The first YetAnotherGin tasting took place over the weekend. An event that had been talked about for a while, but came together at rather short notice! A total of 20 people came to learn a bit about gin, and taste ten different gins.
We covered the history of gin, and a brief discussion of the different styles of gin that exist. A lot of people online were intrigued about what gins would be tasted on the day. Considering that most the people in attendance probably hadn’t tried too many gins I thought I’d start with exploring styles of gin, to show that gin is a bit more different than people might expect.
The gins were spread out across my flat, all the surfaces were covered by gin! (Never a bad thing!). This was a blind tasting, and people did not know what they were drinking until we had finished the category we were looking at.
This was well received by some, though in general most found it too overpowering, a few dark spirit people in the room appreciated but overall not a category people would want to drink. It’s a pity as it’s a style I really like, but it did help start the event with showing the history of gin.
Moving into the Old Tom type of gin, a lot of people really enjoyed these styles. The room was split, but overall the Haymans Old Tom was the winner. When deciding on this list I wasn’t sure whether to keep one or two old toms, but by having two we could see the variation between the same style. My personal favourite was Jensen’s, the Hayman’s is a great example though and I think some people may be investing in a bottle of it!
This was the style that most people were familiar with, I picked a few gins that people were likely to have come across (Bombay, Gordon’s and Tanqueray) in pubs and bars. As well as putting in a cheaper option (the Aldi), and one that people would likely not have tasted before (The Hayman’s).
Whilst Hayman’s did well in their Old Tom, people liked their London Dry but it wasn’t the favourite. The clear leaders were the Oliver Cromwell and Tanqeray with pretty much everyone in the room liking them both.
Interestingly, no-one liked Bombay Sapphire with most comments reporting that it was a bit bland, and lacking in flavour/depth compared to the other gins on offer. That said I do think that Bombay have done some good things in the general marketing of gin etc.
A lot of people liked the Aldi due to its strong citrus notes, as ever personal preference plays a part and I think the room weren’t a fan of gins that were a bit too dry (like the Gordon’s).
New Western Dry
Moving into two scottish gins, a lot of people had mentioned that Hendrick’s was one of their favourites and a lot of people could spot that their 9th gin was Hendrick’s – turns out that their senses hadn’t been affected by the previous gins tasted.
The Botanist was another example of a spirit that divided people, it has a lot going on in it and combined with the higher strength (46%) it meant that it was’t quite for some people.
It was a really great day, and I think everyone had a bit of fun and some of us finished off with a few G&T’s!
Future events are being planned as we get closer to World Gin Day 2011, the next tasting may look towards more the premium/super premium gins.
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