (given the array of complex craft brews out there) but they are stellar examples of that style. A lager is supposed to be clear, uncomplex, yawn-inspiring. So naturally when I heard an inexpensive gin from Aldi won an award I assumed it must be a to-the-letter example of what gin should be. And actually, I wouldn’t have been the far off. Aldi is a classic example of a juniper forward, juniper heavy gin. It may be classic to a fault, as it is a one note performance. I think there might be some coriander, as there were hints of an underlying spiciness to it. But really, let’s be honest- unless you’re drinking it straight you probably won’t be detecting anything but the juniper.
As for drinking it straight, I’m not sure I can recommend that whole-heartedly.