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

Smooth Ambler
nose: hops, vanilla, dry juniper
taste: anis, pine, juniper, woody with some bitterness towards the end.

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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