Top 10 Best Gins To Taste in 2018
Did you know that so many people are consuming and purchasing gin that the UK government has gained 7% more revenue from gin over beer? This is due to the increased popularity of gin as they’re literally hundreds of gin brands and different types of gin that it can be overwhelming trying to find a great tasting gin.
In this article we cover and review the most popular top 10 best gins you need to taste in 2018, below is a quick table of contents so you can easily jump to any section in this article. Note that this list is not in any order, it’s just a simple showcase of 10 great tasting gins.
1. Tanqueray No. Ten
On the palate the juniper flavour is quite dominant as it lasts until your finishing sip, however the juniper is perfectly balanced with the peppery spice and floral camomille which produces a very pleasant creamy/buttery taste.
Overall the gin is quite citrus led making it one the best gins to create cocktails with as the citrus and spicy profile create an earthy like flavour making it easy to be mixed in a Martini.
If you’re looking for a versatile gin that tastes smooth and can be easily mixed with most cocktails, then the Tanqueray gin is for you.
Tanqueray includes these botanicals: Juniper berries, Lime, Grapefruit, Whole orange, Coriander, Angelica root, Liqourice and Camomille flowers
2. Jinzu Gin
Jinzu Gin incorporates an unusual and interesting drink as it incorporates Japanese and English botanicals together. The blend of botanicals create a floral avalanche on the nose as hints of pine, lime zest and blossom can be found.
The Jinzu Gin is quite smooth and soft on the palate as the piney juniper takes the lead which is then followed up by the zesty citrus producing a delicate floral like texture. The finish is the best part as you will taste the lingering flavour of each botanical come to life for quite a long time.
Overall we found this gin to be quite brilliant as it takes the classic London dry style gin and adds a Japanese influence making it invigorating. Do note that this gin is often sold out on online stores like Amazon quite regularly.
Jinzu includes these botanicals: Angelica root, Juniper berries, Yuzu and Japanese Cherry Blossoms.
3. Gin Mare
Gin Mare is produced in a small village in Spain where all the botanicals used in the drink are sourced, the gin has a Mediterranean style as it includes botanicals like basil, olive and rosemary.
On the palate the gin is basically herby…the rosemary and basil flavour are predominant creating a smooth taste when the juniper, olives and thyme become present. The finishing taste is quite spicy as the cardamom starts to become quite stronger leaving the finish to be spicy and long where hints of olive and thyme can be found.
We tasted Gin Mare in a gin and tonic, Martini and Negroni. We found that the G&T enhances the flavour exquisitely as the herbal notes were given a greater depth of flavour making the gin taste savoury, the tonic water also held up very well against the strong herbal flavour making this gin taste the best in a G&T.
Overall if you’re looking for a gin that works best in a G&T or Negroni we definitely recommend Gin Mare.
Gin Mare includes these botanicals: Lemon peel, Cardamon seeds, Rosemary, Thyme, Orange peel, Juniper berries, Olives and Basil.
4. Hendrick's Gin
The Hendrick’s company are pioneers at marketing and branding as they’re able to create products, advertisements and gin pictures that are different from other spirit companies.
Unlike their slogan Hendrick’s Gin is not unusual as on the nose you are greeted with a floral delight of fresh juniper and lime, hints of pine and orange can also be picked out.
Interestingly the palate has an abundance of citrus which is nicely balanced by the lime, coriander and orris root notes. The finish is quite long where the floral notes and juniper create a spicy smooth finishing taste. The spiciness is quite pleasant on the tongue as the spicy notes create a warming flavour.
Where this gin shines is using it as a mixer whether it be in a cocktail or in a G&T as the cucumber and rose botanicals create a fresh and smooth flavour that can complement most cocktails and G&T’s excellently.
Overall if you’re a beginner at mixing or haven’t had your first G&T yet, Hendricks Gin is the spirit for you as it is often considered an easy “beginners” G&T or mixing drink.
Hendrick’s includes these botanicals: Lemon Peel, Cubeb Berries, Grains of Paradise, Caraway Seeds, Rose Petals, Cucumber, Coriander, Angelica Root, Orris Root, Orange Peel, Elderflower, Yarrow, and Chamomile Juniper.
5. Bloom Gin
Bloom is a London Dry Gin created by Greenall’s who are one the largest UK distillers, the name ‘Bloom’ was chosen to recognize the floral botanicals the gin includes.
On the nose Bloom is quite floral and sweet as the Honeysuckle and citrus flavours work together to create an almost like floral vodka aroma.
Even though this gin contains only 7 botanicals the flavours that are produced are rich and somewhat luxurious as the Honeysuckle and Chamomile botanicals create an oily texture where the juniper and citrus profile are infused. The finish is quite long where peppery hints and a lingering juniper flavour is present. Although we found the gin to taste good, keep in mind this drink is a very light gin where the juniper flavour is somewhat absent.
Overall we found this gin to work best with cocktails as it adds a tasty rich floral flavour, the gin tasted great in a G&T however it tastes the best when drinking neat as the floral notes highlight and smoothens Bloom’s overall taste.
Bloom includes these botanicals: Angelica Root, Cubeb Pepper, Honeysuckle, Pomelo, Coriander, Juniper berries and Chamomile.
6. Portobello Road Gin
Interestingly Portobello was released by an award winning bar in Notting Hill, the owner didn’t even intend to create this gin. This spirit contains traditional botanicals and spices that were contained in old-style London Dry Gin’s many years ago.
When nosing Portobello for the first time you will notice the aroma of the white pepper and the heavy juniper. On the palate the gin is balanced excellently where you get a slight hint of pepper mixed with juniper that isn’t too heavy, we also liked that the alcohol didn’t override the flavour at all which allowed all the hints of red berries and spices to complement each other. The finish is quite dry where you will be hit with a fresh citrus flavour.
This gin is an amazing classic style London Dry Gin that can be sipped neat as the pepper gives a warming flavour and can be utilised in a G&T as the juniper and citrus flavour become infused leaving the spiciness in the back seat. If you’re looking for a classic style London Gin that is versatile with most cocktails, then Porotbello Road is for you!
Portobello includes these botanicals: Angelica root, lemon peel, liquorice, nutmeg, orange peel, orris root, cassia bark, coriander seeds and juniper berries.
7. Sipsmith London Dry Gin
Sipsmith is one of the most popular UK gins ever created and for good reason, this Sipsmith drink is a premium quality gin that has won over 3 awards in spirit competitions for having a great taste.
When nosing Sipsmith you will begin to notice a punch of Honey and a fruity aromatic aroma, this is followed up by hints of juniper and a zesty citrus undertone.
On the palate the gin is brilliant, initially you will notice a delicate and gentle mouthfeel of dry juniper which is then followed up by a symphony of flavours that include; lemon tart, orange and of course a fresh avalanche of lemon zest. This is a premium taste where all botanicals and key flavours are balanced together to create a blend of richness.
Overall for the price you pay for this gin it’s an absolute steal, over here at Gin Power this spirit is in our top 5 list as it’s a great tasting gin that can be used with most cocktails to add a splash of lingering sweet spices.
Sipsmith includes these botanicals: Juniper berries, Belgian Angelica Root, Bulkgarian Coriander Seed, Chinese Cassia Bark, Italian Orris Root, Spanish Ground Almond, Madagascan Cinnamon Bark, Spanish Liquorice Root, Lemon peel and Seville Orange Peel.
8. Bols Genever Gin
The first question you might ask is what the heck is a Genever? Well a Genever is basically a Dutch Gin that is juniper dominated, it is a malted spirit that can only be made in Belgium or Holland as the European Union regulations state that Genever can only be made in certain areas.
On the nose there are some hints of a creamy aroma from the malt and spices, it is then followed by citrus notes and little hints of berry. The palate is quite similar to a whiskey as the flavour is simultaneously dominated by juniper and a peppery spicy, the taste isn’t overwhelming as it taste warm & earthy at times when sipped straight.
Overall this is a funky gin that whiskey and scotch lovers would enjoy, it is also a gin where you do not add it to a G&T or a Martini as this spirit is meant to be sipped straight.
Bols Genever include these botanicals: Malt wine, Grain spirit and Juniper Berries (some of the botanicals are kept secrets by Bols Genever).
9. Hayman's Old Tom Gin
Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is a return to the popular 19th century London style gin which offered an intensive botanical style of gin where the flavour profile was very sweet.
When nosing this gin you immediately notice the sweet lavender aroma which takes the lead, this is then followed by hints of tangy juniper, orange zest and lemon peel. The palate is quite rich and silky where the citrus and spicy botanicals create a sweet palate that is quite bitter. Compared to the 19th century Hayman Gin the sweetness is quite bitter but not overwhelming as the old literature suggests, the blend of the flavours is crisp and clean.
This gin is perfect for cocktails like the Tom Collins, Martinez as it can easily complement the drink due to the Hayman’s sweet profile.
Hayman’s include these botanicals: Juniper Berries
10. Star of Bombay Sapphire Gin
If you’re familiar with the popular Bombay Sapphire Gin then you will love the Star of Bombay Gin as it’s a premium gin made in small batches which is slowly distilled to ensure you receive the best possible taste.
On the nose you will first be hit with the aroma of the fresh juniper which is followed by coriander, orange and a musky Christmas tree pine. The palate is improved from the original Bombay Gin as the juniper and coriander are intensified giving a bold and rooty taste, the finish is quite long where hints of pine can be found.
Overall Star of Bombay is an improvement on the original version as the flavours are more intense and exotic. We found this gin to be perfect in a summer cocktail as the intense citrus flavours create a refreshing drink.
Star of Bombay include these botanicals: Liquorice, Ambrette, Juniper Berries, Lemon Peel, Orris Root, Bergamot Peel, Grains of Paradise, Cubeb Berries, Cassia Bark, Almonds, Coriander, Angelica Root.
Thanks for reading this top 10 best gin article if you would like to read more in-depth gin reviews be sure to head over to this page here. We usually add new reviews on this page quite frequently so be sure to stay up to date!
What is The Best Gin for a Gin and Tonic?
We normally see people argue and debate over which tonic works with what gin however they forget that finding the right gin to match your tonic is easier, below is 3 great gins for your gin and tonic and a gin suggestion for newbies who haven’t made or tasted their first G&T.
1. Tanqueray No. Ten
This gin is one of the most popular choices for a G&T and for good reason, the Tanquereray gin has a perfect balance of botanicals making it easy to create a G&T as the citrus led flavour creates a smooth taste.
Tanqueary can also be used in other cocktails as it is a versatile spirit, we used it in a Martini and the citrus flavour created an earthy like palate.
Tanqueray G&T Recipe
- Tanqueray No. 10
- Premium Tonic Water
- Pink Grapefruit
- Copa Glass
Start by putting ice into a copa glass, pour 50ml of Tanqueray and then add 150ml of tonic water, finish by garnishing with a pink grapefruit.
2. Plymouth Gin
For a light G&T the Plymouth Gin works perfectly as this gin has an extremely smooth palate that is rich with flavours. As the Plymouth is quite soft you can pair this gin with a strong citrusy tonic like the Fever Tree Premium Tonic Water or a Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water.
Plymouth G&T Recipe
- 55ml Plymouth
- 100ml Premium Tonic Water of your choice
- Raspberries or Blueberries to garnish
Pour Plymouth over ice then add your tonic water, finish by garnishing with both berries.
3. Hendrick's Gin
Are you a beginner and haven’t made or tasted a G&T yet? Well Hendrick’s Gin is for you as it is often referred to as a “beginner” or “gateway” G&T gin or cocktail mixer, this is due to the palate having a smooth floral and citrus tone that complements cocktails and tonics brilliantly.
Hendrick's G&T Recipe
- 50ml Hendrick’s
- 150ml Premium Tonic Water of your choice
- 3 Thin Slices of Cucumber
- High Ball Glass
Start by filling a high ball glass with cubed ice, combine all the liquids together and gently stir. Finish by garnishing with 3 thin cucumber slices on the inside of the glass.
Our Favourite Best Gin and Tonic Combinations
Gin and tonic go together like selfies and filters. They are simply perfect together. However, some gins and tonics go together better than others. There are so many good combinations but we will highlight the best.
For a citrusy taste, combine fever tree Indian tonic water with tanqueray No. 10 gin. This gin is distilled with fresh oranges, grapefruit and lime then herbs like angelica, coriander, camomile and liquorice. If you love fruits you will love this gin and tonic mix.
The Hendricks gin goes well with the Shweppes Tonic water. This gin has cucumber and Bulgarian rose petals infused with it. These flavors are brought out by the Shweppes tonic. Garnished with a cucumber slice, you will love how cool this combination will be and how fresh it will taste.
Plymouth Gin is sweet and is best paired with the less-sweet Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water. This will give a citrusy and earthy taste that you will love. This gin is also great for making dry martinis.
The Bombay Sapphire combines exotic botanicals that give a fresh and delicate flavor. Among these botanicals is the Mediterranean lemon peel whose flavor is perfectly complimented by the Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water. This mixture garnished with a lemon slice will taste heavenly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best UK gin brands?
Here’s a list of some of the better and most popular gin brands in the UK:
- Loch Ness
- The Botanist
- Eden mill
- Isle of Harris
- Isle of Barra Distillers
- Blue Bottle
- Warner Edwards
- Two Birds
- Thomas Dakin
- Silent Pool
- Orkney Company
- Masons Yorkshire
- Little Bird
- Kirkjuvagr Orkney
How is gin made?
A gin is a spirit that is made by distilling alcohol (neutral spirit) and the re-distilling this with botanicals. Botanicals are fruits, roots, seeds, berries, spices or herbs used to give the gin flavor. Some people believe that gin must have the juniper flavor (from use of juniper botanical in preparation) so as to qualify to be called gin. It is a great drink but how is gin made?
There are various methods used to make gin. The first is the steep and boil method which is what was traditionally used and is currently the most commonly used. In this method, fermented alcohol (from barley, wheat or other grains) is distilled in a still pot. Water is then added to give 50% dilution. Then, a combination of juniper and other botanicals of choice are steeped in the spirit. This can be left for 48 hours before distillation or distilled immediately depending on preferences. The mixture is distilled in a still pot and then water added to give gin diluted gin.
Another method of making gin is vapor infusion. In this one, the neutral spirit is placed in a still pot and a basket containing the botanicals placed above the spirit. When the spirit boils, it vaporizes and rises infusing the botanicals and the infused vapors condense to liquid to be part of the spirit making a gin. Water is then added and the solution packaged.
There are many other methods that are currently under use in gin making but they are basically variations of the two above.
What are the different types of gin?
There are various types of gin. One is London which originated from London, England. It is what many people refer to as gin. It is dry and has a heavy juniper flavor and is aromatic. It contains aromatic ingredients infused during 2nd or 3rd distillation process which gives a brand a characteristic aroma. This type of gin is produced all over the world. It is best for making martinis.
Plymouth gin is less dry than London dry and has softer juniper tones with an earthy flavor. The flavor is from a mix of roots used to inject the gin. There is only one brand of this gin called Plymouth and is only made in Plymouth, England.
Genever or Dutch gin originated in Holland and was first made by a Dutch chemist for medicinal purposes. This gin is made from malt and not a mix of cereal grains. It is dark in color and tastes like botanical flavored whiskey with a light body. This is usually taken as a sole drink, not for making martinis.
Old Tom has a dry body and a sweet flavor. The name comes from To Collins who loved this gin very much. The sweet flavor is from the use of licorice in distilling the gin.
The International Style or New American gin is an umbrella term for all other types of gin that are made using other botanicals other than juniper berries.