Nothing makes you feel sophisticated quicker than a gin and … something. But were you aware of how many types of gin are on the market? Sit back, and grab a tonic, because we’re going to look at a range of great gins.View in gallery
A Popular and Healthy Spirit
Gin is a neutral grain spirit with a rich history. It was discovered in the middle ages and initially served as herbal medicine.
Related Reading: Best Gins Reviewed
While there are many different types of gin, they all have a shared signature base flavor thanks to the use of juniper berries; a super fruit with many health-boosting properties.
In High Spirits – Ten Different Types of GinView in gallery
Most types of gin have a 40% ABV, and are low in calories, making them one of the healthiest spirits. It is also a highly versatile liquor, which explains its popularity in mixed drinks.
The following different types of gin offer you a range of flavors and styles to suit every need.
1. London Dry Gin
London Dry Gins are the standard-bearer; the botanical workhorse that has remained the boss! It is the common base for a classic gin cocktail.
One of the key hallmarks of London Dry is its heavy juniper taste. Juniper berries create the predominant flavor, although you’ll also notice hints of citrus (lemon peel) or root finish, depending on your brand of choice.
Also, London Dry gin is characterized by its lighter finish, which makes it excellent for making rich cocktails.
Notable Brands—London Dry Gin Brands
- Bombay Sapphire
2. Plymouth Gin
By law, Plymouth Gin can only be made in Plymouth England. There is only one distillery that currently produces it.
Plymouth gin has strong citrus notes and a spicy finish. It is softer than its compatriot London Dry gin. The liquor is made using a mix of seven botanicals, including angelica root, juniper, and dried herbs such as coriander, cardamom, and orris root.
Strong earthy notes down the flavor of juniper berries. Whether you want to make cocktails or just enjoy these neutral grain spirits with some soda water, Plymouth gins will give you a more palatable and pleasant cocktail.
Notable Plymouth Gin Brands
- Mr King’s 1842 Recipe
- Plymouth Fruit Cup
3. Sloe GinView in gallery
It is also the only liqueur that is legally allowed to be called gin.
The flavor profile of sloe gin depends on the ingredients used. Top-quality brands have a solid plummy taste with an earthy feel. Unlike most gins, sloe gin has a much sweeter finish.
Also, you can expect the best quality brands to be “very” sweet with a fruity flavor-packed with almond notes. The lower-end brands are often overly sweet. Unlike regular gins, sloe gin tends to have a lower ABV of 25%.
Notable Sloe Gin Brands
- Plymouth Sloe
- Hayman’s Sloe
4. New Western Dry (New American) Gin
New Western Dry Gin makers set out to create new, exciting and unusual flavors rather than make copies of existing or classic neutral spirit styles.
One thing that makes New Western Dry Gin stand out is how they moved away from the classic juniper berry base. Giving themselves more too for experimentation. Most brands use botanical ingredients that Americans find flavorsome and familiar. Common flavors include citrus fruits like grapefruit, orange, and lemon.
Notable New Western Dry Gin Brands
- Bourbon Barrel Four Peel Gin
- St. George Dry Rye Gin
5. Barrel-Aged Gin (Cask-Aged Gins)
Barrel-aged gins undergo a maturation period just like whiskey and wine. Distillers steep the liquor in aged wooden casks allowing it to sip in all the health-boosting properties of its botanical ingredients.
Cask-aged gins are made using other botanical flavors like Juniper, fruit, and spices. However, its predominant flavor profile is of the barrels used (oak or ash).
You will also notice some nutty, spicy, or vanilla notes. Because this type of gin is aged in barrels, it has a golden-orange color instead of a clear hue.
Notable Cask-Aged Gins
- Chemist Barrel Rested Gin
- Cask Aged Sunshine Cuckoo Gin
6. Japanese Gins
Japanese spirits are made using rare and unusual natural botanicals, including Japanese tea, bamboo, sansho peppers, sakura, and Yuzu, just to mention a few.
Generally, Japanese gins have a crisp, floral and citrusy flavor profile. But, don’t be fooled; the floral and citrus notes are entirely different because of the use of unusual elements like bitter melon, guava leaves, shekwasha citrus, and roselle.
Notable Japanese Gin Brands
- Ki NOH BI
- Dennoshin 1812
7. Old Tom Gin
Old Tom Gin originally known as ‘bathtub gin’ was named for its early homebrew origins. Initially not known for its quality but rather its overly sweetened style thanks to high levels of licorice and artificial flavors used to hide its harsh taste.
Since then, the brand has become far more dependable and popular. Moving away from bathtubs it is now a professionally distilled gin brand. It is a strong gin, more robust than London Dry. It is the best gin for making pre prohibition cocktails.
Notable Old Tom Brands
- Ransom Old Tom Gin
- Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
Genever is the forefather of modern gin with specific regional denominations. The liquor can only be produced in Belgium and Holland or particular regions in Germany and France.
Genever is made from malt wine (distilled corn, malted barley, and rye). It has strong whiskey-like malt notes that make it ideal for drinking neat, straight, or on the rocks.
See Also: Types of Whiskey You Should Know
Genever is aromatic and sweet. It has fresh, piney flavors with hints of spice and yeast. Just like popular gin brands, this spirit can contain a host of other botanicals that include but are not limited to caraway, aniseed, and coriander.
Notable brands of Gevener
- Bols Genever Gin
- Old Duff Real Dutch Genever
9. Navy Strength Gin
Any spirit with at least 57.1% ABV can be termed “navy strength.” The term comes from the days when gin was a legal requirement on board British Royal Navy vessels for its medicinal properties. To stop gin from being watered down and therefore less effective, they devised a test using gunpowder. The result was a much stronger gin than was available elsewhere.
Notable Navy Strength Gin Brands
- Mackintosh Mariner Strength Gin
- Hayman’s Royal Dock
Looking for something else to drink? Check out our primer on 8 Essential Types of Liquor
Do you drink gin? If so we would love to hear from you in the comments. What are your favorite gin types? Do you prefer London dry gin, or perhaps a cocktail with sweet vermouth? Let us know your favorite gin cocktail recipes. Whether you prefer compound gin with a lime wedge or discovered a clever way to substitute juniper flavored vodka, we’d love to hear it!