What gins are the strongest, the driest, the zestiest out there? In the spirit of competition, here are 5 gins that are world best.
It’s finally summer and everywhere you look athletes are displaying the fastest and fittest examples of the human form. Inspired by this urge to excel, we’ve set out to find the best examples of gins that are the most, best or tastiest in different contests.
Many modern gins are soft and gentle, fruity or floral but, classically, gin will be a dry spirit.
Current fashion in gin is leaning away from traditional dry gins but there are still a great number of crisp, dry gins out there. Sipsmith V.J.O.P. is the driest gin that we know. It takes a vast amount of juniper to create this very juniper overproof gin. Piney, with cedar wood, bright orange and a touch of dark chocolate this exquisite creation from Sipsmith is deliciously dry.
Distilled spirits tend to be cut with water to bring them to the desired bottling strength, with varying flavours coming through at different strengths.
Strong spirits are usually associated with a harshness, a low quality of flavour and unpleasant burning sensation so it’s always interesting to see gins with a high ABV that manage to maintain a smoothness and a great flavour profile. At 60%, Blackwoods 60 is a gin that achieves that with aplomb. It is sharp, dry and complex but, most surprisingly for its strength, it’s a very smooth gin. Piney, dry notes mingle with floral tones and well-balanced citrus.
Even stronger though is Strane London Dry Uncut at 73.5% ABV. With no water added, this is the pure distilled spirit. Strane is undeniably strong but is probably smoother than you’d anticipate with pronounced flavours of juniper, mint and sage.
Bringing bright and bold flavours into gin, citrus is such a key component of the overall gin experience that it had to have its own category.
There is an abundance of zesty gins where citrus fruits have a heavy influence. It was a tough choice, but K-25 is at the peak of this game. Bitter and sweet oranges, lemon, mandarin and coriander seeds are all used in making it, and the result is a crisp, zesty gin with a light, floral touch.
Fruit flavoured gins and liqueurs are increasingly cool, with innovative combinations and infusions appearing daily.
For the fruitiest Gin Festival Gin, we have a joint winner; Sikkim Fraise and Sikkim Bilberry. As the names suggest, strawberries and blueberries each have a strong presence. Sikkim Fraise has a gentle pine flavour with upfront cranberries and strawberries supported by delicate tea and subtle floral flavours. Meanwhile, Sikkim Bilberry tastes of well rounded blueberries and blackberries, steady pine and tea and is balanced by a touch of bitter orange. Both Sikkims are fantastic, fruity gins.
Sweet gins are increasingly popular, be they fruity, floral or just a little softer than the standard image of gin.
Edinburgh’s Rhubarb and Ginger Gin Liqueur is one of the sweetest gins we know. Spring rhubarb is left to macerate with sugar, lemon and ginger then infused with Edinburgh Gin to create a liqueur that has the viscosity of a syrup, all the fabulous flavour that Edinburgh gin are well known for and is delightfully reminiscent of autumnal puddings. A gentle rose pink, even its colour is sweet.
Lucky enough to have a new Gin Festival In A Box? Try using them to make our favourite Gin Festival cocktails at home.
For National Curry Week we wanted to look at pairing curry with gin cocktails, so we visited Indian Street Food bar Bundobust, in Leeds, to see how it’s done.
6 O'Clock Gin is our Gin of the Month, so we sat down with Michael Kain, head distiller at Bramley and Gage, to chat about this superb modern gin.
If you are a bit of gin lover or interested in finding a gin that you really like then the Gin Festival would be a perfect event for you.