The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Industry Interviews


    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Rum Reviews

  • Whisky Reviews

  • Gin Reviews

  • Tequila Reviews

  • Vodka Reviews

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,066 other subscribers
  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 14,378,577 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on

Jawbox Single Estate Classic Dry Gin

Review: Jawbox Single Estate Classic Dry Gin  90/100
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June, 2019

Jawbox Classic Dry Gin is a single estate spirit made in the heartland of the Ards Peninsula near Belfast (North Ireland). The folks who make the spirit grow and harvest their own grain on the 300 acre Echlinville Estate. From this grain they create their own alcohol and distill their dry gin three times in copper pot stills.

Eleven botanicals are used in the gin’s construction: Juniper, Coriander, Cassia Quills, Angelica Root, Black Mountain Heather, Lemon Peel, Cardamom, Licorice Root, Grains of Paradise, Orris Root and Cubebs, 3 of which are vapour infused rather than steeped.

The spirit is apparently named in honour of one of Belfast’s most enduring legacies, the Belfast kitchen sink, a.k.a. the Jawbox. According to the Jawbox Classic Dry Gin website:

There was a time when the front door was left unlocked. When the kitchen was the scullery.  And in the tiny scullery stood this big sink. Clothes and dishes and weans got washed there. A lot of craic was heard around a jawbox.  It still is.

The three times distilled spirit is bottled at 43% alcohol in the Classic London Dry style.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

To the left is a bottle-shot of the stubby 750 ml bottle of Jawbox Dry Gin. The short squat bottle has a look and feel which implies ‘substance’ making this gin appear to be a little higher up the rungs of the ladder so to speak. The label with its easy to read colour scheme also elevates the gin. The bottle is easy to hold and the neck on the bottle is just long enough to make pouring easy. I would have preferred a cork stopper (synthetic or natural) to seal the bottle but that is a very small quibble.

(The bottle and label reminds me of a kettle still with the barrel of the bottle being the barrel of the still, and the neck being the column which leads to the alembic. I am not sure if this is intentional or not, but this impression is reinforced by the copper stripes at the bottom and top of the label which has the look of a riveted strap holding the barrel of the still in shape.)

In the Glass 9/10

I poured a little gin into my glass and examined it prior to the review. When I gave my glass a tilt and a slow twirl, I noticed a slightly thickened sheen left on the inside which slowly released droplets which turned into slender legs which fell back down to the gin at the bottom of the glass.

The breezes above the glass bring firm indications of juniper accented by an earthy black licorice note and spicy notes of coriander and cardamom. My first impression is that the use of the word ‘classic’ in the name of the gin is justified. Citrus notes brighten the nose with impressions of lemon zest and orange peel following. Again this adds to the classic feel of the gin and frankly has me quite excited. I have been sampling a lot of the so-called American-style gins lately which temper the juniper. I much prefer a juniper forward spirit. After all,  juniper is the botanical for which the spirit is named.

Rounding out the nose is a light floral/herbal quality. Mint, heather and a bouquet of fall flowers from the garden all find a small place in the breezes, but as indicated juniper has the starring role.

In the Mouth  54/60

The initial entry into my mouth reinforces my impression on the nose as the Jawbox Gin continues to be juniper forward albeit with a firm accent of Ouzo-like black licorice. Trailing slightly behind is a light spiciness from the coriander and cardamom as well as a nice ping of citrus zest. I taste a herbal component which reminds me of heather and mint and these impressions seem to add depth and body to the flavour profile. As I sip a few more times I notice a mild grapefruit like taste, a touch of earthiness (probably the angelica root speaking) and perhaps a touch of grain spice. The juniper forward nature of the gin gives it a light edge, but I find this light edge adds to my enjoyment rather than diminishes it.

Of course I wanted to sample the gin in a few cocktails and I began with one of my favourites, a gin and tonic (see recipe below). One of the problems with serving a gin and tonic to yourself when writing a review is that if the mixed drink is as appealing as this one was, you almost have to serve yourself another. That second gin and tonic makes any further writing pretty much impossible, and so I had to try finish the review the next day. This time I made myself a simple gimlet and the cycle repeated, I had to wait a few more days to finish the review. I think you get the idea, the Classic Dry Gin from Belfast seems ideal for mixing classic gin cocktails.

In the Throat 13.5/15

This is one of the few gins I would seriously recommend for sipping. The flavour and exit are smooth. There is an ebbing spiciness of cardamom and coriander which combined with the trailing juniper and black licorice flavours seem to compel your to take another sip.

The Afterburn 9/10

The Jawbox Single Estate Classic Dry Gin from Belfast lives up to its billing as a classic dry gin. The spirit is remarkably smooth and features a juniper forward flavour accented by classic gin botanicals which work well alone and in Classic cocktails. If you are like me and like a nice firm juniper presence when you choose to drink gin, then the Jawbox will be right up your alley.

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


Suggested Recipes

Gin and Tonic #3

1 3/4 oz Jawbox Single Estate Classic Dry Gin
1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (or to taste)
2 oz Q-Tonic
Cucumber Chunk

Add the first three ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber

Enjoy Responsibly!



Here is a recipe recommended by the folks at Jawbox Classic Dry Gin website. I tried it, and it is certainly Rum Howler approved!

Jawbox and Ginger

1 3/4 oz Jawbox Single Estate Classic Dry Gin
2 oz Q-Ginger
Cucumber Slice

Pour the Jawbox Gin into an ice filled glass
top up with Ginger Ale


If  you are interested in more of my 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)

%d bloggers like this: