The top 10 best value-for-money gin brandsBy Nicola Carruthers
From super-premium serves to cask-aged expressions, there is a wide variety of gins to suit every budget. We round up the best value-for-money brands on the market.
The Spirits Business held its annual Gin Masters last month, where an experienced panel of judges recognised the best bottlings in the business.
Looking across multiple categories, from cask-aged to Old Tom, genever to sloe, a wide range of gins were awarded the top accolades of Master medals for their quality.
The individual scores of each entrant have not been revealed, however these are 10 of the highest rated medalists in the competition, in no particular order.
While some expressions are not standard priced, our judges have given each gin listed here the seal of approval for offering excellent quality within their respective price categories.
Click through to the following pages to view the top 10 best value for money gins of 2018.
Ki No Bi
Described as having an “unexpected yet gorgeous saltiness”, Ki No Bi from Japan’s Kyoto Distillery was bestowed with a Master medal. One judge praised it for having “beautifully balanced” notes of “salted lemon and juniper”.
Ki No Bi gin, which was first revealed in August 2016, is said to have “a recognisable dry style with a distinct Japanese accent”. The offering is “inspired by tradition” and distilled, blended and bottled in Kyoto.
Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin – Sloe Gin
In the Sloe Gin round, a Master medal was given to Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin – Sloe Gin, which was said to have a “tannin and fruit balance, which added another layer to the drink”.
Produced by Kent-based Atom Brands, the Ableforth’s range includes gin, rum, absinthe and liqueurs.
Makar Original Dry Gin
Makar Original Dry Gin received a Master medal after impressing judges with its “elegant and complex” flavours and “silky” texture.
Named after the Gaelic word for poet or bard, the 43% abv dry gin is juniper-led and contain rosemary and black peppercorns among its botanicals. It is produced by the Glasgow Distillery Company, the Scottish city’s first gin and malt whisky distillery in 100 years.
Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin
The result of a conversation between the head distiller at Four Pillars and a prolific bar manager in Sydney, Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin was created specifically for use in a Negroni cocktail – to ”cut through” the Campari and vermouth. The gin secured a Master in the Contemporary flight, commended for its “burst of flavour”.
Kyrö Koskue Rye Gin
Kyrö Koskue Rye Gin grabbed a Master medal after impressing with its “beautiful mouthfeel”. One judge said: “It had the most incredible finish, like you’ve had the most delicious lemon and juniper sponge cake – I wanted more immediately.”
Koskue is aged in small American oak barrels for approximately three months with freshly distilled orange peel and black pepper.
Filliers Barrel Aged Genever 21 Years Old
Filliers Barrel Aged Genever 21 Years Old was given a Master medal in the Genever round for its “wonderful dry texture”, with a “slight pine freshness” and rich notes of “Demerara sugar” and a “really long-lasting flavour.”
Distilled in Belgium, this genever has been matured for 21 years in ex-Bourbon casks and bottled at 40% abv.
Swedish Rose Gin – Hernö (That Boutique-y Gin Company)
In the London Dry flight, Swedish Rose Gin – Hernö by That Boutiquey Gin Company snared the Master accolade for its “big personality” and “intense aroma”.
The expression has been bottled by independent gin bottler That Boutique-y Gin Company, which launched in February last year.
Herbie Gin Export
A Master medal was prized to Herbie Gin Export in the Super Premium round, praised for its “eucalyptus and pine” notes.
The Danish gin brand is made with botanicals including fennel seeds, liquorice root, Danish apples, chamomile, and citrus shell.
Thomas Dakin GinPrice: £29.00
In the London Dry round, a master was bestowed upon the “easy sipping” Thomas Dakin Gin. “This had an impeccable flavour – lots of spices and so fragrant,” a member of the judging panel said.
Thomas Dakin Gin is a “juniper-led” gin featuring 11 botanicals and part of UK-based Quintessential Brands Group.
The core Hernö Gin expression, described as “easy to drink with a pleasant finish”, grabbed a Master medal in the London Dry round.
Hailing from Swedish distillery Hernö, the gin is said to have a “round juniper character, fresh citrus notes and a floral complexity”.