Ginebra San Miguel Premium— the upmarket version of the classic Ginebra San Miguel (previously reviewed) launched in 2005 as an extension to the already century and a half old formula which is the most drank gin in the world. GSM Premium is made with “extra neutral alcohol,” distilled from molasses and features juniper and a bit more citrus. It’s meant to be an upscale offering, though price wise, although costing more than GSM, we’d still find the price to be in the range of inexpensive or bargain priced gins.
Candy citrus and orange in particular on the nose, with some alcohol laden, ethanol kissed hints of mint and herbaceous juniper, with further hints of lemon mint and pineapple sage. Though with a good deal of fruity/citrusy notes strongly at the fore, there is a core underneath which is readily recognizable as gin.
The palate brings citrus— but rather subdued. That pineapple sage note presents itself a bit more mid palate with quiet, low juniper notes on the finish. Warmth, with a slight hint of ethanol and some metallic off notes. Candied citrus, but very subdued, and a delicate hint of astringency. The finish is surprisingly long, and while Ginebra San Miguel Premium is never loud, it lasts a great deal on the palate, with still some hints of orange and juniper very late.
Mixed though, a lot of this character is lost. It brings a bit of gin to Gin and Tonic, but I fear at this mild 35%, you need to keep your expectations within reason. It’s an acceptable mixer, and a couple of the off notes I described on the palate are completely covered. I even found it to be a pretty decent Martini, with vermouth adding color and depth, and the spirit lending itself to a drinkable and not too strong cocktail overall. It’s surprisingly accessible, and was actually one of the best representations of Ginebra San Miguel Premium.
Overall, I don’t think Ginebra San Miguel Premium will mesh with most American/European ideas of what a premium gin should be, but it’s head and shoulders above their standard offering.