It seems that with each passing year vodka’s diverse, botanical cousin gets one step closer to reclaiming its title as a popular spirit of choice. We’re speaking of course of dear beloved gin, main ingredient in the original martini and one of the more divisive spirits on the market in that most folks seem to love it or ignore it unless it’s being dosed with tonic. Falling squarely under the “love it” banner (or at least faking their love for the occasion) were the judges at the 2017 World Gin Awards competition. They came, they sipped, they ranked, they rewarded. Read on to see what took home top honours at the 2017 World Gin Awards.
World’s Best Contemporary Gin – Hernö Old Tom Gin
This year’s best contemporary gin at the World Gin Awards takes its name from the days when there was such a thing called a gin house. Outside the gin house was a plaque in the shape of a cat that would dispense gin after being fed a quarter. Those days might be more or less gone, but the figurative and literal spirit remains. Behind Old Tom’s adorable label resides a wonderfully balanced gin that boasts a creamy, lush texture, perfumed aromatics and ample notes of juniper. This gin sustains a pleasant sweetness as well, thanks to a small touch of honey and sugar that’s added before bottling.
World’s Best Cask Gin – Black Fox Barrel Aged Vapour Infused Gin
The name of this expression pretty much says it all, and we’re just dying to know what “vapour infusion” does to gin, not to mention the barrel aging. This World Gin Awards winning spirit comes to us from a Canadian farm-based distillery that derived its name after receiving a visit from a rare black fox. Over at BlackFox they let the finest local ingredients guide the way toward production and we imagine that delivers some pretty fresh and unique results.
World’s Best Compound Gin – Ableforth’s Bathtub Navy-Strength Gin
And just how strong is Navy Strength? 57% ABV, which is pretty damn strong. You also might be wondering what “compound gin” is. The answer is gin that hasn’t been redistilled and where flavours are infused directly into a neutral, baseline spirit. Over at Ableforth’s their apparently doing all that flavour infusion the old school way and it seems to be working. This spirit bashes up botanicals to bring tons of complex, layered flavours, with some heat of course. A true sipping gin.
World’s Best London Dry Gin – Bullards Norwich Dry Gin
It might have won at the World Gin Awards for best dry gin, but Bullards Norwich sounds downright sweet and refreshing with flavours of honey, orange and juniper as well as a strong touch of mint that carries into the finish.
World’s Best Traditional Gin – Penninger Granit Bavarian Gin
Made using native Bavarian Forest plants and no less than 28 different botanicals before undergoing months of aging inside earthenware vats and then being filtered through granite stones, Granit Bavarian Gin sounds absolutely legendary if only because of how much technique is involved. It must taste pretty great as well because it walked away triumphant at the 2017 World Gin Awards. Included with every bottle is a tiny granite stone so you can not only taste the smooth tradition, but touch it too.