What Does Gin Taste Like?
It’s no secret that gin is one of the most popular spirits in the world. People either love it or hate it. But what does gin taste like? Depending on the brand and ingredients used, gin can have a range of flavors, from floral to citrusy to spicy. But no matter the flavor profile, all gins share some common characteristics – they are typically dry, aromatic, and have a slightly bitter taste. If you’re looking to try gin for the first time, Kinnitty Castle Slieve Bloom Botanical Irish Gin is a great place to start. Read on to learn more about this spirit and a breakdown of the different flavors you can expect.
What is Gin Made Out Of?
To understand how gin tastes and experience its complete flavor profile, you need to know what’s in gin. Gin is made from a base of grain or malt and flavored with a juniper berry distillate. It gets its distinctive flavor from the botanical ingredients added to the base spirit during the distillation process. Common gin botanicals include juniper berries, coriander seeds, citrus peel, and anise.
While there are no hard and fast rules about what goes into gin, most gin producers use a similar recipe of botanicals. As a result, gin generally has a fresh, piney flavor with hints of citrus and spice.
What is the Main Flavor of Gin?
The main flavor of gin comes from juniper berries, which have a sharp, piney taste. You may have heard someone say that gin tastes like a Christmas tree. The pronounced piney flavor is typical of a juniper-forward gin. Although juniper berries may be the primary ingredient, gin distillers produce a wide variety of gins by adding different herbs and botanicals.
Different Types of Gin and How They Taste
Several types of gin are available on the market, each with a unique flavor profile. Some of the most popular types of gin include Barrel-Aged Gin, London Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin, Contemporary Gin, and Irish Gin.
Barrel-aged gin is made by aging the spirit in an oak barrel. The barrel aging process adds vanilla, toffee, and caramel flavors to the gin, giving it a richer, smoother flavor. As a result, barrel-aged gin typically has a sweet, mellow flavor with a hint of woodiness reminiscent of Irish whiskey.
London Dry Gin
London dry gin is distilled with a higher percentage of juniper berries than other types of gin. This gives London dry gin its unique flavor profile, characterized by a strong juniper presence and a slightly bitter taste.
Old Tom Gin
If you’re not a fan of the piney taste of juniper-forward gin, Old Tom Gin is the one for you. Old Tom Gin has a subtle spice, and sweet botanicals like licorice are often used to enhance the flavor after the distillation process.
Contemporary gins are much less juniper-forward than London dry gin and make a different flavor profile for the spirit. Although juniper berries are the primary ingredient, the supporting herbs and botanicals shine through. The resulting gin can be fruity, herbal, or floral. These bright, refreshing notes make Contemporary gins the perfect spirit for gin shots and cocktails.
Irish gin is relatively new and growing in popularity. Many Irish whiskey distilleries produce gin as a stopgap while waiting for their whiskey to age. Much like contemporary gins, the herbs and botanicals are the stars of the show. With over sixty Irish gins available, you’re sure to find one you like. Our Slieve Bloom Botanical Irish Gin, made with botanicals hand-picked in the mountains surrounding Kinnitty Castle, is a great place to start.
No Two Gins are the Same
Like other spirits, the answer to the question, “What does gin taste like,” depends on the ingredients. While juniper is present in all types of gin, different brands offer a unique twist on their products.
Next time you sip a gin drink, see if you can detect the different herbs and botanicals.