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Ten standout award-winning gins

High-quality gin is being made across the world, from India and Australia to France and Scotland. We’ve made a list of some of the best-scoring juniper spirits from our latest tasting.

award-winning gin
Gins from Australia, India and the UK took home top medals last month

Last year, global gin volume grew by 8%, and is predicted to increase by 3% over the next five years, data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis showed.

With a category this big, The Spirits Business rounded up 10 panels of judges in June to decide which products were worthy of Master, Gold and Silver medals.

The Gin Masters 2023 competition is the first of two blind tastings dedicated to the category, with the first instalment held at private members club Home House in London.

The first panel comprised Melita Kiely, editor of The Spirits Business and chair of The Global Spirits Masters Competitions (GSMC), Will Keogh, founder and CEO of Woolf Drinks, and Clinton Cawood, freelance spirits writer.

The second panel, chaired by Nicola Carruthers, deputy editor of The Spirits Business, included Herchelle Perez Terrado, director of Drinks Partnership; Laurence Baker, general manager, The Nest at Treehouse hotel; and Nick Larsson‐Bell, senior buyer, Harvey Nichols.

Sarah Miller, founder of the Gin A Ding Ding blog, chaired another group, which included: Ian Wisniewski, freelance writer, and Emma Stokes, ‘chief monkey’ at Gin Monkey.

Another panel was chaired by Bryan Rodriguez‐Curtis, wine and spirits buyer at Harvey Nichols, who was joined by: Ruchira Neotia, partner at Collectivino; Alan Uresti, head of mixology at Annabel’s; and Dan Greifer, bar manager at The Proofing Room at Milroy’s of Spitalfields.

David T Smith, spirits consultant, writer and co‐founder of the Craft Distilling Expo, chaired another group. Forming his panel were: Anne Jones, drinks expert at Waitrose; and Keegan Menezes, drinks consultant.

Other judges on the day included Whisky Squad co‐host Elise Craft, who chaired a panel that included: Stephen Kennard, consultant at SMJK Consulting; and Allison Strydom, founder of GinSquares.

Antony Moss MW led a panel that included: Angelo Sparvoli, head bartender, St James Bar; and Graham McAteer, spirit partnerships lead at Craft Gin Club.

Another panel was formed of: chair Karen Taylor, co‐founder of the Whisky For Everyone blog; Ben Thapa of Ginscentive/Highginx; and Claire Filer of The Filer Files.

A further group was formed of: Marie Cheong‐Thong of The Larder at 36; Masha Twemlow, associate at International Drinks Specialists; and Tobias Gorn, co‐founder and senior partner of International Drinks Specialists, who chaired the panel.

Dimple Athavia, founder of All Things Drinks, chaired a group that included: Joyce Chou, translation project manager at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET); and Sara Jane Eichler, founder of the Negroni Club UK.

Read on to discover 10 brands that took home Master medals in the first part of our 2023 Gin Masters competition.

Edinburgh Gin Elderflower Liqueur

The Gin Liqueurs flight saw Ian Macleod Distillers secure two Masters for its Edinburgh Gin brand.

One judge particularly enjoyed Edinburgh Gin Elderflower Liqueur: “Good light elderflower nose, light freshness on the nose. The palate has a wonderful sweetness but also very fresh and vibrant citrus note that balances the alcohol perfectly. The elderflower is fresh and lovely and I can see this being enjoyed with Prosecco.”

The 20% ABV range of Edinburgh Gin liqueurs include Raspberry, Elderflower, Plum & Vanilla, and Rhubarb & Ginger.

Plymouth Sloe Gin


A tasting of sloe gin saw one brand come out on top: Plymouth Sloe Gin.

One judge said of the Master-winning expression: “Cherry and almond notes on the nose, tart, juicy and plummy on the palate with a welcome sour greenness on the finish.”

Plymouth Gin is produced by Pernod Ricard at its distillery in Devon, England. The site was recently named one of the top 10 favourite gin distillery experiences in the UK.

Mirabeau Dry Gin


Sailing to the top of the Pink Gin flight was Master‐winning Mirabeau Dry Gin. One member of the panel said: “Delicate perfumed nose, lovely and floral with some peppery juniper and a lovely fruity spiced finish, just glorious.”

Provence wine brand Mirabeau entered the spirits sector with the launch of the gin in January 2020. Botanicals used in production are: juniper, citrus, orris root, angelica root, coriander seed, rose petals, lavender, jasmine, bay, thyme and rosemary.

Hernö Navy Strength Gin

The Swedish distiller took home an impressive eight Master medals in the competition, including one for its navy strength bottling.

In the Microdistillery flight, Master-winning Hernö Navy Strength Gin was noted as “very smooth at 57% ABV with a good structure” and a “slightly herbal nose”.

It also impressed judges when it came to a tasting of navy strength expressions with its “lovely balance of citrus and herbal, sugary hit up front and bittersweet finish”, securing the product another Master medal.

Mermaid Gin

Mermaid Gin

Master medallist Mermaid Gin was described as “soft and herbal” with “lovely citrus notes” by the judges, who added that it would make a “great Martini”.

Mermaid Gin is a London Dry expression, hand-crafted using 10 botanicals. It delivers flavours of fresh lemon zest and peppery grains, with a hint of rock samphire foraged from the Isle of Wight shoreline. It is made at the Isle of Wight Distillery in the UK, the ‘first and only’ distillery on the English island.

Lind & Lime Gin


The Ultra Premium round (£36-plus) saw Scottish brand Lind & Lime Gin storm to success as one of six Master medallists.

One judge noted: “Green kaffir lime leaves and citrus oil on the nose intertwined with some pine and juniper. The palate is focused, and it replicates the nose with a touch of richness giving it extra depth. Very cleverly composed.”

Lind & Lime is produced at its namesake green-powered distillery in Leith, Edinburgh. The brand was certified organic by the Scottish Organic Producers Association for having minimal impact on the environment.

58 and Co London Dry

Master-winning 58 and Co London Dry was lauded for its “nice floral note, herby, lemon, light spiciness, and very good complexity but easy to drink.”

The B Corp-certified brand is produced at the 58 and Co distillery in east London, which is run on 100% solar and renewable energy. The range was given a redesign last year, created with bartenders in mind to enable efficient speed rail use.

Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin

Australian brand Four Pillars won four Masters in the competition, including two in the Contemporary flight.

One of these was bestowed upon Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin, described by one judge as having a “velvet‐like texture, with olive-oil-like notes”, making it perfect for a Dirty Martini.

Bottled at 43.8% ABV, the gin is made with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and olive leaf from three olive varieties, which have been combined with seven Australian botanicals.

The London Nº1 Sherry Cask Gin

In the Cask Aged flight, González Byass’ London Nº1 Sherry Cask scored highly with the judges for being “light, fresh and fruity with a good balance of complexity”.

Following triple distillation in London, the Master winner is transferred to Jerez in Spain where it was aged for three months in former Tío Pepe fino Sherry casks.

Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin

Indian brand Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin was one of eight Master medallists in the Contemporary flight.

One judge noted about the entrant: “Curry leaf and spice, intriguing, smooth and yet with plenty of classic gin character, well‐integrated alcohol. Bright and fresh.”

Hapusa Gin contains botanicals including foraged Himalayan juniper, fresh turmeric, gondhoraj peel and raw mango.

The brand is produced by Nao Spirits, which sold a minority stake to Diageo in March 2022.

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