Gin has been around for centuries, but many people are still unsure of what does Gin taste like. While gin does have a signature flavor and can be described as juniper-forward, there is much more to discover about this popular spirit. From botanicals that add sweetness or an herbal note to other techniques used in the distilling process, tasting through different types of gins can open up an entirely new world of flavors. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through all of the components that go into creating gin’s distinct taste and provide tips on how to fully appreciate each sip.
Overview Of Gin
Gin is an alcoholic beverage known for its predominant flavor of juniper. It is typically produced through distillation in copper stills, which have been traditionally used for spirit production. Along with juniper, various botanicals, including coriander, cardamom, orange peel, and angelica root, can be used to enhance its taste and create additional flavors.
What Is Gin Made Out Of?
Gin is an alcoholic beverage produced by distilling a base of grain (such as wheat or barley), followed by the addition of botanicals and water until desired flavors are achieved. For a spirit to be classified as gin, it must have a prominent Juniper berry flavor.
Different Types Of Gin
Traditional gin is made in a pot still using neutral spirit. The botanicals are then added to the base spirit and redistilled to create the unique flavors of gin. This type of gin has a strong juniper flavor and is often referred to as London Dry Gin.
Distilled gin starts with a neutral base spirit, but the botanicals are added during the distillation process rather than being redistilled. This results in a smoother and more subtle flavor compared to traditional gin.
New American Gins
New American gins are made with a different approach, using non-traditional botanicals such as lavender, cucumber, or grapefruit. These gins offer a refreshing twist on the classic gin taste, with a range of unique and unexpected flavor profiles.
Genever is the predecessor to modern-day gin and is still produced in some Dutch distilleries. It has a flavor profile that falls somewhere between whiskey and traditional gin, with a malty undertone and a milder juniper taste.
What Does Gin Taste Like?
Gin is characterized by a fresh and piney flavor with notes of citrus and spice. Common botanicals used in gin production include juniper berries, coriander seeds, citrus peel, and anise. While there are no strict guidelines regarding the ingredients, most gin producers follow a similar recipe to maintain the distinct taste.
What Does London Dry Gin Taste Like?
London Dry Gin is legally required to have a predominant flavor of juniper berries. It evokes thoughts of Christmas trees with its tart and sharp taste, resinous flavor, and subtle citrus notes, accompanied by myrcene, also found in cannabis, hops, and wild thyme.
What Does Barrel Aged Gin Taste Like?
Barrel-aged gin exhibits the rich flavors and characteristics bestowed upon it by the barrels in which it is aged. This meticulous process imparts distinct notes of spice, nuttiness, and vanilla, resulting in a heightened depth of flavor.
What Does Old Tom Gin Taste Like?
Old Tom Gin is characterized by a prominent citrus note that is mellow and smooth, with a seductive blend of sweetness. The citrus and sweetness take center stage in the flavor profile, supported by juniper, angelica, and spice. Notably, there is just the right amount of heat from cinnamon and cassia to be detected.
What Does Contemporary (Aka New Western) Gin Taste Like?
Contemporary gins, also known as New Western Gins, showcase the brilliance of supporting botanicals, often surpassing the classic juniper in prominence. These gins typically boast fruity or floral flavors, with cucumber being a popular choice. This style grants greater artistic freedom, resulting in intriguing and distinctive products.
What Does Irish Gin Taste Like?
Irish gin boasts a unique flavor profile with distinct elements such as juniper, coriander, anise, and grapefruit. As the flavor develops, you can discern these components. The finish reveals subtle hints of tea and lemon. Unlike some gins that can be one-note with juniper overpowering other flavors, Irish gin offers a nuanced taste experience.
Tips For Enjoying Gin Perfectly
- Opt for high-quality gin when drinking it neat to fully appreciate its flavors.
- Avoid average gins as they may taste similar to basic vodka without the addition of tonic or other ingredients.
- Explore the rich and unique flavors of better quality gin, which stand out even without any additional elements.
Ronald B Gamrot is the owner of Silverking Brewery, one of the most successful craft breweries in North America. He started the business from scratch in his garage, and it has since grown into a multimillion-dollar operation. Ronald is passionate about brewing delicious beer and providing top-notch customer service. He is a respected member of the brewing community and often speaks at industry events.