I’m a big fan of gin. Gin also happens to be quite trendy at the moment, especially in Spain, where you can’t move for gin bars and where gin and tonics come in big bowl shaped glasses and are wonderful.
Here’s a round-up of some gins that landed in my sample pile recently. I tried them neat without tonic, but the confounder here is that almost no one drinks gin neat. Once you put tonic and a garnish in, clearly the nature of the gin changes. But then we’re dealing with so many variables it’s hard to know where to begin with reviews. Fever tree is currently the darling of the tonics, but I’ve seen blind tastings by people who know their stuff where Schweppes has won.
Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin
This includes elderflower and 10 secret botanicals, and it’s fabulous. Nicely packaged it has an amazingly intense nose that’ssweet and very spicy with some ginger notes. Exotic, rich, powerful and complex, this is serious stuff. 8.5/10
Haymans Old Tom Gin
Based on a 19th century recipe this is a slightly sweeter style. It is very lively with bright citrussy, juniper and floral notes on the nose. There’s a sweet edge to the palate and appealing texture, with a seductive personality. 8/10
Portobello Road London Dry Gin
A spicy, richly textured gin with some sweetness and a restrained juniper character. Nothing sticks out, particularly. Taut, compact in flavour and nicely complex, this is a good all rounder. 8/10
Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin
Distinctive nose. I’m not sure I like this: fennel, citrus and pear with a hint of mint. Very herbal and exotic with mint, herbs, spice and pepper. Crazy stuff. Weird. 6/10
Caorunn Scottish Gin
Detailed and pretty with nice juniper and citrus peel notes. Has a rounded texture. A delicious, rounded gin of real appeal. 7.5/10