Top Shelf Gin Picks From The Distiller Community

These gins were the Distiller community's top shelf picks last week.
Jun 29, 2020
  • 10
    10 Bluecoat American Dry Gin
    84
    Fruity & Spicy
    First released in 2005, Bluecoat American Dry Gin is distilled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is made from a neutral grain spirit base which uses rye, corn, wheat, and barley. Juniper, coriander seed, citrus peel, and angelica root are known botanicals and all are 100% organic. The distillery relocated to the Fishtown neighborhood in Philly in September 2016.
  • 9
    9 Nolet's Silver Gin
    95
    Floral & Fruity
    The Nolet family operates the oldest running distillery in Holland, having produced spirits since 1691. While more known today for producing the Ketel One brand, the distillery recently began producing their own gin style, created by Carolus Nolet Sr and his sons, Carl Jr. and Bob. Nolet's Silver Gin begins with a mash made from European wheat. While the exact botanical recipe is a company secret, it does contain juniper, peach, turkish rose and raspberry. These botanicals are individually macerated and distilled with the base spirit. The final gin is bottled at 47.6% ABV.
  • 8
    8 Hendrick's Gin (44%)
    90
    Floral & Herbal
    Hendrick's launched in 2001 and is distilled in Scotland at the Girvan distillery. It is distilled in small batches (500 liters) in two different stills using 11 different botanicals including elderflower, chamomile, and yarrow. One batch is made in a Bennet still which produces a heavier spirit (botanicals are macerated) and one is done in a Carter-head still (botanicals are vapor-infused) which produces a lighter spirit. The two are blended together and then infused with rose and cucumbers. It is then brought down to proof with water.
  • 7
    7 Tanqueray London Dry Gin (47.3%)
    90
    Spicy & Juniper
    Tanqueray is named after its founder, Charles Tanqueray, who established the brand in 1830. Originally distilled in London, it has been distilled in Fife, Scotland since 1998 at the Cameronbridge Distillery. Their neutral grain spirit (wheat based) is actually made in house and not purchased, the latter of which is more common practice in gin production. The four known botanicals for the gin are juniper, angelica root, coriander seed, and licorice root. This is distilled in a one-shot method as opposed to making a gin concentrate which needs to have neutral spirit and water added to dilute. Here, they just add enough water to bring down to proof which varies dependent on where it is sold.
  • 6
    6 Caorunn Gin
    92
    Fruity & Floral
    Caorunn Gin is made at the Balmenach Distillery in Scotland, one of the first distilleries to be licensed to make Scotch whisky. Named after the Gaelic word for "rowan berry," a botanical used its production, Caorunn (Ka-roon) gin is made with a combination of traditional gin botanicals - juniper berries, coriander seeds, orange peel, lemon peel, angelica root and cassia bark - and botanicals handpicked from the Scottish Highlands: rowan berry, bog myrtle, heather, coul blush apple, and dandelion leaf. These botanicals are vapor infused with the neutral spirit in a unique copper berry chamber (a round horizontal chamber with four large to copper trays that hold the botanicals) to produce the final product.
  • 5
    5 Hayman's Old Tom Gin
    90
    Rich & Spicy
    Using old family recipes and a copper pot-still named Marjorie (after the current chairman's mother), the Hayman range captures the different and popular styles of gins throughout history. Distilled from 100% grain, steeped with botanicals before distillation, and sweetened with sugar, their reproduction of the classic 18th century Old Tom Gin is no exception. The botanical blend includes juniper, coriander, lemon peel, orange peel, angelica root, cinnamon, cassia bark, orris root, licorice, and nutmeg. It's bottled at 40% ABV.
  • 4
    4 Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin
    91
    Woody & Rich
    Philadelphia Distilling Co. was founded in 2005 and is the first craft distillery to open in Pennsylvania since Prohibition. To honor the importance that Philadelphia has in American history, the distillery named their gin after the bluecoats American soldiers wore during the Revolutionary War. The brand's barrel-finished gin includes an additional aging process to the gin production. Taking the Bluecoat flagship gin made with four botanicals - juniper berry, coriander seed, citrus peel, and angelica root - this product ages for three months in new, charred American oak barrels. It is bottled at 47% ABV.
  • 3
    3 The Botanist Gin
    92
    Floral & Herbal
    If you're not a Scotch whisky drinker, you very likely have never heard of a man named Jim McEwan. Jim spent 38 years with Bowmore and held every job there from apprentice cooper to Distillery Manager. In 2001, he left Bowmore to reopen Bruichladdich as their Master Distiller. Along with the dozens of single malt bottlings he created, he wanted to distill a gin that reflects his home of Islay, the island he loves. The Botanist is a gin comprised of 9 standard botanicals and an additional 22 that were hand-foraged from Islay itself--botanicals like apple mint, heather, red clover, and meadowsweet among many others. The gin is distilled over 17 hours in a Lomond Still (a hybrid column + pot still). It is bottled at 46% ABV.
  • 2
    2 Aviation American Gin
    89
    Spicy
    American Aviation Gin was released in 2006 as a collaborative product between Seattle bartender Ryan Magarian and House Spirits Distillery based in Portland, Oregon. Using a neutral grain spirit, seven different botanicals - juniper, elettaria cardamom, lavender, sarsaparilla, coriander, anise seed and dried sweet orange peel - are steeped and boiled with the spirit in a steel vat before being distilled again and bottled at 42% ABV. Note: As of February 2018, actor Ryan Reynolds is the proud owner of the gin brand.
  • 1
    1 Roku Gin
    90
    Fruity
    The first gin released by Suntory, the name "Roku" is Japanese for "Six" which refers to the six Japanese botanicals used. Sakura flower (cherry blossoms), sakura leaf (cherry leaf), sencha tea (green tea), Gyokuro tea (refined green tea), sanshō pepper, and yuzu are utilized along with eight other traditional gin botanicals. The gin is distilled using a selection of different pot stills. The label is printed with Japanese washi paper. Roku Gin was released in Japan in July 2017, and is available in the UK, Germany, and Australia. As of October 2018, Roku is available in the US.