Distillers have been rolling out new gins, ranging from fruity to floral, at a ferocious pace. Here are Wine Enthusiast’s picks of the recent introductions, replete with distinct profiles and notable provenances.
For floral lovers
While Hendrick’s Gin, with its rose petal and cucumber flavors, may be the granddaddy of the floral gin family, it’s also paved the way for newcomers with similar characteristics and great potential.
Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin: Subtle Turkish rose and raspberry flavors and aromas make this modern gin, with a bottle that resembles a perfume flask, a true contender. Its smooth springtime notes blend particularly well with citrus, berries and other bright fruits.
Bloom Premium London Dry Gin: This English garden-inspired gin, made with botanicals like lavender, honeysuckle and chamomile, has delicate floral flavors and aromas. It strikes all the right notes for creating spring-inspired gin cocktails, particularly the classic gin and tonic.
For staunch locavores
New American gins are coming on strong, using local ingredients and flavors that make them perfect for pairing with greenmarket meats and vegetables.
St. George Terroir Gin: According to the distiller, drinking this gin is akin to “drinking a martini in the woods.” Indeed, it’s infused with Douglas fir needles, laurel and sagebrush, on top of more traditional botanicals like juniper. Terroir is one of a trio of new gins released by this ambitious California distiller; the other are the sweetly floral Botanivore and peppery, citrusy Dry Rye bottlings.
Dry Fly Washington Dry Gin: Though this Washington State distiller is best known for its wheat whiskey, its gin is flavored with local ingredients, such as Fuji apple, mint and hops. Here, the juniper quotient is deliberately dialed down, resulting in a softer, citrusy profile.
For the traditionalists at heart
For those who don’t want to stray too far from their beloved London dry but still crave something new, the small but growing crop of Scotland dry gins may be the perfect alternative.
Edinburgh Gin: Citrusy and clean, this Scottish gin is distilled with the classic botanicals—such as juniper, coriander, citrus peel, angelica and orris root—but what makes it unique is that it also includes milk thistle—a botanical promoted by many as a hangover cure.
Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin: A small-batch gin distilled in Speyside, this clean, crisp, almost quinine-like spirit is a top choice for gin and tonic. Botanicals include heather, bog myrtle and dandelion.
For the exotic explorers
Stretching the definition of gin yields two new inspirations worthy of exploring. Look for bold botanicals ranging from exotic lemongrass to muscular clove and anise accents.
Bombay Sapphire East: Notes of Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black pepper mean this Asian-inspired gin melds beautifully with ginger liqueur and tropical fruit-flavored cocktails, best served on ice.
Bols Barrel Aged Genever: This limited production selection is a close cousin of gin, blended with botanicals like cloves, anise, licorice and juniper. For those who have eagerly taken to the barrel-aged cocktails trend, you’ll like this malty, full-bodied spirit. It’s aged in old and new French oak barrels for 18 months; some say the resulting flavor is closer to whiskey than traditional gin.