Earlier this year we listed our ten favourite new gins for the Independent (you can read the piece here) and, since its publication, we’ve been regularly contacted by distilleries eager to shower us with booze for any potential updates. Every week it would seem another new gin or three is being released, often using interesting or unusual ingredients, and they’re mostly of an excellent quality. Being generous gin guzzlers we suggested we could publish an update on our own site. We would include the five best samples since that initial piece. And we would call it ‘The five best new gins’.
“Count us in” cried the distilleries – so, without further wasted words of introduction, here they are…*
Marylebone Gin, 50.2%
£49.49 per 700ml bottle
This is a proper London Dry Gin, made in London and distilled to a boozy 50.2% ABV. It has gently floral aromatics and a big depth of flavour, but we like it best because you can really taste the juniper – fruity and bitter, crying out for a splash of tonic and a slice of lime. In fact it made such a good juniper accented G&T we used it as one of our g(u)inea pigs** for another Independent feature to find out the best drinks mixers*** (you can read that one here).
Nicholson London Dry Gin, 40.3%
£34.95 per 700ml bottle
With this spirit we’re taking you back to gin’s heyday and a booze originally made in 1736. It meets the ‘new’ criteria because it has only just been revived, using the Nicholson family’s recipe. It’s another London Dry Gin with prominent juniper flavours accompanied by some nice spice of coriander along with a bit of nutmeg and some fresh citrus notes. A top notch traditional gin.
Slingsby Navy Strength Gin, 57%
£52.99 per 700ml bottle
If you thought Marylebone gin was strong, brace yourself for this nautical number distilled in Harrogate from the town’s famous spring water. Botanicals used include primrose, milk thistle and, perhaps inevitably for a Yorkshire product, rhubarb. Have a sip and you’ll be met with a joyous rush of booze but will also notice it’s surprisingly smooth. It’s quite a citrussy drink up front – and you should also be able to detect a few hints of that rhubarb – and it finishes in a well rounded swirl of mellow juniper flavours.
Earl Grey Forest Gin, 39.5%
£67.50 per 700ml bottle
We’re heading over to the Peak District for this special gin which comes in one of the most stunning ceramic bottles we’ve seen. Ingredients from the local forest go into the distillation and include pine, bilberry, gorse and moss. The gin then receives the addition of a locally blended Earl Grey tea, which itself includes bergamot and Sicillian lemon, along with local spring water. The result is a wonderfully complex drink, with subtle herby and woody flavours mingling with fruit and floral notes and releasing the comforting fragrances of the Earl Grey. Take your time with this one – it’s a bit special.
Durham Gin, 40%
£29.99 per 700ml bottle
“I’ve got to leave old Durham Town” warbled avuncular, mustachioed whistle-smith Roger Whittaker. He wouldn’t have been in such haste if he’d filled his cup with this tasty booze. Durham Gin is a London Dry Gin made from a savoury mix of ten botanicals, featuring the likes of cardamon, orris and celery seed. It’s a fresh, floral number with peppery overtones and a long smooth finish – just the ticket for a gin heavy G&T. Top marks marks too for the holographic-tastic bottle label which was inspired by the Rose Window – Durham Cathedral’s vast, stained glass-terpiece.
*All prices correct at time of publication)
**This wordplay isn’t working, is it? GINea pigs. Get it now? No? Hmm, sorry…
***And to complete the ‘new’ theme, try combining it with one of the ace new mixers from Double Dutch. We’re quite keen on the pomegranate and basil mixer, but they do some great tonics and ginger beer as well.