New gin reviews
Words by Simon Difford
The following are newly released and other gin & genevers we've reviewed recently (newest at the top).
Please click on product names for full tasting notes, further information and to view the qualitative score out-of-five attributed to each product according to our Difford’s Guide rating system.
Reviewed November 2018
Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut 2018 Gin
The addition of red mustard cress to Monkey 47’s other 47 botanicals may suggest this is going to be a herbaceous gin but we’d describe this very complex gin as being floral in style. If you seek such a gin, then this collectable limited edition is a fine example.
Jindea Single Estate Gin
A moderately juniper forward, spicy and citrusy gin with attractive Darjeeling tea notes which combine well with piney juniper.
Reviewed October 2018
Brentingby Rooibos & Baobab Pink Gin
Unlike many of the other pink “gins” on the market, this is a proper gin with a pronounced juniper flavour. It may be distilled with rooibos and baobab, and given its pink hue by an infusion of hibiscus, but these flavours are subtle, adding interest rather than detracting.
Reviewed September 2018
Kamm & Sons Mr Kamms Gin
A truly artisanally-made classically grounded, appropriately juniper flavoured, gin, but with much more – particularly nutty, floral and spicy notes.
Intensely flavoured and herbal with pronounced fennel, citrus, liquorice, and peppery spice (but not overly spicy especially considering its 45% alc./vol strength).
Reviewed August 2018
Citrus forward classic London dry in style but with generous botanical concentration, good depth of flavour and subtle floral notes.
Reviewed July 2018
Old Duff Single Malt 100% Maltwine Genever
At 45% and with a spicy high rye content, this is far from an easy mass-market genever – if indeed any genever can be considered mass-market (watch this space). However, Old Duff 100% Maltwine is honest, genuine and well-made. Serving ice cold with beer knocks back the spice and makes for an interesting Boilermaker
– particularly with IPAs.
Old Duff Genever
Bready and spicy notes characterise this genuinely Dutch, old style genever.
Savvy is a very generously flavoured gin with a high concentration of botanicals. Piney juniper, floral and citrusy notes are most obvious. Dilutes well to make a flavoursome G&T but perhaps dilute back for a Martini.
Reviewed June 2018
Baker’s Best Genever
What’s not to like? A great tasting, traditionally styled genever made from waste bread. “This bottle saves seven slices of bread” is written on the recycled paper seal over the synthetic stopper. We usually prefer synthetic to real cork but in this case, given its sustainable credentials, perhaps a cork or even a metal screw cap would be preferable closure.
A very attractively packaged and well-balanced London dry gin with a surprising soft mouthfeel (try sipping neat at room temperature. Foxhole makes a superb Dry Martini.
1689 Dutch Dry Gin
1689’s royal blue bottle perhaps masks the glorious gin inside which is classic London Dry in style but with attractive bready, nutty, floral and citrus notes and a touch of star anise.
Reviewed May 2018
Tanqueray Flor De Sevilla Gin
Faintly sweet but balanced with orange notes that are strong enough to make this reminiscent of a dry curacao. Its colour (ginger) gives this gin a Lucozade look and the mention of “other natural flavourings, colours” on the back label suggests this hue is not just derived from steeping orange peel. Flor De Sevilla delivers what it promises, an orange marmalade flavoured gin.
Tanqueray Lovage London Dry Gin
First and foremost, this is a classic London dry, juniper forward gin. The “Lovage” name is perhaps deceptive as it suggests this is a one-dimensional flavoured gin. It’s far from that with lovage well integrated with the other botanicals. An interesting limited edition to experiment with.
Partridges No.2 Chelsea Flower Gin
Peppery spice and piney juniper soften by floral rose – perhaps a tad too floral for some but apt for both a flower show and to celebrate a wedding.
Reviewed April 2018
Chase Salt & Vinegar Gin
Released 1st April 2018, this very British of gins is a natural extension for William Chase, the creator of Tyrrells potato crisps and Chase Potato Vodka and GB Gin, especially given that Chase brew Willy’s Apple Cider Vinegar on the same Herefordshire farm which houses their distillery.
Reviewed March 2018
Distilled with five classic London dry botanicals along with basil and fresh Comice pears. The more you sip, the more you are aware of subtle ripe pear flavours, which along with a sweet nuttiness, seem to soften this very attractive gin.
Elephant Limited Edition Aged Gin
Spicy and toasty, this aged gin is much better structured and balanced than many of the other aged gins we’ve encountered.
Burleighs Gin Pink Edition
Burleigh’s Barbie doll/baby pink bottle conceals a classically styled juniper forward dry gin but with interesting and well-judged subtle floral editions.
Burleighs Leicester Dry Gin (LCFC Edition)
This is a big, powerful, dry juniper forward gin, but with its herbal, spice and zesty citrus flavours presented in so harmoniously that it remains a sipping gin.
Burleighs Distiller’s Cut London Dry Gin
Considering its punchy 47% alc./vol., this floral and citrusy gin has surprisingly soft mouthfeel, but that punch helps it stand up well to tonic water.
Burleighs Export Strength London Dry Gin
Piney black pepper spiced juniper dominates this premium strength London dry. Lacks subtly perhaps but works well in a G&T.
Blackwoods Vintage Dry Gin
If this wasn’t the first “vintage gin” it was certainly one of the first. Over the years the gin has much improved and we very much like this 2017 vintage, although it is arguably quite juniper forward classic London dry in style with the handpicked Shetland botanicals reduced to a supporting role – but surly that’s what makes this a properly good gin.
Reviewed February 2018
A stand-out frosted orange bottle and flavours of zesty orange and pleasant marzipan-like almond notes distinguish Quick Gin which is marketed with the strap line, "There is always time".
Campfire London Dry Gin
The couple which produce Campfire London Dry Gin say it "pitches camp on the boundary between classic and contemporary styles," and indeed it does just that with a citrusy and spicy classic London dry mellowed with sweet rooibos notes.
Campfire Gin Cask Aged
As oak aged gin go, Campfire is very well-balanced with oaky flavours assertive but not dominant. Zesty citrus adds freshness and sits well with subtle vanilla notes. As its makers say, this is "worth a try in a Negroni."
Campfire Navy Strength Gin
This is a huge but balanced Navy Gin with both an alcoholic strength and robustness befitting the term.
Chase Great British Extra Dry Gin
As the name suggests, this gin is dry - very dry. It's also spicy - with both warming Christmassy and Indian spice, so much so, that it could have been alternatively named a spicy gin.
The Lakes Gin
Classic London dry in style but with distinguishing zesty lemon, liquorice and salad leaf notes.
The Lakes Gin Single Batch Explorer Edition
Classic London dry in style with zesty citrus and enlivening spice.
Reviewed January 2018
Underground Spirits Premium Australian Botanicals Gin
Traditional London dry in style. Juniper leads the botanical charge with assertive, zingy black pepper spice.
Apothecary Rose Gin
Floral yes, but with distinctive classic juniper-led classic gin notes. The salmon-pink colour, along with the Rose name and imagery may be off-putting to traditional gin lovers, but many would be pleasantly surprised if they tried this well-balanced gin. Apothecary Rose Gin also represents an interesting ingredient to introduce complex floral notes to cocktail recipes.
Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin
Sour Cherry Gin is an apt name for this fruity delicately spicy gin which is much drier, more alcoholic, and far more interesting than a traditional sloe gin. This spirit (rather than liqueur) is as good in a cocktail as it is in a hip-flask and is further proof that Luxardo + cherry = tasty.
Luxardo London Dry Gin
This gin might be Italian but as its name suggests, it is classic London dry in style with attractive floral and citrus notes, enlivened by cinnamon and cardamom spice.
Selkie London Dry Gin
Very full-flavoured and bone dry with distinctive woody rooty notes lifted by zesty citrus and invigorating spice. (Very concentrated in flavour to the extent that the producer could have diluted the distillate with more neutral spirit prior to hydration.)
Larios 12 Gin
Zesty citrus, particularly orange predominates in this Spanish gin with dry piney juniper and distinctive floral potpourri notes.
Reviewed December 2017
Wilderer Fynbos Gin
Classic dry gin flavours with notes of star anise, crème de violet, cough sweets (in a pleasant way) and herbal tones.
Mr Hobbs Henley Gin
Spirituous peppery spice and woody bitterness overly dominate this dry gin.
Ableforth's Bathtub Gin Navy Strength
Mulled wine meets navy strength gin with a spicy spirituous punch. Flavoursome and boisterous rather than refined.
Crafter's London Dry Gin Veronica & Fennel Recipe No.23
An attractive and distinctive Royal blue bottle with a natty wooden screw cap contains a dry, juniper forward classically styled London dry gin that is distinguished by a nutty and earthy note.
Adnam's Rising Sun Rye Malt Gin
Rye bready notes distinguish this dry gin with peppery spice, lemongrass and matcha tea.
Curio Rock Samphire Gin
There's a distinctive saltiness throughout though this dry, juniper forward gin with cut grass, lime zest, peppermint, star anise and spice - black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Reviewed November 2017
Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin
Notes reminiscent of potpourri, hard candy pick 'n' mix and perfume overpower this Spanish gin.
Copper Head Black Batch London Dry Gin
An intensely flavoured, classically styled London with cardamom spice and Ceylon tea.
A classically styled London distilled dry gin but with strong Italian influences - particularly delicate olive and thyme notes.
Portobello Road Gin Director's Cut No.3 Pechuga Gin
Turkey breast notes are far from obvious in what is perhaps more aptly described as a cinnamon gin with notes of Dentine. Apart from raisin and sultana, fruit notes (apples, pear and passionfruit) are also restrained. This suitably festive, spicy gin has generous piney juniper and Jake Burger's wit. It makes a tasty G&T and as it says on the back label, "Feliz Navidad y feliz año nuevo!" (Merry Christmas and happy new year!)
Himbrimi Icelandic Old Tom Gin
Flavouring by cold infusion (the maceration of botanicals in neutral spirit) rather than re-distillation gives this old tom gin a golden aged-like appearance. Bitter notes extracted during infusion somewhat mask attractive floral notes.
Reviewed October 2017
Nikka Coffey Gin
This gin may be Japanese, but it is distinctly new western in style (with subdued juniper) and zesty sherbety citrus to the fore.
Bols Genever 100% Malt Spirit
Bready and spicy with piney juniper. Light but warming clove. Piet van Leijenhorst has produced a superbly-balanced example of a 100% moutwijn genever.
Tosolini GinT Italian Dry Gin
Being based on grape rather than grain neutral spirit seems to add body and faint sweetness to this classically styled yet subtly herbal dry gin. Traditionalists will be reassured by forward piney juniper, while those seeking something more contemporary will delight in its subtle herbal complexity.
Caspyn Cornish Dry Gin
Attractive black tea tannins dry this very dry and aromatic Cornish gin which has subtle floral parma violet notes.
Considering the complex distillation and extraction processes used, along with the care taken over the botanicals selected, at first blush Hepple Gin is remarkably classic London dry and restrained in its tightly complex character. But that's the point, this gin has subtle nuances rather than being brash and shouty. Considering the 45% alc./vol., spirituous attack is also remarkably restrained.
Mayfield Sussex Hop Gin
Don't be put off by the hop notes suggested in the name of what is actually a classically London dry styled gin. The headline Sussex hops are very subtle and beneficial in their influence. Dry pine fresh juniper leads with enlivening cracked black pepper spice.
Reviewed September 2017
Fishers London Dry Gin
A tactile rounded, intricately screen-printed bottle holds an equally rounded, bright fresh juniper-led gin, with enlivening cardamom spice and herbal notes.
A traditional juniper-led London dry style of gin with assertive spice and attractive floral notes.
Wonderfully clean and fresh throughout. A soft mouthfeel with dry piney juniper and delicate sweet berry fruitiness leads to a cleansing peppery spiced finish.
A traditionally styled, wonderfully fresh juniper forward Danish gin with attractive fresh coriander notes.
Marylebone London Dry Gin
Floral lime notes with muscular black pepper spice characterise this London distilled gin. Burnt rubber notes on the nose detract.
Makar Old Tom Gin
A beautifully balanced, very characterful gin which is reassuringly dry in character for an old tom. Juniper forward with pleasing nutty linseed notes. The use of black pepper adds a pronounced spice which slightly detracts from other more delicate botanicals.
Makar Cask Aged Mulberry Wood Limited Edition Gin
Maturation in mulberry wood casks adds a pleasing buttery woodiness to this herbal spicy Scottish gin.
Dockyard Chatham Dry Gin
Most gins express their all-important juniper content as a pine fresh aroma and flavour. Some also have an attractive overripe banana fruitiness. Dockyard is one of those gins.
Newton House London Dry Gin
A traditional London dry style gin with Sharp citrusy notes, pine fresh juniper and cracked black pepper.
Nicholson Original London Dry Gin
Cracked black pepper is more prevalent in this classically London styled gin than I remember from rare vintage samples, but this modern recreation does have Nicholson's attractive liquorice notes. It's great to see a lost brand revived.
Old Bakery Wholesale Small Batch London Dry Gin
A very classically styled London Dry Gin with pronounced citrusy notes.
Reviewed August 2017
Durham Cold Distilled Cucumber Flavoured Vodka
This is not an 'in-your-face' flavoured vodka, it's subtly flavoured. The aroma has a hint of cabbage about it while the palate is succulent cucumber.
Conniption American Dry Gin
A big bold gin, distinctly American-style gin with plenty of spice - black pepper, white pepper spice, green cardamom, lemongrass and piney juniper - yet smoothed and made interesting by cucumber and honeysuckle, which present as an aloe vera-like flavour in this gin.
Reviewed July 2017
Four Pillars Bartender Series Spiced Negroni Gin
This gin was specifically designed to be used in a Negroni and it does indeed make a cracking Negroni.
Reviewed June 2017
Juniper Green Trophy London Dry Gin
This organic, London distilled, classically styled London dry gin has assertive resinous pine needle-like juniper notes with equally powerful spicy notes. The decanter-style bottle has one of those nifty glass and nylon stoppers. We also like the premium 43% strength. But strangely, both the packaging and the gin inside lack the refinement to be truly outstanding.
Haymans English Cordial Gin
Classic London dry flavours and character presented as a well-balanced liqueur. Enjoyable just sipped neat but also a versatile cocktail ingredient.
Partridges Chelsea Flower Gin
Rose and other floral notes on this gin are obvious but subtle - it is a London dry with a delicate floral note rather than being a rose flavoured gin.
Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Australian Gin
The Australian answer to slow gin - this Shiraz grape steeped gin is slightly sweet with rich jammy berry flavours, but these are balanced by pine needle freshness, tannins and enlivening black pepper spice.
Four Pillars Navy Strength Australian Gin
Strong in alcohol strength and character with assertive zesty citrus and spices such as turmeric, this is far from 'London dry' in style - understandably - it's distilled on the other side of the world from London in Australia.
Four Pillars Rare Dry Australian Gin
The nose of this gin is wonderfully fresh with attractive banana aromas. This leads to a classically based dry gin with zippy spice, lavender and zesty citrus.
Colombo No.7 London Dry Gin
This gin may be distilled with exotic ingredients such as curry leaf but it is classically restrained in style - a true London dry - just with subtle hints of a more exotic place than London.
Isle of White HMS Victory Navy Strength Gin
A truly Navy Strength Gin (57% alc./vol.) that's juniper-led and classically dry in style but with an attractive saltiness. Perfectly suited to salty dogs.
Reviewed May 2017
Elephant Gin Elephant Strength
This high-strength bottling certainly packs an Elephant Strength punch - it also has a long herbal bitter finish.
Sweet orange and berry fruit notes characterise this Japanese influenced English gin.
Longtable Texada Vodka
This superbly clean vodka is restrained as flavoured vodkas go with subtle notes of lemon glass. Perhaps best termed "with a hint of" rather than "flavoured". Well-conceived, well-made and very enjoyable.
Poetic License Northern Dry Gin
Heavily cardamom spiced with pine fresh juniper, this pungent gin could be inhaled to clear a blocked nose. Fresh and enlivening in a G&T.
De Borden Holland Gin
An attractive combination of old-style genever maltiness and modern fresh resinous piney gin with star anise, liquorice and cracked black pepper.
Hendrick's Orbium Quininated Gin
This isn't, as I first thought it might be, a gin with enough quinine whereby you only need to add sparkling water to make a G&T - dilution brings out this gin's wormwood perhaps more than it does the quinine. That said, Orbium does make a superbly complex and wonderfully rounded G&T with a long dry wormwood finish.
Reviewed April 2017
This characterful gin punches above its weight and alc./vol. in the flavour stakes as it explodes with piney juniper and zesty citrus freshness along with earthy liquorice and enlivening spice.
Tiger Premium Gin No.1
A classically styled London Dry Gin that's quality is worthy of a very slightly increased alc./vol. and more deluxe packaging.
Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin
Attractive resinous pine, citrus and eucalyptus freshness with enlivening black pepper spice. Faint cashew nuttiness.
Reviewed March 2017
Classic in style, superbly clean and straightforward, but perhaps lacks complexity and subtlety.
Portabello Road Gin Local Heros #02
This is a big gin bursting with bergamot freshness, timut pepper spice and subtler grassy and floral notes. These flavours - particularly bergamot explode in a G&T.
Trevethan Cornish Gin
Good juniper character with enlivening cardamom and black pepper spice, refreshing zesty orange and violet blossom. Invigorating and complex.
Before Gin Gevener
Beautifully balanced piney juniper, spice and leathery oak with rounding maltiness.
Blackdown Sussex Dry Gin
We found the nose off-putting but then were surprised by just how much we liked the taste of this silver birch influenced gin. Although bottled at a mere 37.5% alc./vol. Blackdown is also we'll-priced compared to some other "craft" gins.
The West Winds Gin The Broadside Navy Strength
Powerful in both flavour and alcohol by volume, The Broadside is an appropriate name. However, this bold gin is subtle and complex with faint saltiness, parma violet and nutty liquorice.
The West Winds Gin The Captain's Cut
Despite its very high alcohol content and cracked black pepper forward spicy botanicals, The Captain's Cut is surprisingly subdued with water/tonic. A gin for those who like their G&T served spicy with delicate herbal complexity.
The West Winds Gin The Maidenii Voyage Barrel Expedition Gin
This barrel aged gin is incredibly complex with strawberry, nutty and floral notes.
A most unusual gin from Switzerland with pronounced bitter lavender.
Graveney Organic Gin
There's something honest and innocent about this micro-distilled juniper forward gin with its distinctive black tea, nutty and parma violet notes.
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Sloe Gin
Distinctly drier and spicier than classic sloe gins with pronounced freshly sawn spruce woodiness.
Kyrö Distillery Company Koskue Finnish Aged Rye Gin
Rye spice bursts forth from this pungent pine and eucalyptus forward aged gin.
KWV Cruxland Gin
Kalahari truffle is the headline botanical in this South African gin but this is overwhelmed by cardamom and aniseed spice. Pleasing notes of rooibos help pull this very distinctly South African gin together.