Old Tom Barrel Aged Gin 2016

Best Old Tom & Barrel Aged Gin 2016

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 17 Old Tom and Barrel Aged gins with 15 pre-qualified judges. The gins were judged and scored separately. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the gins were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored 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 best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The countries and states of origin are identified for each brand.



Greenhook Ginsmiths Old Tom
(Greenhook Ginsmiths - New York, U.S.)

Nose: Orange peel, dates, raisins, spice cake, angel food cake, almond bark, caramel, honey, juniper, herbal juniper, floral, carnation, gardenia, licorice, grass, mint, leather.
Palate: Caramel, buttery, Graham cracker, honey, red molasses, egg nog, orange peel, herbal, peppery, spice, bourbon barrel, oak, smooth.
Finish: Caramel, burnt sugar, honey, nectar, spice, wood, toasted oak, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Greenhook Ginsmiths Old Tom Gin

Waterloo Antique Barrel Reserve
(Treaty Oak Distilling Co. - Texas, U.S.)

Nose: Piney juniper, juniper, sweet star fruit, butterscotch, honey, caramel, cream soda, vanilla, cream, brown sugar, mollases, honey graham, chocolate, pecan, walnut, clove, nutmeg, floral, ginger, cinnamon, bergamont, bourbon, oak.
Palate: Lime, citrus, mango, honey, vanilla, deep maple, praline, coffeecake, pastry, juniper, violet, lavender, rose, herbal, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, anise, nutty, pecan, pepper, oak, wood.
Finish: Citrus, lime, candied apple, vanilla, rose perfume, pistachio gelato, clove, anise, fennel, pink peppercorn, peppery, slightly spicy, balanced.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Waterloo Antique Barrel Reserve Gin

Ginskey Barrel Aged
(Vapor Distillery - Colorado, U.S.)

Nose: Blossom honey, honey, caramel, maple, buttery, orange essence, dates, almond bark, nuts, macchiato, coffee, juniper, herbal, menthol, mint, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, pine, wood, earthy.
Palate: Peaches, dried peaches, orange, honey, caramel, toffee, crème brulée, oats, malty, corn, licorice, herbal, orris root, mint, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, spice, rose flower, grass, oak, pine, mineral, Kentucky bourbon barrel, smoky, peaty.
Finish: Vanilla, rose blossom, grain, herbal, peppery, sweet spice, woody, smooth, finishes like whiskey.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Ginskey Barrel Aged Gin


SILO Reserve Barrel Aged
(Vermont, U.S.)

Nose: Caramel, lemon, banana, dried banana, apple, pear, celery, cashews, oak, mineral.
Palate: Highly tropical, banana, rhubarb, apple pie, custard, creamy, nutty, mint, pepper, spicy, well balanced.
Finish: Tropical fruit, buttery, creamy vanilla, floral, pepper, clean, soft, mellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

SILO Reserve Barrel Aged Gin

Hidden River Barrel Rested
(Manatawny Still Works - Pennsylvania, U.S.)

Nose: Orange, orange peel, citrus, cherry, caramel, honey, marmalade, date, juniper, almond, cinnamon, clove, spicy, cereal, old whiskey barrel, bourbon, tangy.
Palate: Caramel, creamy, vanilla, honey, malt, dried flowers, juniper, violet, herbs, tarragon, spearmint, fennel seed, anise, clove, cinnamon, spice, pepper, grassy, oaky, charred oak, smoky, smooth.
Finish: Orange, wintergreen, slightly spicy, brown spices, peppery, buttery, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Hidden River Barrel Rested Gin

Liberator Old Tom
(Michigan, U.S.)

Nose: Honey, lemon, lemon grass, ginger, apple, bamboo shoots, soy miso, herbal, anise, mint, menthol, clove, cardamom, spice, black pepper, tea, walnut, oak.
Palate: Orange peel, grapefruit, citrus, ginger, Thai iced tea, herbal, grassy, mint, menthol, clove, pepper, spice.
Finish: Vanilla, honey, cinnamon, clove, spicy, pepper, grassy, easy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Liberator Old Tom Gin

Conniption Navy Strength
(Durham Distillery - North Carolina, U.S.)

Nose: Tangerine, citrus, banana peel, durian, cream, vanilla, piney juniper, herbal juniper, floral, lemongrass, herbal, Earl Grey tea, rosemary, sage, anise, cinnamon, spices, wheat.
Palate: Citrus, lemon oil, juniper, mint, spearmint, Earl Grey tea, black licorice, cinnamon, spice, clove, cardamom, fennel, peppery, white pepper, wood, pine.
Finish: Lemon oil, floral, violet, cardamom, spicy, peppery, white pepper.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Conniption Navy Strength Gin

Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel
Bourbon Barreled
(Stonecutter Spirits - Vermont, U.S.)

Nose: Citrus, pineapple, cantaloupe, lemon cream, honey, juniper, piney juniper, subtle herbal, cinnamon, sweet spices, coriander, clove.
Palate: Lemon peel, citrus, pear, creamy, corn husk, cocoa, juniper, violet, eucalyptus, mint, cinnamon, clove, tarragon, cardamom, fennel seed, spices, pepper, herbal, grass, oak, sea salt, smooth, silky.
Finish: Citrus, orange peel, honey, creamy, brown spice, salty, fennel, grass, woody.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin

Wood's Mountain Hopped
(Wood's High Mountain Distillery - Colorado, U.S.)

Nose: Raspberry, raspberry leaf, dried blackberry, dried cherry, herbal juniper, juniper, violet, herbs, toasted nuts, cinnamon bark, dried leaves, woody.
Palate: Black cherry, apple, honey, creamy, filo dough, rugelach, sweet juniper, rose, violet, honeysuckle, herbs, chicory, pistachio, hazelnut, black licorice, anise, toasted fennel, cinnamon, pepper, oak, balanced.
Finish: Honey, violet, sweet licorice, herbal, sweet spice, clove, nutmeg, pepper, wood.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Wood's Mountain Hopped Gin

Copper Fiddle Tom
(Illinois, U.S.)

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, butter pastry, honey, maple, maple syrup, dates, orange, almonds, herbal, bourbon barrel.
Palate: Honey, molasses, Worther's Original toffee, herbal tea, black tea, spicy, dry oloroso cask, oak, mint.
Finish: Toffee, lovely butter, vanilla, toasty, clove, spice, mint, pepper, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal


Copper Fiddle Tom Gin

Zuidam Dutch Courage Old Tom's

Nose: Toffee, honey, roasted apples, bergamot, cinnamon bark, spice, grain, herbs, Earl Grey tea, wood, oak.
Palate: Lemon, orange, citrus, honey, caramel, licorice, herbal, tea, toasty, wood, oak, elegant.
Finish: Honeyed, brown sugar, bright, lively, gentle, fresh.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Zuidam Dutch Courage Old Tom's Gin

Ransom Old Tom Barrel Aged
(Oregon, U.S.)

Nose: Juniper, cucumber, tangerine, light citrus, apple cider, cumin, sandalwood, herbal.
Palate: Lemon, dragon fruit, orange, apple, bean sprouts, herbal, sandalwood, rose, cumin, pepper, spice, grain, oak, mineral, sophisticated.
Finish: Fresh cucumber, orange, lavender, black pepper, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Ransom Old Tom Barrel Aged Gin

Wire Works Special Reserve Barrel Aged
(Massachusetts, U.S.)

Nose: Caramel, buttery, vanilla, mango, lemon, herbal, cardamom, clove, floral, mint, toast, pine.
Palate: Caramel, chocolate, honey, mango, orange, juniper, lemon peel, citrus, celery, herbs, mint, oak.
Finish: Spearmint, mineral, spicy, smooth, dry, nice.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Wire Works Special Reserve Barrel Aged

Zuidam Dutch Courage Aged Gin 88

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, honey graham, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, bee's wax, clarified butter, creamy, lemon, bergamot, oak.
Palate: Caramel, buttery, Graham cracker, honey, red molasses, egg nog, orange peel, herbal, peppery, spice, bourbon barrel, oak, smooth.
Finish: Caramel, burnt sugar, honey, nectar, spice, wood, toasted oak, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal


Zuidam Dutch Courage Aged Gin 88


Healy's Reserve Cask-Rested
(Montana, U.S.)

Nose: Citrus, orange, pineapple, anise, licorice, sandalwood, clove.
Palate: Lemon peel, orange peel, mango, black licorice, anise, grass, floral, spice, nuts.
Finish: Pepper, hint of cinnamon, licorice, leafy, herbal, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Healy's Reserve Cask-Rested  Gin

OOLA Waitsburg Barrel Finished
(Washington, U.S.)

Nose: Lime, grape, sour apple, coconut, candy, spearmint, mint, herbal, floral, fresh.
Palate: Tea, mint tea, mint, herbal, dried flowers, floral, frosting, cherry, oak.
Finish: Rose, orange peel, subtle mint, pleasantly dry, gentle, smooth, mellow.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

OOLA Waitsburg Barrel Finished Gin

Queens Courage Old Tom
(New York, U.S.)

Nose: Pear, fruity, lemon peel, cinnamon, grass, floral, pine forest.
Palate: Orange, lemon peel, honey, lavender, violets, herbal, juniper, sandalwood, pine forest.
Finish: French noël spices, clove, spice, juniper, floral, raspberry, cotton candy.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Queens Courage Old Tom Gin



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