Gin Part 2
 

Best Gin - Part 2

 

The Fifty Best Gin Tasting 2020


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of 46 gins (Traditional/London Dry, modern, botanical, Old Tom, barrel finished) with twelve members of our spirits judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. The gins were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at room temperature. Only ice water, unflavored unsalted crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries, countries and states of origin are identified for each brand.

SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Cold River Traditional Gin
(Maine Distilleries, ME) 94° prf

Nose: Lemon, Thai lime leaves, key lime custard, cream, peaches, honey, panettone, sweet wet grains, roasted chestnuts, herbal juniper, floral juniper, peppery juniper, lavender, lilac, sandalwood, green tea, mint, winter mint.
Palate: Lemon peel, lime peel, grapefruit, peach cobbler, grains, blossoms, lavender, black tea, Earl Grey tea, mint, grassy, celery salt, toasted cinnamon, pepper, spicy, spicy pine, pine, smooth.
Finish: Lemon, citrus, dried citrus, bergamot, floral, herbs, bay leaf, cinnamon, piney juniper, cedar, balanced, clean, smooth, soft.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Cold River Traditional Gin



Sourland Mountain Spirits Botanical Gin
(Disch & Sons Distillers, NJ) 90° prf

Nose: Lime zest, lime rind, lemon, citrus, herbal tea, piney juniper, soft juniper, classic juniper, fennel, anise, lemongrass, new grass, hay, sandalwood, cardamom, spruce, ozone, fragrant.
Palate: Lemons, lime, lime peel, lemon cream, creamy, grains, lavender, violets, tea, bright juniper, juniper berry, clove, peppery, peppercorn, field, sage, grassy, earthy, cigar box, pine, well balanced, dry, classic.
Finish: Classic juniper, creamy, floral, herbs, peppermint, caraway seed, eucalyptus, pepper, myrtle, burnt sage, heavy toast, resin, cigar box, great up.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Sourland Mountain Spirits Botanical Gin



Lolo Creek Distillery Gin
(Lolo Creek Distillery, MT) 90° prf

Nose: Lime meringue, lemon/lime frosting, citrus, orange, chocolate, toffee, graham cracker, raisin bran, cereal grains, juniper, ginger, agave, deep wormwood, herbaceous, herbal, fragrant.
Palate: Light lime, citrus, ginger, vanilla, sweet grains, strong juniper, cracked juniper berry, floral, grassy, herbs, dried herbs, black licorice, mild menthol, fenugreek leaves, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seed, peppercorn, black pepper, sweet mash.
Finish: Lemon curd, creamy vanilla bean, ginger, herb, sandalwood, cinnamon, coriander seed, cardamom, clove.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Lolo Creek Distillery Gin



WildBark West Texas Dry Gin
(CKL Distilling, TX) 94° prf

Nose: Caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, whipped cream, clotted cream, honey, oats, sweet grains, baked goods, nutty, violet, jasmine, sour cherries, green apple, star anise, lemongrass, smoke.
Palate: Vanilla, confectioner's sugar, custard, creamy, whipped cream, almond butter, baked goods, dried fruit, green apple, lemon lime peels, sweet pepper, juniper, chamomile, floral, dried herbs, mint, cardamom, soft, well balanced.
Finish: Lime, juniper, hazelnut, peppercorn, clove, cardamom, coriander, rosemary, bay leaves, barrel aged, funky, soft.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



WildBark West Texas Dry Gin



Iron Wolf Gin
(Iron Wolf Ranch & Distillery, TX) 80° prf

Nose: Lemon & lime peel, lemon rind, mild lime, citrus, citrus pastry, amaretto, almonds, faint juniper, floral, Earl Grey tea, fresh herbs, sandalwood, celery salt, very light brine, light bark.
Palate: Lots of lime, lime rind, lemon peel, lemon zest, lemon lollipop, fruit gum, tangerine, dates, honeycomb, hint of spice cake, licorice, juniper, violets, rosewater, piney, winter mint, menthol, cinnamon, clove, mild cardamom, spicy, pink peppercorn, grain, earthy notes, creamy mouth feel.
Finish: Bright lemon, lime, lemon rind, lemon oil, lemon curd, creamy candy, violets, juniper, piney juniper, winter mint, bitter almond, eucalyptus, spicy, minerals, flavorful, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Iron Wolf Gin



Wenneker Let The Story Be Gin
How About Denim Dry Gin

(Wenneker Distilleries, The Netherlands) 84° prf

Nose: Lemon & lime soda, Sprite, citrus, citrusy pastry, key lime pie, pineapple, almond, herbal, licorice root, black cardamom, myrtle, mint, cactus, tree leaves.
Palate: Lots of lime, lemon, citrus, lemon curd, cream, caramel, citrusy juniper juniper, lilac, violet, grassy, minty, licorice root, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, peppercorn.
Finish: Lemon/lime soda, mojito, ginger, minty, floral talc, hay, sage, cardamom, spice, woodsy pepper.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Wenneker Denim Dry Gin



Monopolowa Gin
(J.A. Baczewski, Austria) 87° prf

Nose: Lime, bergamot, juniper, floral juniper, lavender, white flowers, herbal, Earl Grey tea, raisin bran, grain, cardamom, faint wood, light minerals, linens, cream.
Palate: Lemon lime soda, lemon custard, sweet lemon cream, cherry cream, piney juniper, juniper flower, violets, lemongrass, herbal, anise, pine, dried leaves, bran, tea notes, coffee, some cocoa, fresh coriander, cinnamon, celery salt, clean.
Finish: Lime, great citrus notes, nice citrus, floral lemon juniper, cane, light brown sugar, sweetened tea, violets, some licorice, soft mint, mild clove, bay leaf, pink peppercorn, wet stones, crisp.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Monopolowa Gin



Black Button American Dry Gin
(Black Button Distilling, NY) 84° prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon/lime, lemon verbena, lemon cream, orange Creamsicle, applesauce, dried cherry, rose, floral, floral juniper, piney juniper, piney, celery, vegetal, herbal, sour ginkgo, star anise, sandalwood, cumin, Chinese Five Spice, cinnamon bark, cloves, wet stones, butter, oaky.
Palate: Lemon curd, cinnamon Red Hots, touch of mango, some Maraschino cherry, grain, violets, rose, dried flowers, floral juniper, juniper, menthol, sweet licorice, star anise, fennel seeds, cumin seed, fenugreek seed, coriander seed, bay leaf, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, marjoram, cinnamon, Sichuan, spices, peppercorns, smoke, smoky, woody.
Finish: Piney juniper, citrus, dried violet, smooth herbal, toasted semolina, spiced cake, saffron, coriander seed, cardamom, Chinese Five Spice, brown spices, spice, pepper, minerals, fireplace, Bloody Mary, well balanced.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Black Button American Dry Gin



Empress 1908 Gin
(Victoria Distillers, B.C., Canada) 93° prf

Nose: Floral juniper, piney juniper, herbal juniper, herbaceous, lime, lemon peel, slight citrus, distant lavender, floral, dried flowers, cardamom, tree bark.
Palate: Lemony, lemon cream, citrus, prickly pear, light berries, lavender, jasmine, soft violets, herbaceous, menthol, licorice root, clove, sweet cardamom, spicy, Sichuan, pepper, peppercorns, peppery, pine, well balanced, creamy, smooth.
Finish: Kaffir lime, grapefruit peel, juniper, floral, lavender, dried flowers, floral talc, licorice root, acasia, resin, flavorful, delicious.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Empress 1908 Gin



Musgrave Pink Rose Gin
(Hope on Hopkins, So. Africa) 86° prf

Nose: Blueberries, blueberry snow cones, raspberries, lemons, orange, grape soda, grape candy, cotton candy, violets, roses, butterfly pea flowers tea.
Palate: Blueberry, sweet grape, grape Jolly Rancher, cotton candy, raspberries, citrus framework, violets, butterfly pea flowers, floral, black licorice, clove.
Finish: Violets, floral, blueberry, Juicy Fruit gum, soda pop, rock candy, light spice, resin, delicious sipper.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



   Musgrave Pink Rose Gin



Blue Spirits Blue Wind #4
Contemporary Style Gin

(Blue Spirits Distilling, WA) 94° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, lemon zest, light citrus peel, lemon curd, lime soufflé, grape must, mushrooms, violets, herbs, juniper, herbal juniper, piney juniper, pine cones, mint, menthol, flint, dust, cedar wood.
Palate: Lemon, pink grapefruit, citrus, preserved lemons, lemon curd, mango, pineapple, violets, dried violets, floral, juniper, menthol, clove, dry canella, spice, peppery spice, pepper, nicely sweet, clean, crisp.
Finish: Preserved lemon, lime leaves, mint, violet, rose, honey, canella, sweet spice, coffee bean, hints of oak, balanced, crisp, easy sipper.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Blue Spirits Blue Wind #4 Contemporary Style Gin



Wenneker Elderflower London Dry Gin
(Wenneker Distilleries, The Netherlands) 80° prf

Nose: Lime, citrus pastry, herbal juniper, very light floral juniper, cucumber, light grass, subtle menthol, faint cinnamon bark, grain, minerals, fresh linen, clean.
Palate: Lemon, zesty lemon, bergamot, melon, light grape notes, lime cream, creamy, dried peaches, pastry, dough, grassy, lemongrass, Earl Grey tea, anise, clove, fresh rosemary, green cardamom, viscous.
Finish: Mild lime, bergamot, lemon zest, fresh cut grass, floral, unsweetened tea, sweet spice, bay leaf, peppery, white peppercorns, pink peppercorns, nicely sweet, powdery, soft, very smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Wenneker Elderflower London Dry Gin



Vantage Australia Botanical Spirit
(1770 The Spirit of a Nation, Australia) 74° prf

Nose: Lime, bright key lime, pink grapefruit, lemon zest, grape soda, black cherry, small rosebuds, rosewater, orange blossom, grassy herbs, tea, Earl Grey tea, almond bark, cinnamon bark, sandalwood, tarragon, pink peppercorns.
Palate: Lime zest, roasted limes, tangerine, lemon curd, clotted cream, sweet cane, lemon candy, citrus candy, fruit gum, dried cherry, cotton candy, marzipan, herbal juniper, rose, violet, orange blossoms, tea with honey, viscous.
Finish: Lime oil, lime cream, orange zest, sweet citrus, juniper bark, nicely herbal, violets, floral, cinnamon, clove, balanced, smooth, great with tonic.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Vantage Australia Botanical Spirit



Wheeler's Western Dry Gin
(Santa Fe Spirits, NM) 80° prf

Nose: Lime soufflé, roasted marshmallow, toasted coconut, shredded wheat, grain, herbal juniper, floral juniper, cucumber, lemongrass, rosewater, lavender, violets, floral hops, saffron, sandalwood, myrtle, cardamom, white pepper.
Palate: Toffee, browned butter, grain, potpourri, dried flowers, dried herbs, grassy, touch of mint, black licorice, sandalwood, clove, tarragon, cumin seed, peppery spice, leafy, earthy, raw twigs, tree bark, pine.
Finish: Vanilla bean, creamy, juniper, lemon peel, kale, very green leaf, herbal, dried violets, toast, cumin seed, clove, cardamom, spice, white pepper, woodsy, pine, clean, pleasant.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Wheeler's Western Dry Gin



BRONZE MEDAL WINNERS

WildJune Western Style Gin
(CKL Distilling, TX) 90° prf.

Nose: Toffee, caramel, butterscotch, custard, dates, gingerbread batter, cereal, apples, red currant, watermelon, orange zest, fruit gum, violets, dill, touch of celery, cinnamon, cardamom, very unique.
Palate: Lemon, lime zest, Juicy Fruit gum, caramel, creamy, custard, vanilla, juniper, herbal, rose, lavender, floral, angelica root, cinnamon candy, spiced cake, baking spices, clove, cardamom, cassia bark, deep rich notes of nuts, coffee grinds, minerals.
Finish: Raw chocolate, coffee with cream, spicy caramel, nutty, violets, herbal, cardamom, pepper, spicy, mineral, super soft, flavorful.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



WildJune Western Style Gin



Black Button Citrus Forward Gin
(Black Button Distilling, NY) 84° prf

Nose: Black licorice, anisette, anise, anise seed, toasted cumin seed, cinnamon bark, Thai basil, mint, white flowers, grapes, watermelon, lemon cream, dough, sandalwood, pine wood.
Palate: Black licorice, Good & Plenty candy, Sambuca, Greek ouzo, anise, sweet anise, star anise, licorice root, juniper, cracked juniper berries, cardamom, basil, light nutmeg, spices, dried flowers, piney, bark.
Finish: Toffee, creamy, juniper, black licorice, licorice root, anise, minty, saffron, cumin seed, sweet spices, spicy, earthy, leather, pair with absinthe, clean, smooth, approachable.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



Black Button Citrus Forward Gin



BackDrop Distilling Dry Gin
(BackDrop Distilling, OR) 90° prf

Nose: Lemon, lime, lemon curd, soft juniper, honey blossoms, floral, celery, cucumber, mint, spruce, coriander seed, Fritos, salty corn chips, bouillon, subtle smoke, wet stones.
Palate: Lime, bitter orange peel, lemon curd, gulab jamun, cardamom syrup, violet, lavender, strong florals, botanicals, dried herbs, cucumber, parsley, grass, piney, coriander, pepper, black pepper, minerals.
Finish: Dried violets, botanicals, dried pineapple, cardamom syrup, bay leaf, nutty, angelica root, grassy, spruce, piney, resin, really interesting.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



BackDrop Distilling Dry Gin



8th Wonder Hopped Gin
(8th Wonder Distillery, TX) 80° prf

Nose: Lemon, lemon peel, lemon pith, subtle citrus, berries, violet, blossoms, fresh grass, mint, mild thyme, mineral, pine, tree bark, aromatic.
Palate: Lemon bomb, lime zest, lemonade, citrus, light lemon curd, sweet sugarcane, simple syrup, herbaceous, herbal, violets, bright juniper, grain, sweet hemp, basil, malted barley, creamy, smooth.
Finish: Lime, citrus, vegetal, grain, herbs, sage, tarragon, white pepper notes, menthol, soft minerals, smooth, tangy, crisp.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



8th Wonder Hopped Gin



Nirvana Hemp Flavored Gin
(FL) 80° prf

Nose: Lemon peel, lime, grapes, sweet berry, Juicy Fruit gum, sweet potatoes, carrots, dark chocolate, piney juniper, anise, mint, Raisin Bran cereal, sawdust.
Palate: Mint, menthol, herbs, dried rose, sandalwood, coriander seed, fennel seed, black cardamom, coffee, warm bread, grain, toasted oats, oak barrel.
Finish: Pistachio oil, honey, licorice, fennel seed, coriander seed, sandalwood, light pepper, resin, crisp.


Bronze Medal
bronze medal



Nirvana Hemp Flavored Gin

 

 



Best Barreled Gin
Best Barreled Gin

 

 

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