What is Yellow Gin?

For results of the tasting please click here.

Below are more details on Yellow Gin and of the varieties that we have not yet tried.

I was having a peek at one of my favourite drink websites, CocktailDB.com, today, looking for Mint Gin recipes, when I came across an entry for Yellow Gin. Here is what they have to say:

“Generic term for oak-aged, straw-hued London dry gin. The aging of London dry gins is very uncommon.”
 Three key facts:
1) The taste for oaked Gins probably originated from the fact that this was what the spirit used to be stored and transported in before legislation was passed in 1850.
2) Booth’s was a very common British Gin that was oak-matured for around 6 months.
3)Today, there are still Gins available that have been aged for up to 13 years.

I’ve not tried all of the below gin but I thought they’d be of interest all the same:

Corsair Gin

Bottled at 46%ABV, this is made using Corsair’s Signature Gin (made using a vapour basket/carterhead still) that is aged for (currently unknown) in charred oak barrels that have previously been used for the production of spiced rum.




Rusty Blade

This is bottled at 62%ABV, and uses NewWorldSpirits‘ Blade Gin which has been aged for around 18 months in French oak with “a touch of magic”; intriguing,indeed.

nose: cinnamon, orange, lemon, heavy botanicals
taste: nutmeg, cinnamon, orange, cinnamon swirls sweetness, bit of raisin, Very concentrated like bitters.



Imperial (Roundhouse)

Bottled at 47% ABV, this is aged in Char #2 Barrels for at least 6 months. The Imperial Gin uses Roundhouse’s flagship gin as its base, which is a corn-based New Western (or Contemporary) Style Gin with 11 botanicals, including Sencha Green Tea, Lavender and Hibiscus.

nose: sweet, spicy, fresh cracked black pepper some anis.
taste: sweet cordial nise (pernod) Sir. Walts liqueur, resinous, herbal, peppermint, liquorice finish.

Ransom Old Tom Gin

Made by Ransom Spirits of Oregon, USA, this is described as a historic recreation of the type of Gin that was in fashion in mid-1800s America. The recipe for Ransom Old Tom Gin was developed in collaboration with David Wondrich.

Nose: Very strong nose, juniper and herbs a bit like the 1812 Gin Liqueur or Ginger Wine..
Taste: This didn’t taste like any of the others we tried, it was very bitter and although not to my taste it was liked by quite of few of the panel members, including my wife. There were some hints of dried fruits, such as Papaya as well as some complex herbal notes.

Breuckelen Barrel Aged Gin

Bottled at 45%ABV, the classic Breuckelen Gin is aged in new, charred American oak casks for around 2 months prior to bottling.

Breukelen Batch #1 Summer Aged
nose: fairly spicy with fruit salad and grapefruit
taste: quite citrusy, fizzy lemon, herbal, woodmsweet vanilla oak comes through at the end. Gin –> Wood. Makes and impact but not overpowering, spicy cinnamon and ginger towards the end.

Breukelen Batch #2 Winter Aged
nose: more spicy some citrus
taste: chocolate, dryer flavour, darker colour, powerful oak, spice dry finish. Wood –> Gin

Citadelle Reserve (44.0% ABV)
2013 Solera
Color:    Very pale, golden straw.
Nose:    Dry juniper, citrus and a hint of brine.
Taste:    Floral up-front, with more intense notes of freshly cracked black pepper. Very vibrant, bright and exciting: violet petals in the middle of the profile, along with other spiced notes and orange towards the end. Also, dry cinnamon and a touch of turmeric. Superb.

Colombian Ortodoxy Aged Gin (43.0% ABV)
This gin is distilled five times at Distileria Colombiana in Cartagena, on the northern coast of Columbia. The distillery opened in 1913 and also makes Dictador Rum. The gin is aged in their used rum casks for at least 6 months. Before bottling, the aged gin is filtered to remove the color, but keep the flavor, similar to the technique used to make aged white rums.
Color:    Clear.
Nose:    Juniper, orange and a hint of creamy vanilla and molasses.
Taste:    A good texture, with juniper upfront and then fresh citrus oil, with orange in particular. This makes way for a little licorice and then some more herbaceous and spiced notes, followed by a floral flourish of orange blossom and lemongrass, culminating in a long, lingering, dry finish of citrus     and juniper.

Colombian Treasure Aged Gin (43.0 %ABV)
Using the Limon Mandarino as a primary botanical, the base for this spirit is made from sugar cane. The gin is then aged for 35 weeks in ex-rum casks.
Color:    Amber.
Nose:    Very citrusy: tangerine, orange, lemon, and a little sweetness. There are then some leafy, herbal notes and a hint of woody vanilla.
Taste:    This is a thick and viscous spirit: warm and full of citrus notes; rich, complex marmalade; and warm, woody notes that remind me of high-end triple sec brands, such as Grand Marnier or     Combier. Finally, there’s a lovely warm and cozy finish of warm, woody spice.

Copperworks Peat Barrel Gin
Colour: Pale straw
Nose: Strong woody notes, dark pine, cedar, and smoke.
Taste: There’s lovely smoke upfront, then a rich fruitiness, followed by bright, resinous juniper and pine, before a crisp, leafy finish. Superb.

Copperworks New Oak Barrel Gin
Colour: Golden yellow
Nose: Fresh wood, rich spice, a touch of resin, and rich, dark fruit cake notes alongside a hint of juniper.
Taste: There’s lots of gin character up front from the juniper and angelica, followed by some spice, vanilla, and wood, as well as a sweet breadiness from the barley.

Distillery No. 209 Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel-Aged Gin (46.0% ABV)
The original No. 209 gin aged for over 3 months in oak that once held Rudd Cabernet Sauvignon.
Color:    Golden brown, almond shell.
Nose:    Cardamom, notes of Madeira and Sherry; hints of lemon and citrus. Smooth, subtle gin hint on nose. Very interesting; milder than most aged gins.
Taste:    Oily citrus and cinnamon at first; builds quickly. Full bodied in the middle. Robust juniper, pepper, heat, baking spices. Finishes with oaky tinge and sherry, oxidized fruit, grapes, apple. Smooth the whole way through.

Distillery No. 209 Sauvignon Blanc Barrel-Aged Gin (46.0% ABV)
The original No. 209 gin aged for over 3 months in French oak that once held Rudd Sauvignon Blanc.
Color:    Pale straw, and almost exactly the color of a Chardonnay.
Nose:    Disarmingly quiet. Stone fruit and juniper, lemon peel and a bit of alcohol.
Taste:    Again, quiet at first. Lemon and orange peel, bright stone fruit with coriander and juniper in the mid notes. Creamy and buttery finish, citrus tinge, cardamom and oak. Touch of acidity on the finish.

FEW Barrel-Aged Cask Strength Gin (58.5%ABV)
Color:    Bright, golden yellow.
Nose:    Lemon, grain, coriander, grapefruit, juniper and a touch of spice.
Taste:    Surprisingly smooth for the strength, with strong notes of lemon and grapefruit, mixed with piney juniper. Towards the end, the effects of the wood come through as dry spice and black tea     with just a touch of coconut. Powerful and complex, with a finish that highlights the balance of     gin and wood.

HDC  Distillers Reserve Aged Soft Gin (62.5% ABV)
Produced at the Heritage Distilling Company in Washington, USA. This uses HDC’s grape-based, botanically-infused Soft Gin at cask strength as a base, which is then aged in oak barrels.
Color:    Warm, golden raisin.
Nose:    Vanilla, treacle, rich fruit cake, and spice.
Taste:    Dark fruitcake, followed by a blend of root and birch beer, then a dry finish. There are some complex, woody notes beyond the usual oak and vanilla. Overall, this is a unique spirit that is surprisingly smooth, given its high ABV.

Healy’s Reserve (43.0% ABV)
Trailhead Spirit from Billings, Montana produces Healy’s Reserve. It is based on the original Healy’s Gin, which is then aged in used oak whiskey barrels.
Color:    Warm straw.
Nose:    Spice and a little sour crispness, like a fresh, good quality scrumpy cider.
Taste:    This has a smooth texture, with dry juniper upfront and then some fruity citrus, coriander, and some spiced notes from the botanicals and wood. This is followed by notes of rose, with a little hops and breadiness on the finish.

Jodhpur Reserve (43.0% ABV)
UK’s Langley Distillers makes a high-strength version of the classic Jodhpur London Dry Gin for the Spanish Market. The gin is made using 11 botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica, lemon, orange, orris root, almond, cassia, licorice, ginger and grapefruit. It is then aged in ex-Spanish brandy casks made out of American white oak.
Color:    Golden yellow.
Nose:    Lots of juniper, some woody notes, and a floral spice.
Taste:    An absolutely superb texture: smooth, with a touch of viscosity; creamy vanilla makes way for     some pine and coriander, followed by hints of maple, vanilla and wood. This has a very good     balance and there is a great interplay between the wood and gin.

Old Grove Barrel-rested (44.0% ABV)
This is made by Ballast Point Distillery in San Diego and is based on their original Old Grove Gin, which has then been aged for around 50 days in American oak.
Color:    Warm gold.
Nose:    Soft cinnamon, oak, vanilla, and a little dryness.
Taste:    A good balance between the flavors of the gin and those of the wood. Additional spiced elements appear, notably: cedar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little pepper. This is a well-integrated example of an aged gin.

oriGINal Finished in Cherry Brandy Cask (43.0% ABV)
A dry gin from Scheibel Distillery in Kappelrodeck, Germany, which is aged in a cask that has previously stored cherry brandy. This process was discovered by accident when distiller Michael Scheibel took a hip flask of cherry brandy on a trip to the UK. When the brandy had all gone, he filled the flask with gin and liked the resulting combination of flavors.
Color:    Rose gold.
Nose:    Juniper and angelica upfront, followed by spice, including cinnamon and vanilla. This develops into mellow, woody notes and a hint of cherry stone. Complex and inviting.
Taste:    Very flavorsome with an initial burst of vanilla and pine, followed by sweeter spice and fruity, confectionary notes; the cherry really comes through and the flavors remind me of a home-baked cherry cobbler. The profile then moves back to the gin, with more juniper, angelica, citrus, and floral notes, including violet. A warm finish with dried cherry stone and light, warming oak, as well as a woody dryness.

Rusty Blade (62.0% ABV)
Released in 2010, Rusty Blade, produced by Old World Spirits, is made from a batch of their classic Blade Gin that has been aged in French oak casks.
Color:    Burnt orange.
Nose:    Botanically intense, this is very spicy with cinnamon, orange and lemon.
Taste:    Nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange, with a hint of raisin, making this somewhat reminiscent of a cinnamon and raisin Danish pastry. The finish consists of concentrated flavors, like aromatic bitters.

Smooth Ambler Stillhouse Collection Barrel Gin (49.5% ABV)
Made by the Smooth Ambler Distillery in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, this uses the Greenbrier Gin as a base, which is aged for three months in a combination of virgin barrels and ex-bourbon barrels from the distillery’s own Old Scout Bourbon.
Color:    Golden amber.
Nose:    Hops, vanilla and dry juniper.
Taste:    Spicy to start. Hints of anise, dewy pine and juniper are followed by an earthy woodiness and gradually building bitterness on the finish.

Spy Hop (42.0% ABV)
This is based on Spy Hop Gin, which is made using botanicals that include juniper, lemon, star anise, cardamom, orris root, blackberries, wild roses, and lavender. The gin is aged in an 8-gallon oak barrel for two months, and then bottled with a curl of madrone bark.
Color:    Mid-straw.
Nose:    Perfumed, with notes of juniper, coriander, warm spice and cedar.
Taste:    Starts out quite perfumed, with coriander and some of the floral notes that you would associate with fruit eau de vies; this then makes way for woody, spiced notes from the aging process.

St. George Dry Rye Resposado Gin (49.5% ABV)
Made by the St. George Distillery in Alameda, California, this gin uses their rye-based gin, “Dry Rye,” as a base. This is then aged in casks previously used for syrah and grenache.
Color:    Rich copper.
Nose:    A strong nose packed full of intrigue: lots of dry, woody pine with resin, but also some stone fruit and a more woody fruitiness. As the spirit opens up, subtle nutty notes, lime citrus, and pepper come through.
Taste:    Even more complex and indulgent on the taste than on the nose. The rich fruitiness of the wine cask mingles with a little soft spice; this is followed by resinous and bright juniper, pine and, finally, a warmer fruitiness. This is a multi-facetted gin and well worth exploring.

Strathearn Oaked Highland Gin (40.0% ABV)
Made by the Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire, Scotland, this is a distilled gin that has been infused with vanilla and shavings from oak Scotch whisky casks for 10 days.

Color:    Mid-straw.
Nose:    Light wood and vanilla, white chocolate and juicy citrus. Very aromatic.
Taste:    Quite sweet, especially upfront, with plenty of vanilla, cinnamon, and both milk and white chocolate, combined with sweet rose. This then moves onto some dryer flavours of citrus, coriander, angelica, and a floral element. This is a bold and warming spirit with a strong, confectionary character.

Aged Perry’s Tot
Made exclusively for one cocktail at NY Distilling’s Shanty Bar.
Nose: oak and coriander
Taste: spicy, oaky, cinnamon, spice, very impressive and well rounded The ageing adds something to the gin. Coriander, some sweetness. Very nice to drink on its own.



Oaken Gin

Made in Canada by Victoria Spirits and bottled at 45%ABV it is made using the standard, 10 botanical Victoria Gin and which is then:

“mature(d) gracefully in new American oak barrels until it is amber in colour and beautifully smooth. “



Alambic’s Special Islay Gin – Aged 12 Years

Created in Scotland for a German company using a “well-established” gin, this is distilled, matured and bottled in Scotland and each run consists of a mere 298 bottles. It is bottled at 56.8%ABV and is aged for 10 years in oak barrels, before being finished for two years in Port Ellen whisky casks.

Alambic’s Special Caribbean Gin – Aged 13 Years

Similar to the above, this is created in Scotland for a German company using a “well-established” gin and is also distilled, matured and bottled in Scotland, but each run is of just 272 bottles. It is bottled at 65.6%ABV and is aged for 11 years in old whisky barrels and finished for two years in ex-Caribbean Rum casks.

Norse Cask 10yr Old

This is made for WhiskyOwner.com using a gin that has been distilled and bottled in Scotland, where it is also aged. Bottled at 47%ABV and aged in Bourbon barrels for 10 years,

Norse Cask 11yr Old

Bottled at 66.6%, this is a gin made with over 15 botanicals and has been aged for over 10 years in first-fill Bourbon casks. After this, the gin was finished for an additional 6 months in a hogshead that had previously held a 1970 Port Ellen Islay. This was 1 of only 287 bottles.

In Conclusion

This was quite a fascinating little experiment that illustrated the differences in the Yellow Gins already on the market. Terminology is always a funny one, but I suppose that Yellow Gin could encompass all Gins that are influenced by oak and so the technicality of whether the spirit is actually aged, matured or rested is less important.

* A full review of Hayman’s 1850 will appear on New Years Day.

Update 2014

BIG Gin Barrel Aged

Made by Captive Spirits of Seattle, the original BIG Gin is aged for 6 months in ex-whiskey barrels from Heaven Hill distillery.
Color: pale straw
Nose: sappy pine, beeswax with a hint of marmalade then a swirl of spice
Taste: a lovely interplay between the gin and the wood. There are elements of wood sap, beeswax and resinous juniper followed by some more intense spiciness such as a complex green cardamom which moves on to a more mellow spice with vanilla and a light cinnamon as well as some hints of wood. A great example of good balance in the interaction of spirit and barrel.

Citadelle Reserve 2013 Solera

Color: Very pale, golden straw.
Nose: Dry juniper, citrus and a hint of brine.
Taste: Floral up-front, with more intense notes of freshly cracked black pepper. Very vibrant, bright and exciting. Violet petals in the middle of the profile, along with other spiced notes and orange towards the end. Also, dry cinnamon and a touch of turmeric. Superb.



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About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… www.summerfruitcup.com Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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