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Adnams Orange & Sea Buckthorn Gin review

If you love flavoured gin, a citrus version is worth trying. This orange gin from Suffolk brewery and distillery Adnams is flavoured with sea buckthorn giving it unique notes. Read the results of our taste test.

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Adnams Orange & Sea Buckthorn Gin – 40% ABV – discontinued

Rating: 5/5

In a nutshell: With citrus gins popping up everywhere, it’s really quite a feat to create something that is truly different. So we were especially impressed with Adnams for the originality of their Orange & Sea Buckthorn gin – it really stands out from the crowd. It’s an orange gin, but there’s a lot more going on besides thanks to the sea buckthorn that grows along the coast of Norfolk. The berries are bright orange and when they’re crushed, they release a surprising tropical aroma.

This product was a seasonal special and is no longer available. Find more like this in our citrus gin review.

Full Adnams Orange & Sea Buckthorn gin review

The real talking point of this gin is the sea buckthorn. It’s not an ingredient that you’ll come across particularly often.

Sea buckthorn are hardy salt-tolerant plants, and its actually their berries that are used in the gin-making process. Adnams use this tropical note as a supporting act in the gin.

Adnams says that this gin has ‘fresh orange juice, pineapple, peaches and tropical fruit flavours’, but in our tasting session, not all of these notes came through. The overwhelming taste was actually more of a sweet blackcurrant – the flavour is English coast rather than tropical – but it does mean that it stands out from the Mediterranean-inspired alternatives in our citrus gin review.

This is a grain-to-glass gin (using ingredients sourced from a single area of land), but there’s an interesting stage before the vodka – used to create the gin – is made. Adnams go back to their beer brewing roots first, and they actually distil their unhopped beer to make their East Coast vodka.

This makes up the base spirit of the gin and then the juniper and other botanicals are added. Orange and sea buckthorn take top billing, and coriander, orris root and cardamom complete the cast list. It’s an impressive ensemble, one that keeps you guessing with each sip.

The perfect pour

This gin is eminently drinkable but it’s got a lot of complex and interesting flavours going on. You would be in danger of losing them in an elaborate cocktail which means that it’s the ideal spirit for a classic gin ‘n’ tonic. This is one that you’ll want to keep sipping – the flavours get more interesting the more you drink – so pour it long. We’d be tempted to turn it into a gin ‘n’ tonic sorbet and serve it after dinner. 

This product was a seasonal special and is no longer available. Find more like this in our citrus gin review.

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This review was last updated in March 2020. If you have any questions or suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk. For information on alcohol guidelines, read our guide to drinking responsibly.