The best gins 2019

Drinks expert Leon Dalloway sips his way through a selection of the best new-wave, artisan spirits to find his must-buy bottles, complete with tasting notes.

Find out more about our BBC Good Food reviews.

Gin is a global phenomenon. It’s on the lips of bar-goers and drink lovers around the world as it enjoys a resolute renaissance. The juniper elixir is now produced in all corners of the globe and the gin industry is absolutely thriving in the UK. 

Here I’ve picked my favourite gins, and I’ve focused on what makes each gin unique. The botanicals I discuss are ingredients that showcase the variety of the drink in the modern age. All gins must use juniper and most also use citrus peels along with some spices – hopefully, once you read about the other components, you’ll find the right gin for you.
 

Victory Gin

Victory gin bottle on white background
Inspired by George Orwell’s novel 1984 and cold-distilled by booze aficionado Max Chater, this super small-batch creation is a gin full of intrigue. Chater creates his potion in a basement on the south side of Tower Bridge in London. During distillation, Victory Gin never rises above 48 degrees Celsius and the botanicals see no heat whatsoever, therefore the gin harnesses the lighter oils from the botanicals only. It's uniquely flavoured, with an instantly iconic label.

 

 

Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin

Warner Edwards gin

The flavoured gin to end all other flavoured gins. For this version, Tom Warner and Sion Edwards take their classic Harrington Dry Gin and instead of diluting the distillate with water they use pressed Queen Victoria rhubarb juice. Sound utterly delicious? It is, with a royal stamp of approval to boot.

 

 

Manchester Three Rivers Gin

Manchester three rivers gin on white background
Manchester Three Rivers only started producing tasty liquid in 2016. A stone’s throw away from Manchester’s Northern Quarter, master distiller Dave Rigby has produced a gin of intrigue and ease. It harnesses a creaminess that has the nostalgic nose of a Murray Mint. Rigby adds oats to a traditional selection of botanicals that serves to offer a smooth mouthfeel. Best when stirred with a touch of dry vermouth and an olive (or three).

 

 

Burleigh’s London Dry Gin

Burleigh's gin on white backgroundYou can find Burleighs Distillery near the Burleigh Wood in Leicestershire. Creator Jamie Baxter was wandering through the woods and struck gold in the form of the silver birch tree, which he combines with elderberry, dandelion and burdock to create a gin that soars with a eucalyptus and menthol flavour profile. Baxter and his team frequently roll out special editions, so keep your eyes peeled.

 

 

Silent Pool Gin

Silent PoolMade in the Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills, this gin takes its name from the mystical pool that the distillery resides beside. The gin is a sublime distillation using two distinct styles of juniper, then lavender, orange, pear, camomile, elderflower, Essex-grown kaffir lime leaves, linden flowers and rose petals, among others, adding a touch of excitement. This is a new gin making serious waves in the juniper world.

 

 

St George Terroir Gin

St George Gin This distillery is situated in a former aircraft hangar over the bay from San Francisco. They produce gins, absinthe and a coffee liqueur, but the jewel in St George’s crown is their Terroir gin. It has a taste that’s as refreshing as fresh rainfall, and it features a hint of Douglas fir and all sorts of other delicious piney notes. A sip of this will have you feeling like you’re strolling through Yosemite National Park!

 

 

East London Liquor Co Batch 2 Gin

East London gin on white backgroundEast London Liquor Company fired up their stills in the summer of 2014, and they wasted no time in announcing themselves to the world with this belter of a gin. Lavender, sage, fennel and thyme all provide lovely herbal flavours, producing an English summer garden style of gin, perfect for sunny afternoons and balmy evenings. Plus, it packs a delightful punch at 47% ABV.

 

 

Elephant Gin

Elephant Gin

Not only does this gin taste amazing, the owners give 15% of all profits to two charities that focus on elephant conservation. They use five botanicals native to Africa, including baobab, blended with more classic European-style botanicals such as elderflower and apple. Complex, yet distinct in delivery.

 


Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin

Greenhook gin on white backgroundThis gin uses a vacuum style of distillation which allows the process to occur at a much cooler temperature. This harnesses the lighter, more aromatic oils of the botanicals, which include camomile, elderflower and ginger, creating a harmonious balance of flavour that is difficult to produce at higher temperatures. The result is a stunningly well-balanced gin.

 

 

Death’s Door

Deaths Door gin on white backgroundDeath’s Door distillery rip up the rule book by using only three botanicals. They solely use botanicals that grow wild on their native Washington Island in Lake Michigan: juniper, fennel and coriander seed. It’s simple yet beautiful. The dramatic name derives from the notoriously choppy body of water that passes by Washington Island.

 

 

For all of the products mentioned in this review, various retailers have been suggested by our affiliate partner Monetizer 101 and are not suggested or chosen by BBC Good Food. For more information on how these retailers are selected and the nature of our partnership, please read the Monetizer101 FAQ page

This review was last updated in October 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk. 

What's your favourite gin? We'd love to hear your product suggestions in the comments below... 

Comments, questions and tips

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shirley1265
19th Oct, 2016
My current favourite gin is a new one from the Galicia área of Spain and is called NORDES. It is very refreshing. So delicious and light with plain tonic and lemon.
lindapalmer1
11th Jun, 2016
Opihr is a beautiful spicy gin. Well worth a try.
bwcca
18th May, 2016
Sipsmith is the best.
borumha2
17th Apr, 2016
I'm newly returned to gin and so excited with the varieties available as well as the experimentation by small producers. My favourite is an Irish gin made in Kerry - Dingle gin. The herbs they use are unique to the area and make for a distinctive drink that is like no other. It's very hard to entertain anything less than perfection.
spincat
16th Jul, 2017
The more floral gins really benefit from Elderflower tonic water (Fevertree brand). It is delicious!!

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