Barentsz gin taste tests

Gin taste tests: Here’s six to line you up for World Gin Day

World Gin Day  is just around the corner on June 13 so it would be wrong of me, and a little careless,  if I didn’t share some gin taste tests. Purely for scientific purposes, and then to tell you about them, I’ve tried a handful of gins in recent weeks. Here’s some thoughts.


Gin taste tests: The Melodist

Gin Taste Tests: Tesco Finest ‘The Melodist’ London Dry Gin

Tesco’s new The Melodist range has been inspired, I’m told, by “the precision of musical composition and informed by global flavour trends”. That may well be, but what of the sipping?

Tesco Finest ‘The Melodist’ London Dry Gin (£20) is created using 12 botanicals including coriander seed, cinnamon bark and liquorice root, to zesty yuzu, grapefruit and lemongrass.

Ah, the lovely citrus notes really rise to the occasion of a crisp, sunshine sip.

It has a sister gin, Tesco Finest ‘The Melodist’ Whole Berry Sloe Gin (£17) which won a silver award at the International Spirits and Wine competition.

Gin taste tests: The London No.1 Gin

The London No.1 GinThe London No. 1 Gin (£30) has launched into Sainsbury’s which is great timing for people like me (who like their gins matched with sunshine gardens).

This is another which has 12 botanicals; including juniper, coriander, angelica root, lemon peel, liquorice, cinnamon, almond, savory, iris root, orange peel and bergamot.

The gin is finished with bergamot oil and I’m told that should deliver an aroma of Earl Grey tea.

Does it? Well, yes, but I actually loved this gin because of its perfectly attuned crisp freshness and elegant bottle. This was one of my favourites of my gin sipping season.

Gin taste tests: Barentsz

Gin Taste Tests: Barentsz Mandarin & Jasmine GinThe third in my round-up is Barentsz Mandarin & Jasmine Gin (RRP from £36.95 online from and Master of Malt).

This bottle is such a warming lush mandarin colour. But a pour reveals the spirit is as clear as day. The lush colour magic is from the glass bottle. 

The gin is infused with jasmine flowers and mandarin peel.

A dip of the nose senses aromas of soft, subtle mandarin with an essence of candied peel.

It is delightful with simple tonic water and a twist of mandarin peel. 

Gin taste tests: Warners

Gin Taste Tests: Warners Raspberry GinWarner’s Raspberry Gin (RRP £36, Tesco, Waitrose and M&S) has been created by husband and wife team Tom Warner and Tina Warner-Keogh.

The gin is distilled in a 200-year-old barn in Northamptonshire. Raspberry, blackberry and elderflower have added a sweet touch of British summertime to this gin which brings a pretty pink lift to the end of a weary day.

It’s a summer pudding of flavours.

Warner’s runs a number of initiatives to give back to nature; and for every bottle sold of this gin it donates 25p to support depleting hedgerow habitats and to encourage biodiversity. So that’s nice.

Gin taste tests: KWV Cruxland

KWV Cruxland Gin award-winning ginThis gin won the nod for the best London Dry Gin in the World Gin Awards.  KWV Cruxland Gin (£27, Morrisons) from South Africa, is crafted from eight botanicals.

But one addition which elevates this gin, and makes it so unusual, is the rare Kalahari truffle.

The truffle is distilled separately and then added to a botanical blend which includes juniper, lemon, coriander and spices. The truffle delivers an earthy element which rises out of the glass.

(You can check out all the world gin award winners at

Gin taste tests: Gin 1689

Gin Taste Tests: Gin 1689One of the most elegant gin bottles I’ve seen is that of Gin 1689 (RRP £35, online at Master of Malt and Amazon). The gin is based on a 300-year-old recipe tracked down in The British Library.

The bottle is a beautiful royal blue with gold lettering … and the flavour is right-royally good too.

It has classic juniper notes (as a gin should) and other botanicals include dried quince and pippin apple, lemon and orange peel, nutmeg, aniseed, and clove. The gin has refreshing morning-dew notes, with citrus and aniseed making a statement on the palate.

A thought on tonic water

Merchant’s Heart Floral Aromatics Tonic Water (£1.30, Sainsburys and Ocado for 200ml) is a subtle change to the norm. The tonic is infused with flavours of pear, orange and hibiscus. I tried it without the customary gin accessory and I’ll admit it was very refreshing indeed.  Some of you may prefer to add gin. 


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