Pinnacle Gin is a bargain brand from a name that probably calls to mind vodka before it does gin. In fact, the Pinnacle Brand holds over forty flavored vodkas ranging from citrus to whipped cream. In the tradition of flavoring neutral grain spirit (which for the vodkas comes from a distillery in France), you might not be surprised they take their hand at a gin; however, it’s worth noting that the bottle says it is “distilled in England,” “distilled four times,” and bears the name “London Dry Gin.” So it is in fact something better than the brand itself might otherwise suggest. The botanicals are added via distillation, and then the final product is cut with water from Wales. Beam Suntory bought the brand from the Maine based White Rock Distilleries a couple years ago, and although inexpensive, I find it a bit of a harder-to-find gin for a national brand.
The nose is heavy with juniper, citrus and coriander. Incredibly classic and purist in its botanical selection. Overall, it’s quite clean with the coriander adding a surprising amount of depth underneath. The nose is heavy-handed, but altogether pretty nice.
The palate of Pinnacle Gin a bit harsher, juniper at first, with a piney note accentuated. The mid-palate is a bit plain with a slightly metallic tinge of vodka; towards the end a bit of candied orange rind, citrus kicks in with a bit more juniper. The finish is moderately smooth, with a medium length finish comprising of one-note pine juniper. It’s a bit weak in flavor, with a few plain, fumey notes where you taste plain alcohol. Although distilled, it lacks a lot of depth and character. It hits the marks exactly, but doesn’t go above and beyond.
If you’re picking up Pinnacle Gin, it’s probably because you’re looking for a good value mixing gin. That’s for the best because I think it lacks the flavor and quality necessary for a drink like a Martini, and I found the Gin and Tonic to be plain. For mixed drinks like the Gin and Ginger, or perhaps a quick Tom Collins it brings enough juniper to add a gin like note. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with a gin that hits the Gin and Juice mark at its highest, but given the wealth of good options out on the market today, I find it hard to recommend, even at this rather affordable price point. Though it’s worth saying that its rare to find a distilled gin on that bottom shelf with the other less than $10 dollar gins. If you are in a crunch and you don’t have the resources to get some of the better gins available in the $12-$17 category, this might be one of your best options available. And it’s better than expected, given that the brand on the label is generally associated with adding flavoring agents to neutral grain spirit. This is certainly one example of a time you can see a name like “London Dry Gin” and know you’re getting a good value for the money.