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The 2018 RumHowler Awards for Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 11, 2018

Beginning in 2016, I began to seek out and review as many juniper based spirits as I could get my hands on. It would be true in fact, to state that in the past two years, I have been as likely to be found enjoying a nice gin cocktail as I would have been found to enjoying a nice sip of Rum or Whisky. I have learned two important things in my gin journey. The first is that gin is much more complicated than I first suspected with several divergent styles of gin being produced. The second important thing I have come to realize, is that of those styles, my preference leans towards traditional London Dry Gin with juniper at the heart of the spirit’s flavour profile.

Sentimental Bloom

That is not to say that I cannot appreciate a more floral style; but in my opinion, floral botanicals within the spirit’s construct should serve the purpose of enhancing and elevating the juniper rather than ambushing or hiding it. This means that I am sort of at odds with the current trend in North America where many of the new producers are seeking a gin with a broader botanical base, and with new flavours which serve to propel the spirit forward. The spirit which is being produced often doesn’t taste like my idea of gin at all.

As one producer even confided in me,

“I don’t really like gin, so I have made a gin that doesn’t taste like gin.”

That statement caught me off guard, but it certainly explained a lot regarding my gin experiences of the past few years.

My 2018 Rum Howler Awards for Gin are of course based upon my enjoyment, not the enjoyment of others. This means that my award winners are a celebration of the juniper berry above all other botanicals. That does not mean that floral spirits have been ignored, it just means that those floral spirits which have garnered awards, were first and foremost spirits of the cypress berry genus Juniperous.

Here is a link to my Awards page:

The 2018 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

Stay tuned for more of my Award Winners in the days to come!

Chimo!

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One Response to “The 2018 RumHowler Awards for Gin”

  1. Cathy Buchanan said

    Chip, I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy The Rum Howler. Being a lover of rum, gin and more recently, tequila your reviews are wonderful. I look forward to seeing you in my inbox. Keep it coming! Wish I was a Rum Chum….your tastings sound awesome.

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