So tonight, my old man and myself have decided to do a gin tasting. We have collected a number of bottles of, hopefully, various styles to give us a interesting range of gins to try. We have ended up with 7 different gins from 6 different distilleries to try, plus a sloe gin.
Hayman’s London Dry Gin 40% (£18)
Nose: Floral, slight cucumber, sweet, creamy
Palate: Creamy, powerful, floral
Finish: Short, warm
Hayman’s Old Tom 40% (£21)
Nose: Dry, heavy botanicals, reasonably subtle
Palate: Sweet, smooth, citrus, lime
Finish: Short, smooth
Williams Chase Gin 48% (£32)
Nose: Mandarin, clotted cream, sugary sweetness
Palate: Crisp, slight sweetness, well balanced, creamy smoothness
Finish: Medium, smooth, warm
Cadenhead’s Old Raj 55% (£25)
Nose: Initial light, fresh, juniper, saffron
Palate: Powerful, juniper, mouth-coating, saffron
Finish: Long, warm, dry
Fifty Pounds 43.5% (£32)
Nose: Dry, juniper, fresh
Palate: Dry, creamy, slight juniper
Finish: Medium, warm, dry
Whitley Neill 42% (£24)
Nose: Strong, crisp, juniper, floral
Palate: Powerful, fresh, juniper,
Finish: Medium, warm, sweet, dry
Warner Edwards Harrington Dry 44% (£32)
Nose: Complex, lavender, heavy floral
Palate: Viscous, sweet, lighter floral
Finish: Medium, little warmth
Hayman’s Sloe Gin 26% (£19)
Nose: Sloe, sweet, crisp
Palate: Sloes, fruity, sweet, viscous
Finish: Long, sloes, slight dryness to the end
This is the first gin tasting I have actually done, I have tried a number of them but never as a side by side tasting session, so it was interesting to do and a few things that came out of it for me. For one it was great to see just how different the gins can be, wildly different you could say. It was not that many years ago that I would not touch gin because I thought them bland and all the same, how my eyes have been opened.
The Hayman’s London and Old Tom were interesting, they had the nose the wrong way around. The London had a lovely floral nose that better matched the palate of the Old Tom we thought, both very pleasant though, especially for the money. The Old Raj was a favourite of ours before the tasting and remains so after it, does everything a gin is supposed to do in our eyes. Onto the Fifty Pounds gin and you get a dry yet refreshing gin that we both really enjoyed, however when moving onto the Whitley Neill, although quite different, we felt that we would much prefer to save a few quid and have a bottle of that. Super complex yet refreshing all the way, and much like the Old Raj, does everything we expect from a gin. This left the Warner Edwards as the final gin. We were split on this one, my father was not particularly struck on it but I found it quite nice, not as good as some of the others but very complex and unique which I liked.
You may have noticed that I skipped the Williams Chase gin, well there is a reason for that. Despite it being a lovely drink, amazing aroma and beautiful palate, it’s not gin in our eyes. On a blind tasting neither of us would put gin down as our first guess. Gin should have a predominant flavour of juniper, and the Williams Chase just doesn’t. Like I said though, a fabulous drink.
The final drink of the night was a Hayman’s Sloe Gin, which neither of us were particularly taken on, but we kind of expected that as we don’t like sweet drinks much, and sloe gin is always a bit sweet.