This is a gin that absolutely needs tonic to be in any way palatable, but even when mixed in a G&T its sugary sweetness and artificial citrus notes are galling to most palates accustomed to gin. Distillery: Jim Beam/Beam Suntory ABV: 40% (80 proof). Taaka is actually fairly mild on the nose—“dusty” and vaguely medicinal, or what one taster described as “butterscotch, and not in a good way.” On the palate likewise the thing that stands out more than anything is an underwhelming lack of any discernible gin flavor—very light on juniper, or just about any note that isn’t alcohol derived. Some tasters saw this as a positive quality, citing the balanced profile of crisp juniper, pepper and citrus notes, with a moderate level of residual sweetness. On the nose, it’s immediately clear that Seagram’s is a classical London dry gin, with big, resinous notes of pine and perfumey juniper. This isn’t the information a reader is looking for when they type “best cheap gins” into Google. Since the moment it burst onto the scene, New Amsterdam has been one of the most divisive gins on the American market, and after tasting it blind we can now see why. You might be able to find a good application for a spirit like that, but you won’t see us using New Amsterdam in proper gin drinks anytime soon. The tasting notes you write for it sound like a basic template for what most of us think of as gin, and several tasters’ notes actually say something akin to “basic, classic gin.”. Simply put, there’s a reason why Gordon’s has been around since 1769. First up? Where something like Seagram’s falls back on the classical aspects of the gin flavor profile, with punchy juniper and bitter pine, Barton Gin is a more successful implementation of the contemporary or “new western” style that is attempted so bombastically in New Amsterdam. It’s precisely what we would expect a great London dry gin to taste like, and it’s still cheap as hell, all things considered. Distillery: MGP of Indiana ABV: 40% (80 proof). You might consider it the spiritual counterpart to the laid-back Glenmore, for the opposite of occasions. A twist of grapefruit and orange peel complements the basic structure, but ultimately it’s the juniper that is the star of the show. What results is a gin that works well in a gin and tonic, but not as well in citrus-forward drinks, which could take away from some of the botanicals in the gin. None have the inherent objectivity you get with a one-day, comprehensive, blind tasting of everything on the list. We’ll be tasting the real bottom shelf heroes in every genre, from gin and tequila to bourbon, scotch and blended whiskey. Gin, the foundational liquor behind so many classic cocktails, as well as some of the world’s most popular mixed drinks, such as the ubiquitous G&T. 7. So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Some might actually find the character of this gin a bit too forward—the ethanol is a tad harsh, and the juniper is a tad boisterous—but we think that’s exactly what they were going for. Universally enjoyed by the tasters in Paste’s panel, it ultimately wasn’t very close. This list is part of a Paste series of bottom shelf liquor and craft beer style tastings. Entries were judged by how much we enjoyed them for whatever reason, not by how well they fit any kind of preconceived style guidelines. On the nose, Gordon’s pops with fresh, resinous pine and sweet citrus impressions of lemon zest and grapefruit peel. Glenmore is another one of the very cheapest of these gins, coming in well below the $10 mark for a 750 ml bottle, and you could do much worse than this … There are some florals here, and a kiss of vanilla sweetness as well, but also sturdy bitterness that is keeping everything in check. — Gins were available to tasters both neat, and mixed with equal ratios of tonic water, although tasting neat proved to be considerably more illuminating. On the palate the citrus is more orange-like, with a combination of bitter orange peel, coriander spice and plenty of juniper from start to finish. Distillery: Heaven Hill ABV: 40% (80 proof). The main knock on this gin is its unpalatable combination of sweetness and a lack of distinct flavor notes. If you’re on a budget, this is the list for you. Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic (£££) — Gins were judged completely blind by how enjoyable they were as individual experiences and given scores of 1-100, which were then averaged. These articles suck. Gin Mare Mediterranean Gin Distilled to evoke Mediterranean ingredients, Gin Mare has aromas of rosemary, juniper, fennel seed, and a faint hint of coriander. Sampled blind, though, New Amsterdam literally smells and tastes completely different than anything else on the table. At $6-8 per 750 ml bottle, this is among the cheapest gins you can buy in bulk, anywhere in the U.S. Only a couple of the other entries on this list (Glenmore, Mr. Boston, etc.) Like the New Amsterdam it’s dominated by citrus on the nose, but it doesn’t feel nearly so artificial or onerous—instead, it’s a pleasant profile of lemon-lime, into tangerine on the palate. Suffice to say: Everyone already knows these brands are decent, and everyone should be able to expect these brands to be decent, because you’re going to pay almost $30 for most of them. On the palate, this gin is on the sweeter side, with pink peppercorn spiciness, perfumey florals and juniper freshness—it certainly does seem quite “botanical.” It’s a potentially interesting gin for a variety of applications, but not as harmonious a whole as some of the others in the top half. Gordon’s won this thing by a country mile. As sad as it is to say, it’s exactly what you’d expect someone living on the street to be drinking—the most “hooch”-like of all the gins for sure. Juniper intensity is moderate, as is residual sweetness. As I asked for one of the plastic pints of Taaka from behind the package store register, the cashier casually remarked that this was the most popular gin selection among my city’s homeless gin aficionados, so we immediately knew we were in good hands here. Best Gin For A Gin And Tonic of November 2020: Comparisons, AI Consumer Report, and Reviews. This gin is a flavor wheel divided up into equal parts: Juniper, citrus, spice, alcohol. After evaluating and analyzing in detail more than 5,198 customer satisfaction about Best Gin For A Gin And Tonic, we have come up with the top 15 products you may be interested in Best Gin For A Gin And Tonic. Ultimately, Mr. Boston isn’t anywhere near the most assertive or most unique of these brands, but it’s definitely one of the best balanced and most approachable. It belongs to the group of products variously described as “new western” or “contemporary” gins, but even among these citrus-forward, juniper-decreased offshoots, New Amsterdam stands out—in a bad way, unfortunately—for the sheer intensity and artificiality of its flavors. This stuff is punchy and expressive on the nose, with lots of pine, juniper and berry fruit sweetness, along with a twist of lemon. Distillery: Sazerac Co. ABV: 40% (80 proof). The end result isn’t great, but it’s certainly better than the likes of Taaka. You can follow him on Twitter for more drink writing. You might expect a craft gin from a tiny producer to likely be more unique in terms of profile than a lot of the mass market brands, and you would be right in this case—13th Colony presents with an interestingly distinct blend of florals and woodsy notes on the nose, with peppery spice and a dash of what one taster swore was cinnamon/cassia bark.