With the hundreds of gins available in the shops today, it can be hard to work out where to start. As a rule, the spirit falls into three categories: fresh and floral, citrusy and herbaceous and juniper-rich and robust. Here, we take a look at the third category, discovering the taste profiles and botanical make-up of the finest juniper-rich and robust gins made in the UK.
Gin in any form must contain juniper as a botanical, but while many modern distilleries are playing around with other flavours and placing less emphasis on the berry, traditional-style gins are all about delivering that classic gin taste. Rich, heavy and with an unmistakable juniper flavour, these gins have stood the test of time and are favoured for their depth and ability to shine through in cocktails of all varieties. They work especially well in a G&T, provided you use a tonic such as Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic which can stand its ground against the bold flavours.
As the oldest distillery in the UK, it’s no surprise that Plymouth Gin is heavy with classic, juniper-rich flavours – the same still has been used to make the spirit for over 160 years. However, it is significantly different to the more common London Dry gins made today, and is a style of gin in its own right (along with Old Tom, a variety of gin popular during Victorian times).
Plymouth is less dry than most gins, favouring smoother, more rounded flavours over sharper, crisper notes, which is thanks to the addition of earthy botanicals such as orris root and angelica. While lighter, citrus flavours like lemon, coriander and orange peel are present, they quickly give way to deeper, stronger flavours with a smooth, lingering hum of juniper constantly present.