Top 10 Gin

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Top 10 Gin

Gin got its start in Holland and was popularized in 18th century Great Britain. Fast-forward centuries later and it is hands down one of the most popular spirits in history. From martins to gin & tonics this botanical wonder serves as the foundation of many cocktails.

Appreciated when sipped or mixed into a cocktail these top 10 gin bottles are worth getting to know. Browse these top ten gems and find the best gin bottle that will ever cross your lips.

Want something besides gin? These are top 10 rums and top 10 whiskeys you can buy.

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  1. Highclere Castle Gin

    Proof87 (43.5% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    99%
    8
    Distilled above an ancient underground water source, Highclere Castle Gin is produced in England’s oldest gin distillery in one of the oldest working copper gin stills dating back to the 1800s.

    This recipe was carefully developed over two years, after experimenting with several botanicals homegrown on the Highclere estate this meticulous selection of ingredients was chosen for the recipe that includes the extraction of essential oils, which in the presence of alcohol gives Highclere Castle Gin its uniquely smooth character.

    At the beginning of the distillation process, the botanicals are slowly added to the still, along with a charge of spirits. After the lid is closed the steam jacket gently warms the still. This warming process allows the botanicals to begin releasing their oils for distillation and this process of maceration continues overnight. The following morning, the stills are heated to a higher temperature, making the charge boil.

    A boiling process turns the liquid into vapor, which evaporates to the swan neck and water-cooled condenser, creating the liquid. The distillate is separated out into three parts; heads, hearts and tails. Only the heart section is used in the Highclere gin-making process; the most subtle and refined of the aromas and flavors are given off during the distillation.

    The resultant high proof liquid is blended with water to precisely 43.5% ABV for maximum flavor. Known as "the real Downton Abbey," Highclere Castle distilled this award-winning London Dry Gin to have an exceptionally smooth flavor profile which comes from ingredients like lavender, which was planted by the Bishops of Winchester in the 9th century, and citrus from the Victorian-era orangery and juniper that has grown wild at Highclere since Roman times. Highclere Castle Gin earned gold awards from both Critics Challenge and Proof awards, receiving a score of 94.

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    Exceptionally smooth and subtle flavor profile that comes from ingredients like lavender, juniper, citrus, and other botanicals, grown for centuries at Highclere Castle.
    $33.99
  2. Barr Hill Gin

    Proof90 (45% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    100%
    6
    Barr Hill Gin is a London dry-style gin that, unlike other gins, uses only one botanical during distillation — juniper. The rest of its complex, gentle flavor profile comes from the raw honey (made at one of Hardie's now 1,900 colonies), which is added during a second distillation.

    The distillery's 25-gallon still is made from recycled stainless steel and is a testament to Hardie's commitment to environmental sustainability. The bottles, which are filled and labeled by hand, are sealed with beeswax (what else did you expect?) cut from a huge hunk of luminous lemon-yellow wax from Singing Cedar Apiaries.

    Barr Hill Gin has earned numerous accolades, including a Platinum Medal at the 2020 SIP Awards and a Gold Medal at the 2020 New York International Spirits Competition. "The best fertilizer is always the footprint of a farmer,"Hardie says. This gin has his footprint all over it.

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    Round and viscous on the palate, with notes of juniper and honey lingering on the finish.
    $34.99
  3. Bertha's Revenge Small Batch Irish Milk Gin

    Proof84 (42% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    95%
    4
    Whey alcohol serves as the base spirit for this unique premium gin, which makes it very distinct from other spirits. Whey is a byproduct of milk, Irish dairy farmers separate it from curds which are used to make cheese. A proprietary yeast is added to the whey, converting the milk sugars into alcohol, yielding a very high-quality whey spirit. Hand-distilled with 18 different botanicals which are locally foraged and grown, along with pure natural Irish spring water. The milk used for production is sourced from just 30 minutes away.

    The lengthy list of botanicals: juniper, coriander, orris, licorice, cardamom, angelica, lemon, lime, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, almond, elderflower, alexander seeds, grapefruit, sweet woodruff and sweet and bitter orange, all coalesce into a truly distinct gin. When the whey spirit is ready, it is distilled, along with all of the botanicals in Ballyvolane’s 125-liter copper pot still. After a short maceration, the spirit is slowly distilled, the result is blended with spring water sourced from the estate’s spring and cut to a bottle strength 42% ABV. The Irish gin is handcrafted from start to finish in small batches, producing only 100 bottles per production run.

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    Sweet acidity on the nose (from the whey). Cardamom and pepper with sweet notes and creamy, milky textures. Juniper notes alongside cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. This smooth, warming gin has a rich, smooth finish.
    $42.99
  4. Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Handcrafted Gin

    Proof86 (43% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    100%
    2
    Johnny Neill comes from a family with a rich tradition in distilling. As a child, he came upon a box of gin bottles in his grandmother's house and wanted to learn more about the liquid that his family had been making since 1762. He learned about the impact various botanicals have on spirits and was instantly drawn to spirit-making. He set out to create a gin that would honor the tradition and passion of his family, with an exotic and modern twist. To that end, he added the baobab fruit and South African Cape gooseberry, which added a South African dimension to the spirit.

    The 100% grain spirit that serves as the base for Whitley Neill's lineup of gin is distilled in an antique century-old copper pot still named Constance using exceptionally pure water and a careful balance of botanicals. A total of 10 botanicals go into the Rhubarb & Ginger Gin. Juniper, coriander, cassia bark, orris root, angelica root, licorice, sweet orange, lemon, and ― the stars of the show ― rhubarb and ginger. This pair brings a tartness and warmth to the sweet, fruity, and juicy profile. While many flavored gins in Whitley Neill's range take their inspiration from far-away places, this one takes after the rural English countryside. With it, Johnny Neill remembers visiting his grandparents' farm, where rhubarb was a staple.

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    Rhubarb and ginger jump out immediately on the nose, with notes of juniper and fruit following closely behind. It's sweet on the palate with more juniper, ginger, and rhubarb, as well as some floral and herbal undertones. Finishes warm with the ginger spice lingering.
    $31.99
  5. Empress 1908 Indigo Gin

    Proof85 (42.5% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    100%
    5
    Since 1908, travelers from around the world have fallen in love with the Fairmont Empress Hotel for its majestic grandeur, picturesque vistas, and incomparable afternoon tea service. Overlooking the Inner Harbour in Victoria, British Columbia, this iconic destination has hosted royalty, dignitaries, and discerning explorers for over a century. Today, as the Empress moves into a new era, it exemplifies a perfect balance of traditional elegance and modern sophistication.

    Micro-distilled in small batch copper-pot stills, Empress 1908 is hand-crafted using eight signature botanicals: tea, juniper, rose, coriander seed, grapefruit peel, ginger root, cinnamon bark, and butterfly pea blossom (All botanicals are organic and the spirit base is non-GMO corn). It’s the pea blossom, which we discovered in one of the Empress tea blends, that imbues the gin with a distinctive earthy note.

    Inspired by the beautiful tea service at the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel and released in the US in 2017, this gin gets its indigo blue color from the infusion of butterfly pea blossom. Due to the pH of this blossom the addition of citrus or tonic changes its color of from indigo blue to a light pink. Empress 1908 Indigo Gin has earned several accolades, including a Gold medal at the 2018 International Craft Competition Awards and Double Gold at the 2018 San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge.

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    Aromas of wet herbs, cracked pepper a vibrant light body and elegant floral notes, citrus zest, and subtle juniper on the finish.
    $33.99
  6. Hendrick's Lunar Gin

    Proof86.8 (43.4% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Born in December 1839, William Grant became a cattle herder at the age of 7 in order to supplement his family's income. As a teenager, Grant apprenticed as a cobbler and a clerk, and in 1866, he joined Mortlach Distillery as a bookkeeper. For the next two decades, Grant managed the affairs at the distillery, while secretly learning the art of distillation. In 1886, he resigned from his position as distillery manager and, together with his seven sons, two daughters, and one sporadically working stonemason, built his family distillery in Scotland.

    Over a century later, Charles Gordon, Grant’s great-grandson and successor at William Grant & Sons, purchased two unusual and incredibly rare stills at auction — a Carter-Head Still (constructed in 1948, there are only a few in the entire world) and a dusty 19th-century Bennett. Although he didn’t find a use for these stills initially, more than twenty years later he enlisted the help of master distiller and Gin scientist Lesley Gracie to assist in his quest to create something extraordinary from the stills. Finally, in 1999, Gordon and Gracie found the perfect combination and launched Hendrick’s Gin.

    Hendrick’s Gin is made in small batches of 500-liters or less, with both the Bennett and Carter-Head stills working their magic on Hendrick’s unique mix of botanicals, which include yarrow, elderflower, juniper, angelica root, orange peel, caraway, coriander, chamomile, cubeb berry, orris root, and lemon. After distillation, Hendrick’s Gin is infused with Bulgarian Rosa Damascena and specially selected cucumbers — an odd combination that produces miraculous results.

    Hendrick's Lunar Gin is the second limited-edition expression from Master Distiller Lesley Gracie's Cabinet of Curiosities following 2019's release of the Midsummer Solstice Gin. Floral and spicy, the idea for this 2020 release came to Gracie while tending to her botanicals and stargazing. With the moon serving as the inspiration, it's a smooth and subtly bright 86.8-proof gin ― just like the moonlit sky.

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    Floral aromas greet the nose with a bright and citrusy background with juniper and pine notes. It's equally floral on the palate with blossoms and a pleasant peppery spice. Finishes smooth and long with the citrus and spice lingering.
    $57.99
  7. KISS Cold Gin

    Proof80 (40% ABV)
    Size700mL
    Known for their timeless rock classics as well as their extravagant makeup and stage outfits, Kiss is widely regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of rock music. Today, the band is still going strong after 50 years in the music industry and more than 100 million albums sold. The band teamed up with Brands For Fans for the release of Drink It Up by KISS ― a portfolio of premium spirits.

    Founded in 2012, Brands For Fans is a Swedish company that operates on the global market and specializes in working with bands and artists who want to go into the spirits business. They've already worked with several legends that include Judas Priest, Ozzy Osborne, Motörhead, Slayer, Scorpions, In Flames, Rammstein, and Ghost, releasing so-called "liquid merchandise." The Drink It Up by KISS lineup currently consists of 3 different rums and a gin.

    KISS: Cold Gin is crafted in Sweden. Distilled 5 times, you'll find botanicals such as juniper berries, angelica root, citrus peels, and other herbs that make up the classic taste profile of this grain-based distillate. The design features the band members as well as various New York City ― the band's hometown ― landmarks along with the Brooklyn Bridge. As the eponymous song says: it's cold gin time again!

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    The nose is spicy and juniper-forward with classic gin aromas. The palate features a balance of juniper, herbs, bright citrus, and lemon zest notes. The finish is long, dry, crisp, and intense with angelica root and juniper.
    $29.99
  8. Plymouth Gin Original

    Proof82.4 (41.2% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    100%
    1
    What was once a 15th-century monastic building is now home to the Plymouth Distillery, also known as the Black Friars Distillery, the only remaining distillery in Plymouth, England. The Port of Plymouth was once a "beacon for explorers," an important hub of commerce for maritime traders. Although "Plymouth Gin" is a distinction reserved only for gins that are distilled in Plymouth England, the Plymouth brand is the only brand produced in the area.

    The Plymouth Distillery was built in 1431 and was once a Dominican Order (also known as the Black Friars) monastery. Since repurposing and opening their doors as a distilling business in 1793, the distillery has been producing the Plymouth brand under Fox & Williamson (which switched names thereafter to Coates & Co). After changing hands several times, England’s oldest working distillery and its brand are now produced under the colossal Pernod Ricard.

    The distillery’s buildings served many purposes throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. After housing a monastery, in 1536 it became the town’s "Marshalsea" (debtor’s prison). It is believed that this location was where the first Non-Conformist meeting took place, also serving as a billet for Huguenot refugees. Later on, it was said to have housed the Pilgrim Fathers during their last night in England in 1620, before they boarded the Mayflower.

    Plymouth Gin is crafted with 7 botanicals. Juniper berries are there for the aromas of pine and a touch of bitterness, coriander seeds bring citrusy notes, then there's orange and lemon peels for even more fresh zestiness, while angelica root, green cardamom, and orris root add some menthol, dryness, and sweetness. The precise ratios are a secret, but there's a distinct earthiness, sweetness, and citrus that take the limelight here, making the spirit quite different from its London Dry cousins. The delicious spirit has won numerous awards over the years, including a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World spirits Competition.

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    Earthy, fresh, and juniper-forward, this gin opens with fresh juniper, coriander, and cardamom on the nose. There's a pleasant sweetness on the palate with an overall smoothness and creaminess to it. Finishes unusually long and fresh with lingering notes.
    $33.99
  9. Brockmans Intensely Smooth Gin

    Proof80 (40% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    100%
    1
    The English company Ginuine Ltd. produces Brockman’s Gin, the brainchild of four brothers; Kevan and Robert Fowkes, David Crosthwaite and Neil Everitt. The gin was launched in 2008 and is produced by Greenall’s — a famed distillery in England.

    Brockmans naturally grown aromatic botanicals are steeped in pure grain spirit for several hours, releasing natural oils and aromas. It is slowly distilled through a 100-year-old traditional copper still, giving the gin distinctive notes derived from Brockman's unique recipe delivering an exquisite intensely smooth gin, with a uniquely defining sensual taste experience.

    Brockman's Intensely Smooth Gin is infused with blueberries and blackberries, in addition to the more traditional botanicals. This brings sweet fruit notes to the fore, putting the juniper and spice in the background. 
     
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    Refreshing aromatic notes of citrus, wild blackberries and blueberries, and spice on the nose. The palate is packed with baking spice, cinnamon, with a fruit berry tart finish.
    $28.99
  10. Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin

    Proof84 (42% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    100%
    3
    After zealous experimentation with different methods and ingredients, a fractional distillation technique was used to create the spirit, distilling the botanicals in a separate copper pot stills to create the required flavors. The result is carefully blended together and bottled at 42% ABV.

    Bobby’s Schiedam Dry gin can be described as Dutch Courage mixed with Indonesian spice, a perfect fusion of contemporary and exotic. This gin is multilayered on the nose with soft fragrant notes of lemongrass, rosehips, baking spice and juniper.

    This exotic fusion of tropical Indonesian spices and traditional gin flavors, creates something truly unique. Bottled in a unique glass vial with a traditional Indonesian Ikat pattern, this combination of elements give this gin a contemporary character while tying into the exotic culture behind the spirit.

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    Floral notes and citrus zest on the nose. The palate is vibrant with spice and citrus followed by more light floral notes. The finish is lingering with smoothness and spice.
    $39.99
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