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Gin Fight at the Ok(ole Maluna) Corral

Gin Fight at the OK Corral

What’s the best gin? Wow—what a loaded question. Ask a hundred gin lovers and you’re likely to get a hundred answers. Even more likely is having the question turned back to the questioner. Do you mean the best gin for classic cocktails like a Martini or Aviation, or the best gin to mix with tonic?

I feel like my favorite $30 gin works well in all settings, but I can’t help but think there is a better gin out there for less money. I have never been to a bar where a gin flight was offered, so I decided to arrange a tasting of my own. And that’s how the Gin Fight at the OK Corral was born—a head-to-head battle to decide which gin was the best neat and which was the best in a gin and tonic. Would it be one in the same? Only time and booze would tell.

I have a few gins in the bar, but for this I clearly needed more. And because I’m not yet receiving huge amounts of free gin to review, I was going to have to do it on my own dime. Hence, this fight would be waged 50 milliliters at a time. I sourced the minis from local shops and a few online sources. The only criteria were that the gin had to be available for purchase in the US (had to kick out the Larios Indigo I found) and be available in 50 ml bottles. In the end, I was able to source these fifteen gins:

  • 209, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Beefeater, London, England
  • Bluecoat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Bols Genever, Amsterdam, Holland
  • Bombay Sapphire, Cheshire, England
  • Broker’s, Birmingham, England
  • Farmer’s, Princeton, Minnesota,USA
  • Hendrick’s, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Martin Miller’s, Birmingham, England/Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength, Birmingham, England/Reykjavik, Iceland
  • New Amsterdam, Modesto, California,USA
  • Pinnacle, England
  • Plymouth, Plymouth, England
  • Seagram’s, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, USA
  • Tanqueray, Cameron Bridge, Scotland

Now that I had my gin, the next question was how to evaluate them? I decided that a neat tasting followed by a cocktail tasting would be an illuminating approach. But which cocktail? I asked a few spirits enthusiasts and the general consensus was that tonic would be the most appropriate mixer considering the stylistic differences among the gins at-hand. Of course that led to the question of which tonic. Fortunately, I found a few sources online that had already done the work of blind comparing tonics, and there was some consensus that Canada Dry Tonic Water was the best for this purpose (at least from an American perspective). I found one particularly good tonic roundup at Serious Eats.

So now I had my tonic water, but at what ratio should it be mixed? In short, after looking at numerous sources online and talking with several spirits enthusiasts, I decided to go with a 3:1 ratio of tonic to gin with ice. And while I normally enjoy my G&Ts with a lime wedge, I decided to forego the lime in this case due to the potential flavor variations from lime to lime.

Given that I had just 50 ml of each gin to play with, I would have to be judicious with the pouring. I was also trying to get each drink (with a singular ice cube) into the 3.2 oz tasting glasses I had on-hand, so I ended up with the following formula:

ml

oz

Bottle Size

50

1.69

Gin for Tasting Size

30

1.01

Gin for G&T

20

0.68

Tonic for G&T

60

2.03

Total ml for G&T

80

2.71


The last question was how to score each gin/G&T. I decided to go with a slightly modified version of my normal spirit rating system:

Aroma: 2
Mouth Feel: 2
Taste: 4
Aftertaste: 2
Total Points: 10

With the rating applied to both the neat gin and the G&T, each gin could potentially earn a total of 20 points.

Now that I had my methodology, it was time for the madness. I tasted the gins in alphabetical order over two consecutive evenings, so now I present you with my compressed reviews of each (again in alphabetical order).

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209

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

209

New American

92

San Francisco, California, USA

$35

Lemon, orange, floral, bergamot, coriander,  cardamom, juniper, cassia

US corn

Copper Alembic pot still


Tasting Notes:

209 Gin

Unwelcome astringency on the nose. The aromas are predominantly citrus. Cardamom makes its way forward as well. The mouth feel is spicy and dry. The flavors are still mostly citrus, but now instead of just the lemon, I can taste the orange. This is definitely not a juniper-forward gin. The secondary flavor to the citrus is most certainly cardamom. After that I get the bergamot—like in Earl Grey tea.

Once mixed with tonic, the astringency goes away, but the citrus flavors are still out front. The tonic seems to enhance the cardamom flavors even more now, as the aftertaste lingers with the bitterness of the quinine.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 1/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 2/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 5/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 7/10

Total Points: 12/20

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Beefeater

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Beefeater

LondonDry

94

London,England

$13

Lemon peel, orange peel, orris root, angelica seed, angelica root, liquorice, bitter almonds, coriander seed, juniper

Grain

Copper pot still


Tasting Notes:

Beefeater Gin

The aroma simply *is* gin. Citrus and spice with a pronounced juniper note. Far less astringent than the 209. I can take a deep breath of this gin through my nose with no breathing difficulty. The mouth feel is hot but not entirely unpleasant. The licorice comes into play now as does the coriander.

In with the tonic, everything mellows, and it feels like we’ve come home. The earthy quality of the angelica root brings a vegetal flavor that is welcome. The mild citrus flavors mingle effortlessly with the tonic. I have to stop myself from drinking more, as we’ve still got work to do.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 8/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

Total Points: 17/20

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Bluecoat  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Bluecoat

American Dry

94

Philadelphia,PA,USA

$25

Juniper, orange, lemon, unspecified botanicals

Rye, wheat, barley, and corn

Copper pot still


Tasting Notes:Bluecoat Gin

Mild to no astringency on the nose. I feel like I’m detecting hints of rye along with the juniper. Smooth mouth feel—a very interesting mix. Definitely more spice than citrus. There’s a floral quality as well reminiscent of rose water. Very pleasant—unusual, but in a way that is quite welcome.

In the tonic, it feels bone dry, and that rye note is still present. I’m still getting the floral component as well. Quite enjoyable.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel:2 /2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

Total Points: 18/20

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Bols Genever

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Bols

Genever

84

Amsterdam,Holland

$40

Juniper

Rye, corn, wheat

Copper Alembic pot still


Tasting Notes:Bols Genever

So this is the part where I tell you that you were right for thinking genever had no part in this competition. It may be where gin originated, but it’s a completely different animal from gin, and that’s a fact. Mea culpa. The aroma is like an off batch of some homemade meade. It’s sweet and grassy, and not at all what I was expecting. But we’re here, so why not throw it in with some tonic.

Once in with the tonic, it tastes like a caip-beer-inha gone wrong. Forget tonic water—just get me some water to rinse my mouth out.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 0/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 1/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 3/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 0/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 1/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 3/10

Total Points: 6/10

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Bombay Sapphire  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

BombaySapphire

LondonDry

94

Cheshire,England

$20

Almond, lemon peel, liquorice, juniper berries, orris root, angelica, coriander, cassia, cubeb, grains of paradise

Grain

Carter head still


Tasting Notes:Bombay Sapphire

Another gin that smells like gin. This one has sure lemon notes with juniper on the nose. The mouth feel is rounder than say the Beefeater (perhaps because of the Carter head still) but it still possesses some serious heat on the finish. I can taste the almond now and the licorice, combined with the juniper and coriander.

Mixed with tonic, the nuttiness of the almonds seems to come forward, as does the lemon peel. The coriander is also more pronounced. An undercurrent of juniper remains.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 8/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 8/10

Total Points: 16/20

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Broker’s  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Broker’s

LondonDry

94

Birmingham,England

$19

Juniper berries,Coriander seed, Orris root, Nutmeg, Cassia bark, Cinnamon, Liquorice, Orange peel, Lemon peel, Angelica root

English wheat

Copper pot still


Tasting Notes:Broker's Gin

Aroma is almost devoid of anything in particular flavor save for the citrus. I feel like it’s lemon, but I suppose it’s the coriander combining with the orange, given that Broker’s doesn’t use lemon. In the glass, I noticed the gin trickled down the glass compared to its competitors. That viscosity shows itself as a slick mouth feel. There is major heat at the finish and my mid-palate feels assaulted. I can taste the nutmeg  as well as the cinnamon, but this stuff was certainly made for mixing.

With tonic, the heat is still there. The citrus notes are now more pronounced, and the entire affair is decidedly bitter. This one could really benefit from a lime wedge. The holiday spices just aren’t working for me on this one.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 1/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 2/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 6/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 2/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 7/10

Total Points: 13/20

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Farmer’s  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Farmer’s

Botanical (Organic)

93.4

Princeton,MN

$35

Juniper, Elderflower, Lemon Grass, Coriander, Angelica Root

Organic grain

Copper  pot still


Tasting Notes:Farmer's Organic Gin

The nose is bursting with the lemon grass and elderflower. This one is in a class by itself ingredient-wise. The mouth feel is hot, but smooth. Maybe it’s because I know it’s made from 100% organic ingredients, but it just feels clean and pure. The elderflower actually works quite nicely. I’m fighting the urge to mix up a cocktail with St. Germain as I sip. Very enjoyable. This one seems  like it would be more at home in a cocktail glass, but let’s stick with the script and add some tonic.

The result is surprisingly good. The elderflower flavors play nicely with the tonic. The lemon grass seems to have been given a punch as well. I may have found a new gin.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3.5/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9.5/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

Total Points: 18.5/20

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Hendrick’s  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Hendrick’s

New

88

Ayrshire,Scotland

$29

juniper, orris root, angelica, coriander, lemon and orange peel, caraway seeds, chamomile flowers and meadowsweet, rose, cucumber

Grain

Bennett pot still/Carter head still


Tasting Notes:Hendrick's Gin

With all the hubbub I’ve heard about Hendrick’s, I was expecting it to knock me off my feet with cucumbers and rose petals. On first smell, however, I detected neither.  There’s definitely a significant juniper and lemon aroma; I also detect the caraway. Once sipped, the tables turn, and I have to marvel at the fact that I’m tasting things I got absolutely no indication of in the aroma. The mouthfeel is extremely soft—likely the effect of combining the distillates from both the Bennett and Carter stills. The dominant flavors in the mouth are decidedly floral—I’m getting the rose and chamomile in the front and mid-palate, and the cucumber and caraway are wrapping it all up in a nice little bow.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

Total Points: 18/20

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Martin Miller’s  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Martin Miller’s

LondonDry

80

Birmingham,England

(Proofed in Iceland)

$27

Coriander, liquorice, Florentine iris, cinnamon, cassia, nutmeg, angelica and orris root, orange and lemon peel, Juniper, cucumber distillate

English grain

Copper pot still


Tasting Notes:Martin Miller's London Dry Gin

Definitely oiler than the rest. Legs form on the side of the glass in a way not seen in the others thus far. There’s an astringency here that is slightly more than I expected. The aromas are primarily orange and lemon with a juniper undercurrent. I feel as though I can smell the cucumber, but it may be psychological closure.  On tasting, the cinnamon comes forward and the floral notes are long on the finish. This has recently been my “go-to” gin, but I’ve never really scrutinized it this closely.

Adding it to the tonic, the astringent bite is gone, and the gin fades into the background. The aromas now are of mild lemon zest. The taste is good, but not amazing. Something in the mélange is giving it a sort of ginger ale quality that rather nice, however. The nutmeg is apparent now as well.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 1/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 8/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 1/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 8/10

Total Points: 16/20

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Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Martin Miller’s

Westbourne Strength

LondonDry

90.4

Birmingham,England

(Proofed inIceland)

$34

Coriander, liquorice, Florentine iris, cinnamon, cassia, nutmeg, angelica and orris root, orange and lemon peel, Juniper, cucumber distillate

English grain

Copper pot still


Tasting Notes:Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength Gin

The aroma is like the 80 proof Martin Miller’s, but amped up a notch. There’s even more astringency here, followed by lemon zest and a hint of juniper.  The look is slick in the glass. There is an increased spice and heat as one would expect with a less dilute spirit, and there is also a nice vegetal note that I didn’t pick up on in the 80 proof. Maybe it’s the orris root? I’m surprised, but I actually like this one better.

With tonic, the Westbourne stands out more than its weaker brother, but the nuances in flavors fade away. It’s a nice mix to be sure, but I’m not having an out of body experience.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 1/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3.5/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 8.5/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

Total Points: 17.5/20

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New Amsterdam  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

New Amsterdam

New American

80

Modesto,CA

$12

Botanicals , citrus elements, light touch of juniper

Grain

Unknown

Tasting Notes:New Amsterdam Gin

This gin has a very pleasant aroma of juniper and fruit with a very mild astringency. The taste, however, is not very gin-like. The flavor is extremely heavy on the citrus – lemon and orange mostly. There seems to be hints of grapefruit as well. There’s juniper here, too, but this stuff is clearly all about the citrus.  Not much burn or nuance.

Add some tonic and the gin completely fades away. There are some floral notes accented now, but other than that, it’s a wash. I can see a non-gin drinker enjoying this—perhaps that’s who they were targeting.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 2/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 6/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 1/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 6/10

Total Points: 12/20

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Pinnacle  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Pinnacle

LondonDry

80

England

$15

“Exotic botanicals”

Grain

?

Tasting Notes:Pinnacle Gin

At first blush, it’s apparent that Pinnacle is anything but the tops. The aroma is like pure rubbing alcohol. I literally can’t smell anything else except for what I can only describe as dust. The mouth feel is oily, and there is significant heat. I can taste some juniper and a hint of citrus, but that’s about it. Very underwhelming. Nurse: 60 cc’s of tonic, STAT!

Once mixed, I can still taste that dusty quality. It’s in the aroma as well (yes, the glass was clean). If not for that dustiness, it would make a decent G&T. It’s just kind of there. Nothing stands out save for the mild juniper.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: .5/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 1.5/4
Aftertaste: 1/2
Points: 3/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 1/2
Mouth Feel: 1/2
Taste: 2/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 6/10

Total Points: 9/20

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Plymouth

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Plymouth

English Gin

82.4

England

$27

Juniper berries, coriander seeds, lemon peel, orange peel, angelica root, cardamom pods, orris root

Grain

Copper pot still


Tasting Notes:Plymouth Gin

Medium astringency on the nose, but round at the same time. Juniper and lemon with a hint of cardamom and coriander. Significant heat on entry. The lemon now turns to orange, and the juniper jumps to life. The cardamom plays nicely with the lemon peel.

Mixed with the tonic, the heat dissipates, but the gin is not lost. The coriander and cardamom mix nicely with the melon and right now I’m thinking this is a great gin for G&T.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 1/2
Mouth Feel: 1.5/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 7.5/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

Total Points: 16.5/20

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Seagram’s Extra Dry  

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Seagram’s

Extra Dry

80

USA

$11

Juniper, cardamom, cassia bark, orange peel, coriander, angelica root

Grain

Low-temp vacuum distillation


Tasting Notes:Seagrams Extra Dry Gin

Here’s another gin that smells like gin. Juniper aroma with citrus and a low astringency.  On palate entry, there is medium heat and a nice vegetal quality. You can tell that the three months this gin spent in a charred American oak barrel has mellowed it somewhat. The finish is long  with citrus and coriander.  I’m gratified with its quality, as this is what I was hoping to find through this exercise– an old school gin that’s cheap and tasty. Let’s add some tonic.

With tonic, I can still smell this gin through the bubbles. The lemon is enhanced, and I am starting to see why they sell almost three million cases/year of this stuff.  Snoop Dogg was right–on a value basis, this stuff is in fact, the shiznit.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

Total Points: 18/20

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Tanqueray

Name

Type

Proof

Distillery Location

Price/750ml

Known Ingredients

Base Spirit

Distillation Method

Tanqueray

LondonDry

94.6

CameronBridge,Scotland

$18

Juniper, coriander, angelica, licorice

Grain

Copper pot still


Tasting Notes:Tanqueray Gin

Last but not least, Tanqueray.  The aroma is mildly astringent, and the simplicity of the infusion is appealing.  The mouth feel is slightly slick and moderately spicy.  Juniper is the star of the show here, and I find myself surprised to not miss the citrus peels. The vegetal quality I taste must be coming from the angelica. There’s not much to dislike here save for the lack of citrus.

With tonic there is no need for additional citrus, and the blend is quite nice. The quinine mixes effortlessly with the juniper and all is well. It’s clear that Charles Tanqueray enjoyed a nice G&T.

Neat Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 2.5/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 8.5/10

G&T Ratings:

Aroma: 2/2
Mouth Feel: 2/2
Taste: 3/4
Aftertaste: 2/2
Points: 9/10

Total Points: 17.5/20

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Summary

There you have it, folks. My take on fifteen gins. Gin is weird in that the brands our grandparents drank are still considered among the best. So whereas I prefer Bulleit Bourbon over Jack Daniels, and Mt. Gay over Bacardi, it’s neat to find that Beefeater and Seagram’s can still hold their own against the more expensive dry gins. Here’s a wrap-up in tabular form:

Best Gin in a Neat Presentation

Rank
Name
Neat Score
1
Farmer’s
9.5
2
Seagram’s
9
2
Hendrick’s
9
2
Bluecoat
9
3
Tanqueray
8.5
3
Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength
8.5
4
Martin Miller’s
8
4
Bombay Sapphire
8
4
Beefeater
8
5
Plymouth
7.5
6
New Amsterdam
6
6
Broker’s
6
6
209
6
7
Pinnacle
3
7
Bols Genever
3

Best Gin in a Gin and Tonic

Rank
Name
G&T Score
1
Tanqueray
9
1
Seagram’s
9
1
Plymouth
9
1
Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength
9
1
Hendrick’s
9
1
Farmer’s
9
1
Bluecoat
9
1
Beefeater
9
2
Martin Miller’s
8
2
Bombay Sapphire
8
3
Broker’s
7
3
209
7
4
Pinnacle
6
4
New Amsterdam
6
5
Bols Genever
3

Best Gin Overall

Rank
Name
Total
1
Farmer’s
18.5
2
Seagram’s
18
2
Hendrick’s
18
2
Bluecoat
18
3
Tanqueray
17.5
3
Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength
17.5
4
Beefeater
17
5
Plymouth
16.5
6
Martin Miller’s
16
6
Bombay Sapphire
16
7
Broker’s
13
7
209
13
8
New Amsterdam
12
9
Pinnacle
9
10
Bols Genever
6

Price Observations

Category
$/750 ml
$/oz
Brand
Highest
40.00
1.58
Bols Genever
Median
25.00
0.99
Bluecoat
Lowest
11.00
0.43
Seagrams Extra Dry
Average
23.67
0.93
N/A
8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2011 5:01 am

    I may have only tasted three of these gins (predictably, Plymouth, Beefeater and Tanqueray) but out of the three I strongly prefer Plymouth. It should be said that I am a hound for the G&T and I never drink gin neat.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      December 14, 2011 6:24 am

      They’re all great in a G&T for sure. Tonic really is a fantastic gin mixer. I think the 8-way tie for 1st place in a G&T bears this out–it’s a great equalizer, even more so with a lime wedge. Cheers

  2. December 16, 2011 8:04 am

    Enjoyed the post. I’m not sure I think that Genever should have been included. I think its a nice drink neat, or on the rocks- sipped a la Manhattan cocktails w/ Vermouth and Bitters – but definitely does not work with tonic.

    Miller’s Westbourne strength is my personal favorite gin of all time. I’ve tried all but #209 and Farmer’s. Very interesting that you rated it so high, I’m going to be sure to try it myself soon.

  3. October 1, 2012 10:04 am

    Great, love it. One of the problems with comparing spirits is that some, like rum or single malts may have very different styles. Regarding gin – which Paul Pacult calls his favorite and “ultimate white spirit”, there are at least five basic styles…

    1. London Dry – classic juniper
    2. Plymouth – unique to itself, can only be made in Plymouth, England
    3. Holland – slightly malty, even whisky tones
    4. Old Tom – lightly sweetened
    5. New Western – still juniper, but not forward, as other herbals are emphasized.

    Each of these represents a distinctly different style and taste profile. To really compare two gins they must be of the same style, or else what is being represented is no more than a personal preference for a given style.

    For example if Beefeater’s (the definitive classic London Dry style) is found superior to say Plymouth Gin or Amsterdam, all that really tells you is that the taster likes London Dry gins better than Holland or Plymouth styles. To be meaningful, Beefeaters would better be compared to another London Dry, like Tanqueray.

    Josh, these comparisons are truly what tasting is all about – by researching and subdividing into styles, your findings might be even more valuable and revealing.

  4. Tanuki permalink
    October 11, 2012 9:36 pm

    I’d be interested to see your take on Anchor Distilling’s Junipero Gin. Pure awesome in a g&t IMO, much juniper happiness.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      October 12, 2012 6:02 pm

      Definitely good stuff. Need a bottle for the home bar. They also distribute a ton of other products in the US including Luxardo.

  5. Finleyville permalink
    January 29, 2015 5:12 am

    Good comments Capn Jimbo. Josh, keep up the fantastic work you do here. If you want to try an outstanding New Western style gin then look no further than Uncle Val’s Botanical gin. Every Hendrick’s fan I give it to converts them for life.

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