How To Taste Gin
Looking to become a gin connosieur? Look no further than Think Gin’s guide to gin tasting!
Tasting gin has all the same elements as tasting wine; a combination of the senses gives different notes to the gin – it’s incredible how important the senses are when it comes to tasting gin!
You may be thinking ‘Surely tasting gin is just drinking it?!’. You’re partly correct, but tasting gin is very different. Gin is rarely drank neat, however tasting it alone is the best way of sourcing the true botanicals and you can then see how much mixer you wish to add.
Whether you’re a novice or a gin tasting pro, we hope you benefit from this handy guide on how to taste gin.
Choose Your Gin
The first step is to choose your gin. You could try one drink at a time, or invite round some friends and get them each to bring their favourite gin, and you can try them together.
We’d advise keeping your gin at room temperature before tasting, as taste can be affected if you gin is too hot or too cold.
Choose Your Glass
It’s important to choose the correct glass for your gin, as it can change the way you are able to smell the gin.
Glasses you can use to properly smell the gin are small wine glasses and snifter type glasses. These are generally preferable to cocktail glasses, as they allow you to fully use your senses to taste the gin.
Pour Your Gin
Next up, pour the gin! Although tempting, don’t pour yourself too much. You want to leave room for air and aromas to circulate.
Some people suggest a stemmed glass is best, to prevent your hands warming up the gin.
Swirl The Glass
Give your gin a good swirl to get those aromas flowing.
This will mix the gin with oxygen and will bring the gin aromas near the top of the glass where it will be easier for you to detect them.
Use Your Senses
Using your senses is the best way of tasting gin, and will incorporate a mixture of smelling and tasting in order to determine the notes of each gin.
Give the gin a good strong sniff to ensure the nerve ends at the top of your nose are tingled by the scent of gin.
Think about what you can smell. Citrus? Spice? Floral? These initial scents are called the top notes, and determine the dominant botanicals used in the gin.
Here comes the best bit… tasting the gin! Take a small sip of gin and swirl it around your mouth, allowing your taste buds to fully experience the tastes within.
Pay attention for different tastes. Is it sweet, dry? Perhaps there’s a hint of spice?
Let the gin sit on your tongue and think about how it feels once swallowed. Are the flavours merging together? Is there an after taste?
Mix Your Gin
Mix your gin with either water or tonic, depending on how diluted you wish to make your gin. Think about whether the mixer has brought out any new tastes to the gin, or whether it’s preferable neat.
Every gin is different, and often will require a garnish for the true flavour to be appreciated.
We hope this gin tasting guide has been helpful – what kind of gins do you enjoy drinking? Why not join the gin club and get exclusive craft gins every month!