Cocktails & Spirits

Expensive Gin - is it really worth it (to my pallet) ?

CHSeifert | Dec 21, 201905:33 AM     58

So I have been buying A LOT of gin over the last year and a half.

I think I counted the number of different gin’s I have bought and came close to 45.

I’m a strong believer in quality and really look for quality in most of what I enjoy in life from cookware, ingredients in food, clothing, fragrances, golf gear, furniture etc.

So of course I also want great quality in my gin.
I have only tried two gin, that I actually enjoyed neat. An organic gin from Denmark and Plymouth Navy Strength 57% ABV gin.

Otherwise I enjoy my gin in either G&T or in Negronis.

What disturbes me is NOT the fact, that I seem to enjoy Tanqueray 10, Star of Bombay, Caoorun, Gin Mare, Hendricks, Beefeater 45, Schwarzwald, Geranium and other mid to mid-high priced gins the best, but the really expensive gin’s I’ve tested sort of disappointed me, not in the sense that they were poor, but just not wow’ed me and really never felt like an improvement over the other gin’s I just listed for you.

What disturbed me really was the fact, that my overall favourite gin in the budget class is a very cheap 37,5% ABV gin called Finsbury.
This gin is neither exciting nor fantastic, but to my pallet it’s better balanced and rounded than for example Bombay Sapphire and standard Tanqueray, in fact I find Bombay Sapphire to be one of the worst sharp, synthetic and unbalanced gin’s out there.

My reason for this post is that I wonder how much the gin flavour really is tasting through, when I drink my G&T and my Negroni.
I use Fever Tree, 1724, Thomas Henry, Schweppes and Fentiman as my tonics.

I feel that in a mixed drink the overall quality of a great gin is much much harder to distinguish in the drink, thus I feel that I sometimes are wasting money on using expensive gin in drinks where it’s very hard to pick out the specific qualities of the gin I’m using.

Now I also am a happy single malt whisky fan and drink my whisky neat or with the occasional 1-2 drops of water. And with whisky I can always taste the difference in what I’m drinking since it’s neat. If I use whisky in a cocktail I would always use a cheaper type like JW 12 Black, Chivas Regal or Ballantines since the things, that make the stand alone whisky great is toned quite a bit down and almost disappears, when you mix it in a drink. Sure if I use Laphroaig/Ardbeg/Lagavulin in a drink or cocktail it will taste clearly of an edge of peat, but other than that I feel the whisky is wasted, when I don’t enjoy it neat.

Same with gin. For me to really appreciate the single qualities of a great gin, I feel like I need to enjoy it neat. And I really only like very few gin’s neat as mentioned already. So I feel like I’m wasting great gin instead of really enjoying it.

In a gin-martini, I do feel like you really can taste the qualities of a great gin, but it’s not really my favourite drink.

What’s your opinion on this world shattering important life or death matter ;-)

Cheers, Claus

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