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Dixon’s Wicked Gin (Licorice Botanical Blend)

Review: Dixon’s Wicked Gin (Licorice Botanical Blend)    (77.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra
Published in February 22, 2019

Dixon’s Distilled Spirits is located in Guelph Ontario. This small distillery produces two brands of Vodka (Silvercreek and Flaming Caesar), two styles of Wicked Gin (a Licorice Botanical Blend and a Citrus Botanical Blend), as well as a ready to drink mix called Gin Fusion.

According to the back label of the bottle, Dixon’s Wicked Gin (Licorice Botanical Blend) is non-traditional containing notes of juniper, coriander, licorice root, paradise seed, with hints of cinnamon and elderberry. The back label adds that the natural black licorice flavour should pair quite well with lemonade, tonic, and root beer.​

The Wicked Gin Licorice Blend is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

To the left is a bottle-shot of the stubby 750 ml bottle of Dixon’s Wicked Gin. The short squat bottle has a look and feel which implies ‘substance’. The sturdy bottle and the corked closure allow this spirit to appear to be a little higher up the rungs of the ladder so to speak. The label is obviously made to give the spirit the look and feel of a hand crafted spirit. Mission accomplished.

In The Glass 8/10

When poured into the glass. the first sensory impression to reach my nose is a light scent of black licorice giving me an impression of Ouzo. Juniper climbs next as does a mild vegetal impression hinting that the underlying spirit is perhaps not as refined as a typical vodka might be. There is a light hint of spiciness which might be an indication of the coriander; but it is hard to get at anything else as the licorice impression has began to dominate the breezes.

I like that the Wicked Gin is as advertised, a licorice forward spirit. I also like that the juniper has not been drowned out such that the spirit retains its identity as a juniper based spirit. The mild vegetal impression (which has been building) has me concerned though.

In The Mouth 46.5/60

It only takes a few sips for me to recognize that the licorice gin is not going to appeal to me as a sipping spirit. The combination of black licorice and juniper is pleasant; but the spirit leaves a lightly vegetal/bitter aftertaste in the mouth which is not to my liking.

Having said that, the folks at Dixon’s aren’t trying to fool anyone. The spirit is presented as one which would pair quite well with lemonade, tonic, and root beer, so my path towards enjoyment will probably be found in a mixed drink serving not by sipping.

So I did what I usually do, I made some cocktails. I began with one I call The Lady of the Empire which was quite pleasant. There is a pleasing dryness within the serving which appealed to me. I also mixed a tall serving with grapefruit and lime juice which was also appealing (see recipe below). I don’t think I would go so far as to recommend this gin for martinis; but the Dixon’s Gin seems to have more flexibility than simply a mixer with lemonade or root beer.

In the Throat 11/15

The finish (when sipped neat) is somewhat heated by coriander spice with perhaps a light alcohol burn as well. I have already touched on the light bitterness in the finish; but must also state that this light bitterness disappears in cocktails and is replaced by a pleasing dryness.

The Afterburn 8/10

My thoughts are a bit mixed with respect to Dixon’s Wicked (Licorice) Gin. The spirit is not refined to the point where Martinis are an option, and although Dixon’s recommends the spirit to be mixed with tonic water, I did not have success on that front. The price point is problematic as well (listed at $39.95 at the LCBO). There just seems to be many more versatile gins at or below that price. I do not want to dismiss the spirit however, as that black licorice/juniper flavour is appealing and the licorice forward profile lends itself to interesting gimlet style cocktails.

You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Cocktail

Here is a tall recipe using Lime and Grapefruit juice in combination with Dixon’s Wicked Licorice Gin.

The Long Darby

2 oz Gin
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Pink Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 Sugar Syrup

Pour the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker are frosted
Strain into a suitable glass filled with ice
Complete with soda

Please remember to enjoy my cocktail suggestions responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret that score as follows:

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:

70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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