The year is fairly thundering on, so before I have to get all festive and start using the “C” word, I thought this would be the perfect time to do a quick round up of my Top Gins of 2018.

It’s been tough… sampling, evaluating and picking out my favourites from the many, many gins we have available. A dirty job, but someone’s got to do it eh? And to think I wanted to be a computer programmer…

In no particular order, my top gin choices for 2018:

 

Brockmans Gin 40%ABV

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Distilled in a traditional copper pot still, Brockmans has a berry fruit sweetness to it that perfectly fills the gap between traditional dry gin and gin liqueurs. The distillers set out to make a gin so smooth that you could sip it neat or over ice, and that’s exactly what they have achieved.

Brockmans comes in an attractive, quilted black glass bottle. Not as feminine in aesthetic as many of our gins, making it ideal for gifting to anyone.

 

Botanicals: Juniper, blackberries, blueberries, angelica root, orris root, coriander, cassia, lemon peel, orange zest, almonds and liquorice.

On the nose: Floral with berry sweetness coming through on the nose, backed up with citrus notes of lemon and orange and hints of coriander and liquorice.

On the palate: Probably not one for the purists out there, there is plenty of fruit in this gin, the sweeter blackberry and blueberry flavours to the fore, balanced by zesty citrus and earthier notes of liquorice, angelica and coriander.

On the finish: All that (albeit subtle) fruit sweetness gives way to a surpisingly dry and refreshing finish. Making Brockmans a very drinkable and moreish gin.

Perfect Serve: Serve over ice with premium tonic water, a twist of pink grapefruit peel and a couple of fresh blueberries.

 

Gin Mare 42.7%ABV

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Rosemary and Thyme might call to mind images of a Sunday roast rather than a G&T, but the blend of Mediterranean botanicals in Gin Mare really do set it apart from the crowd. The flavours really do transport you to sunnier climes, you can almost feel the Spanish sun on your skin. It really is a breath of fresh air to find a gin that makes a departure from straight citrus and embraces more savoury botanicals. I suspect a gin mare and tonic would pair well with food, maybe a tasty pasta dish or pizza.

 

Botanicals: Olives, thyme, rosemary, basil, juniper, lemon and orange.

On the nose: Clean and fresh with mild hints of rosemary, juniper and vegetal notes

On the palate: If you prefer an olive to an onion in your Martini, then this might be your new favourite gin! The flavour profile is rich, smooth and savoury. Very herbaceous with plenty of rosemary, juniper and orange peel.

On the finish: Savoury and warming with lingering herby Thyme flavours.

Pefect Serve: Serve over ice with premium tonic, a twist of orange zest and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

 

Silent Pool 43%ABV

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This gin was absolutely MADE for gifting. The stunning aquamarine bottle is delicately decorated with a sprawling copper floral design making it as visually appealing as it tastes. Made with botanicals sourced locally in Surrey, this silent pool really does reflect its surroundings. Apparently the lake Silent pool takes its name (and water) from is haunted… by the ghost of a drowned woman… how cheerful…

 

Botanicals: Angelica, bergamot, orange, cardamom, cassia, corioander, cubeb, grain of paradise, honey, juniper, liquorice, orris, chamomile, kaffir lime, linden flowers, rose petals, lavender and pear.

On the nose: Clean and fresh with subtle floral notes of lavander, linden and rose and a sweet honeyed fragrance.

On the palate: Warming spices and savoury notes really shine through. The botanicals are well balanced with a floral sweetness giving way to orange and lime citrus, vegetal flavours, pepper and soft juniper.

On the finish: Well rounded with good balance between its many botanicals. Leaves a lingering spicy warmth.

Perfect Serve: Serve over ice with premium tonic and a large strip of snapped orange zest.

 

Bloom London Dry 40%ABV

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Another extremely pretty floral bottle, although definitely more understated than the Silent Pool design.

Named “Bloom” and bottled very appropriately for a gin which focuses on botanicals of a more floral nature. This gin was created by one of the world’s first female master distillers, who drew inspiration for the gin from her favourite daily routines. Relaxing with a soothing camomile tea, or spending the day in an English country garden. It’s all very civilised

 

Botanicals: Honeysuckle, chamomile, pomelo, angelica, coriander, cubeb and juniper.

On the nose: Clean, with refreshing citrus and floral notes of calming chamomile and sweet honeysuckle.

On the palate: Warming and slightly sweet honeysuckle alongside juicy citrus fruit flavours from the pomelo. Hints of elderflower, subtly vegetal notes and light orange and lemon zestiness.

On the finish: Lightly sweet and refreshing with a lingering peppery warmth to the finish.

Perfect serve: Serve over ice with a good quality tonic water and sliced strawberries to compliment the soft floral flavours.

 

Brooklyn Gin 40%ABV

 

This great all round gin actually does hail all the way from New York. Controversial for those purists who see gin as a British institution, but Brooklyn really holds it’s own as a fantastic craft gin. The bottle is squared aquamarine glass with a traditional cork stopper, plenty of heft to this bottle, you wouldn’t want to drop it on your toes. The design is finished with a bronze metal seal, making it a touch masculine, this would be perfect for gifting to any gin-loving blokes in the family.

The gin was designed as a showcase of citrus and as such, the distillers decided to use fresh citrus zest in place of the dried peel most commonly used in botanicals. They also opted for “hand cracked” juniper berries, so you can see the labour of love that has gone into this small batch gin.

 

Botanicals: Angelica, coriander, juniper, orris root, orange, lime, lemon, key lime, lavender and kumquat.

On the nose: Plenty of juniper with heaps of fresh citrus, lots of lime zest and sweet orange balanced by aniseed, liquorice and earthy vegetal notes.

On the palate: Citrus forward. Vibrant orange, lemon and lime citrus flavours rounded out by floral hints of lavender and savoury juniper.

On the finish: Smooth and easy drinking. You’ll be left with a warming hit of coriander and a refreshing juniper dryness.

Perfect serve: Serve over ice with good quality tonic, adding orange or a sprig of thyme as your garnish.

 

Have you come across any show stopping gins this year? You can share reviews of your favourite gins of 2018 in the comments section below.

Cheers!