With more new gins arriving everyday brands often make some stylish and original bottle designs to stand out. These are the 11 best gin bottles.
The eye-catching cut olive leaf design is the first thing you notice about Gin Mare. It’s not only great looking but highly suggestive of the Mediterranean inspiration of this iconic and delicious gin. The Mediterranean influences other choices in the bottles design too, such as the white and blue colour scheme, or wave shaped bottom, evocative of the sea, surf and sky.
And as a neat bonus, the cap is sized perfectly for a double measure.
Gin Mare is a thoroughly Spanish gin, bursting with the wonderful taste of the Mediterranean; rosemary, olives, thyme and basil. This is a very aromatic gin with an abundance of juniper and fresh coriander, bitter with herbal notes.
This is something of a love it or hate it design. Inspired by the legendary Khavaraya pink diamond, those that like it adore the fact that it’s a giant pink diamond. Those that hate it bemoan the fact that it’s a giant pink diamond. But whether you think it’s tacky or divine you have to admit that it’s eye-catching, different and that it effectively commits to its concept.
Fortunately, the gin inside is much less divisive. It’s strong and spicy with angelica, sage and pepper on the nose and a smooth, piney flavour on the palate. Dry, but without a trace of harshness; it’s a gin for serious gin lovers.
King of Soho was designed as tribute by Howard Raymond to his father Paul Raymond, infamous 70’s Nightclub owner and adult magazine magnate known as the King of Soho. From such an insalubrious beginnings comes a gin and a bottle that oozes suave sophistication, style and passion.
The standout feature is the illustration on the bottle of the Spirit of Soho, a mythological creature created for the gin brand that embodies all the contrasting qualities of this most infamous of London suburbs. The velvet tailoring reflects the hedonistic fashion of the area, the trumpet Soho’s rich history with jazz and the book its association authors and artists. Finally, the fox tail suggests both Soho’s past as hunting ground and all the cool, enigmatic and mysterious qualities of a fox.
Though the character is very striking sitting on your gin shelf the gin inside is more conventional, but by no means disappointing. This is clearly a London Dry, but an excellent one, with classic juniper and pine notes enlivened by citrus.
The Fords Gin bottle touts itself as the first ergonomically designed bottle. It’s also the first gin bottle we’ve come across with a factsheet dedicated to its many features. The bottle has many tricks designed to make a bartender’s life easier. The scale up the side shows you how much gin is left and the two marks at the top form a measure for doing free pours. Also, the long neck and grip in the middle make the bottle easier to grab and spin for doing tricks and flairs when making cocktails.
All that function doesn’t mean it lacks style though. With its long neck and curves, this is a sexy looking gin bottle. The label is attractive too with vintage graphics depicting old steam ship routes on a kind of fictional gin atlas.
As much as this is a bottle designed for bartenders, it’s also a gin distilled with them in mind. It’s a classic London Dry without a distinctive or unusual botanical that makes it stand out. Instead, this blends well with other ingredients making it an ideal choice for using in cocktails.
In these days when every gin proclaims itself to be craft, artisan or hand-crafted Norfolk Gin stands out as peculiarly homemade. Made by Jonathan Redding, each batch numbers just 22 bottles. Or should that be jars? Because Norfolk Gin comes in earthenware bottles, hand sealed and numbered by Jonathan himself.
The ceramic material, the lack of any kind of barcode or other legal noise and the really simple logo all contribute to the unmistakeable sensation that Norfolk Gin is something very simple and homemade. It certainly doesn’t look like anything else out there.
Norfolk Gin might be hard to get (well, you just need to visit our Gin Shop nowadays although supplies are limited), but it’s well worth tracking down because the gin itself is something truly special. It has a piney, herbal depth on the nose, combined with a mellow citrus and light floral notes. Smooth and spring-like with a hint of gentle sweetness and some spice.
Launched by Quintessential Brands (the same people behind Greenalls, Bloom and Thomas Dakin) Opihr is inspired by the spice trade. This is a gin whose design isn’t just striking but which clearly tells a story about the gin inside. Those elephants aren’t just beautiful, they’re symbolic of the Asian provenance of the drink, with botanicals like Indian black pepper and Indonesian cubeb berries. The neck tassel is a nice touch too that really makes it stand out on your gin shelf.
Opihr is intensely spicy, possibly too much for some gin purists as juniper is not the dominant force in this gin, but it’s hard to object when it’s so delicious. Smooth, soft perfume notes play against a background of warm earthy spices, highlighted by a sharp burst of citrus.
Also from Greenall’s and one of our top gins of 2015 is Thomas Dakin. This gin is inspired by the historical figure of Thomas Dakin, a distiller who is partly responsible for saving the gin industry during the period after the first gin craze had died down. Everything from the name, to the recipe (which is partly based on period recipes for tonic stimulants featuring horseradish) to the design is reflective of this specific historical era. The bottle aims to recreate 18th Century packaging styles with its use of lots of crowded text in different fonts, but it does so in a way that’s appealing to the eye. The bright red label is also gorgeous on the shelf and ties this gin firmly to its Manchester roots.
As a gin, Thomas Dakin is distingushed by its use of Horseradish as a botanical, which gives it an almost savoury quality on the finish. The nose and first sip though are pure London Dry, baalncing sweet orange aromas with spicy juniper bite.
The Adnam’s Copper House Dry Gin bottle has a fun retro design that’s just slightly off-skew, kind of like the maker’s of this award winning spirit. The Adnam’s family (da da da dum, click, click) of course have a long heritage of beer brewing which works to inform their gin. The base spirit is made from a distilled beer wash, in house, something few other gin distillers can accomplish. And they're so proud of their handmade copper still that they not only named the gin after it put it on the label too.
Adnams Copper House Dry Gin is a very traditional gin on the nose with strong juniper backed up by zesty orange citrus. The big, piney flavour continues on to the palate but is supremely blended with modern, floral tones (the unusual use of hibiscus is obvious here) and bold ginger. Delightfully zesty whilst maintaining the standard of a good London Dry.
The creation of Masters of Malt, the Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Bathtub brand is all about the story it tells. From the fictional mad professor, to the eccentrically long name, to the bottle; every aspect of this gin is dedicated to selling the idea of a mad scientist hand making his concoctions in a Victorian cellar.
The packaging, with it’s brown paper wrapping and twine and wax seal is highly evocative of Victoriana, but it’s the design on the packaging that really sells it. All that tiny writing that goes into exhaustive detail about the product inside and makes this feel less like a gin and more like some apothecary’s potion.
The insides don't disappoint either. Bathtub is as singular a gin as its packaging would suggest. Juniper forward but with spiced botanicals (coriander, cloves and cardamom) creating a creamy mouth feel.
Brand new to GinFestival.com, Copper Head has become a swift favourite thanks in no small part to its simply gorgeous bottle.
The copper effect finish is both immediately striking and highly evocative of the gin’s story. Created by a chemist, Copper Head styles itself as the alchemist’s gin. Made with just 5 botanicals that form a perfect alchemical reaction. You can even pick up additional botanical flavours to mix your own gin.
The brass colour, the exposed cork, the shape and small touches like the caduceus (that’s the medical symbol with the snakes) are all highly evocative of a specific place and time. Much like Bathtub, this is a gin that tells a story. It could almost have been purchased from some Steampunk Fantasy adventure world.
To drink, Copperhead is a marvellous example of a London Dry Gin. Gentle spice, orange and pine are joined by faint violet and deep sage. Warming, with a long, memorable finish.
Silent Pool has won acclaim far and wide for its bottle design, so it’s no surprise that it was the runaway favourite at the GinFestival offices.
The label is inspired by 2 things; the botanicals used in the gin, and the local legend of the Silent Pool, from which the gin gets its name.
According to legend, back in the 13th Century, a beautiful young woman was bathing by the pool when a man on horseback approached. The stranger, overcome by her beauty, moved closer, forcing the maiden deeper into the lake and eventually drowning her. Now the drowned maiden is said to haunt the lake at midnight.
The intricate gold patterning features both illustrations of all the botanicals used in this gin and depictions of the characters of legend. It’s a striking and beautiful desing on its own with the elegant gold illustrations shining beautifully against the blue bottle. But it goes deeper than that, with the colours, bottle shape and the way you can see the plant botanicals through the gin all working to suggest a pond or pool.
Fortunately, opening the bottle isn’t a let down as the gin itself is a rich and clean juniper driven spirit with floral layers of lavender and chamomile. Fresh notes of citrus and kaffir lime are grounded with the subtle sweetness of local honey, creating a well-balanced gin that is both traditional and refreshingly unique.
So, what do you think our our picks? Did we choose your favourite? Why not join us on our Facebook page and let us know what you think is the best looking gin bottle.
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