2017 has seen some truly special new gins. You’ve sampled them at our events, in your local bar (now that makes us very happy - great gin available down t’pub) and even in supermarkets. But which are the best? We’ve voted on our favourites at Gin Festival HQ and here are the results.
Electric Spirit Co. Achroous 70cl 41% ABV
This made the list for being bold with the perfect spicy kick to make it stand out from the crowd. Including liquorice and Sichuan peppercorns in the botanicals has created a sweetly spiced gin with citrus and floral notes, and a perfect aniseed finish.
Plus Electric Spirit is one of the most distinctive bottles on the market! Before he qualified as a distiller the creator, James, worked as a designer and he wanted to try a different style. “Neon tends to be favoured by the scuzzier end of the alcohol market - I was keen to challenge that perception. It’s a modern company, and a modern gin, so the bottle needed to reflect that.” We think he got it spot on!
Kalevala Gin 70cl 46.3% ABV
Flying the International flag, this Finnish offering has a unique, beautiful savoury flavour. Distiller Moritz Wüstenberg used pure, local mountain water, then put years of research into tasting and retesting until he got the botanicals just right and it was worth the wait! To enjoy Kalevala like the Finnish do, serve it over ice with a mixture of grapefruit juice, lemon juice and club soda.
Manchester Three Rivers 70cl 40% ABV
There is a great team behind Manchester Three Rivers Gin and you can taste the care and attention to detail in each sip. It is fabulously smooth, dry and slightly creamy from the unusual addition of oats, baked spices break through before finishing on a healthy burst of black pepper. This genuinely, well-crafted gin works equally well in a G&T or as a cocktail base.
Piùcinque 70cl 47%
We just had to include the beautifully dry Piùcinque gin. The creators were inspired by the flavours used in gorgeous mediterranean food. You can taste sunny Italian days with sage, bergamot and citrus, blended with warming ginger in this fresh, modern drink. The creators are proud to go #backtobasics, mixing modern flavours and traditional methods for a delicious, dry flavour with a hint of spice.
Premium Harrogate Gin 50cl 43% ABV
This is a gin that burst onto the scene and our palates this year! It’s fresh and clean like the Harrogate Spring Water used to make it and the tangy pink grapefruit blends superbly with hints of lavender. The creators pride themselves on using only the finest, natural, premium ingredients and it really shows in this exceptionally smooth gin. The botanicals are handpicked at Harlow Carr, a Royal Horticultural Society garden, then personally taken to the Smokehouse Distillery, so they are still fresh when put into the still! Enjoy a crisp yet gentle flavour, with the zesty sweetness of pink grapefruit and a touch of lavender coming through on the finish. We think a new classic has been born.
Tinker Gin 70cl 40% ABV
Exceptionally popular at Gin Festival events, Tinker Gin is refreshingly light and fruity. This is down to the creator's loving the Spanish style gins that are full of citrus and berries. They ‘tinkered’ around with botanicals and came up with this brilliantly light offering with well-rounded berries and gentle sherbet. A firm move away from traditional, juniper focussed gins Tinker has smoother aftertaste, finishing with soft elderberry. British made, Spanish style and the perfect choice for a Gintonic.
There are also amazing new flavoured gins out there, these are the one’s that have made our Christmas list!
Boe Scottish Bramble Gin Liqueur 50cl 20% ABV
Scottish Brambles are known for being rich, sweet and full of flavour, Boe have have captured this distinctive berry taste in their gorgeous liqueur. Made using Boë Superior Gin as the base, it is lovingly created in small batches under the watchful eye of a Master Distiller, using crystal clear water from the tranquil glens of ancient Scotland. Rare hand picked botanicals and spices are infused in the finest neutral grain spirit, creating a high class gin, characteristically citrus with extraordinary balance and smoothness. This award winning Boë Superior Gin is then infused with blackcurrants, blackberries and black raspberries to create Boë Scottish Bramble Gin Liqueur. We very much enjoy the fruity berries with notes of apple and citrus and lingering, sweet finish and now you can too.
Caspyn Cornish Summer Cup 70cl 25% ABV
We do have the odd (really, as in strange,) member of staff who don’t like the classic London Dry Gins *gasp*! However, this Summer Cup is one even they will get behind. It is an exceptionally tasty fruity drink, packed full of fresh raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and warming spices - think Pimms but even better! Caspyn Cornish Summer Cup perfectly blends floral and fruity notes with raspberries, strawberries and blackberries on the nose. Enjoy the development of citrus on the palate, followed by cinnamon lingering for a soft, spicy finish.
PJ Gin Elderflower 50cl 40% ABV
Like Tinker, all of the PJ Gin flavours are ever popular at a Gin Festival. Particularly the Elderflower, with a smooth taste that’s gloriously fresh and floral. Citrus tones cut through the sweet elderflower for a drink that goes down a little too easily. Which is probably why it’s so popular at our events! Infusing PJ Gin Dry with elderflower and lemon has created a gin that is gorgeously sweet with a zesty bite.
Edinburgh Gin Plum & Vanilla Liqueur 50cl 20% ABV
We couldn’t resist adding this to the list, sweet and intense, delicious neat or mixed with Prosecco. Edinburgh Gin Plum & Vanilla Liqueur is a gorgeously indulgent drink, created by taking ripe juicy plums, macerating them with soft Madagascan vanilla and then infusing the mixture into Edinburgh Gin, mmmmmm. A beautiful deep plum colour, the flavour is sweet and rich with hints of almond and a creamy vanilla finish.
Sweet Potato Plum Gin 50cl 25% ABV
And finally, with definitely the most unusual base spirit of the year, we have Sweet Potato Plum Gin - deliciously smooth and sweet. Plum and cherry flavours blend with a hint of marzipan for a rich, fruity taste. Unlike most flavoured gins, Sweet Potato creates a refreshingly new blend that suits the fruity personality. This has created a range of fabulous spirits. Their Plum gin is perfect if you have a sweet tooth, opening with plums, rich cherries, a hint of almond and the vanilla flavour from the sweet potato, with a long finish reminiscent of fruit cake.
So there you have it, we’d love to know what your top gins of 2017 are. Post them on our facebook and instagram pages with #topgins2017.
Gin Festival returns to the beautiful Victoria baths for another double weekender!
It’s national chilli day! So we decided to celebrate in true gin style (the only way we know how to) and make some cocktails!
The gorgeous Piùcinque is our January Gin of the Month, bursting with bright, sunny Mediterranean flavours.
January's Gin Of The Month is proudly Italian through and through.