Spanish Gin Digest – 5 Gin Reviewed

Today’s article is a bit of a bumper issue to cover a variety of lesser known gins that I tried in Spain, all of which were under €15 a bottle.

Masters Gin

MastersGin FINALMasters Gin is made by Destilerias MG, producer of liquor since 1940. Bottled at 40.0% ABV, its botanicals include juniper, coriander, cardamom and citrus.
Price: €12 for 70cl

i) On its own
Nose: Minimal, with notes of alcohol and bitter pine.
Taste: Pretty classic, but somewhat lacking overall. This tastes watery, as if it has been watered down. There is a little juniper and citrus upfront, followed by a touch of sweet nutmeg, but that is about it. The finish is long, but faint, with a sort of miscellaneous gin character. Dull.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Okay, but not spectacular. Nonetheless, this is a serviceable drink that ticks all of the basic boxes of what you would expect from a Gin & Tonic. With a fresh citrus garnish, this could be quite refreshing.

iii) Martini
A very basic, entry level Martini, but with nothing that shines. Flavour-wise, there’s a bit of juniper and citrus, but this is below average and a drink that I’d be unlikely to mix again.

iv) Negroni
Again, this is okay, but – like all of the other drinks – rather bland and slightly below average. This drink is in urgent need of a citrus wedge to make it even palatable; it’s not offensive, but certainly forgettable.

In Conclusion
A rather forgettable spirit, lacking complexity and the flavour intensity to stand up well when mixed.

Albertson London Dry Gin

Albertson Gin FINALMade by Commercial Tello S.A. and distilled seven times, this gin has an ABV of 37.5% ABV and its botanicals include juniper, coriander, and citrus. This gin came with a bonus shot glass!
Price: €8 for 70cl

i) On its own
Nose: Almost nothing: just a touch of ethanol and citrus.
Taste: A bit watery to start with, but it’s smooth with a little sweetness. Gradually, some warmth builds as you drink, as does a bit of juniper and a soapy texture. Ultimately, though, there’s not a lot going on; this takes more like a vodka.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Bland and below par. The gin shrinks beneath the tonic; you’d a good, fresh, tasty garnish to make this one palatable.

iii) Martini
Plain, but pretty smooth. This seems more like a vodka Martini than one made with gin. There is a mere hint of juniper and angelica towards the end. There is no wow factor, but the drink is inoffensive and perfectly drinkable.

iv) Negroni
Okay, but a bit disappointing and rather anonymous; you just about get the cocktail’s signature balance of bitter and sweetness, but this is very forgettable.

In Conclusion
Avoid. Gin Giro is the same price, but five times as good.

Gloc Gin

gloc ginMarketed by CIMIN DREAMS, Gloc Gin one of a range of seven different spirits, including tequila, whisky, and rum. It is bottled at 37.5% ABV.
Price: €4 for 35cl

i) On its own
Nose: Lemon and burnt toast.
Taste: Quite odd: dry anise, plenty of coriander, and sherbert-like citrus, followed by a chalky finish. Not spectacular, but passable given that it cost 4 euros.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Intriguing: lots of caraway comes through, as does some celery and cucumber peel. Pretty crisp, with some spiciness towards the end. Unfortunately, a chalky residual flavour spoils the drink.

iii) Martini
Lots of fennel and a fair bit of caraway, too, but not much juniper. The cocktail is a bit on the watery side, but not too bad; it just needs a bit more depth to its flavour. Would not satisfy the aficionados.

gloc range

iv) Negroni
This cocktail has a slight marmalade quality to it, with jamminess and a moderately bitter finish. This has some character and some interesting notes of flamed orange. All-in-all, a Negroni that is just above average.

In Conclusion
Gloc is let down by the chalky flavour that comes through in some drinks; it works best in a Negroni.

Palmbridge

Palmbridge Gin FINALThe cheapest of the gins that we tasted, Palmbridge is produced by Antonio Nadal S.A, a company that has its origins in Mallorca in 1898. The gin is bottled at 37.5% ABV.
Price: €7.84 for 1 litre or €3.50 for 35cl

i) On its own
Nose: A rather a funky smell, not dissimilar to some vintage gins that have not aged well. I put this down to the underlying quality of the alcohol. Beyond that, there are notes of juniper and a little citrus.
Taste: Vanilla and a bit of juniper. There’s not much going on and this hollowness reminds me of the sort of rough spirits that often seem to lead to hangovers. Not a gin I would want to drink much of.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Simple and straightforward: juniper, citrus, and then a very faint hint of vanilla and coconut. It’s okay, but you need a good garnish and a half decent tonic to make it palatable.

iii) Martini
Not much in the way of gin flavour. Again, this is far more like a vodka Martini; there’s only a little citrus, some vanilla, and chocolate notes. There’s a hint juniper on the finish, but it’s really far more akin to a vodka than gin Martini.

iv) Negroni
Pretty good; there’s lots of flavour and, unusually for a Negroni, the vermouth really seems to shine through. There’s some sweetness, but also plenty of herbal notes: anise, fennel, and wormwood, followed by a long, earthy bitterness. Unlike the Martini with this gin, this Negroni is full of flavour and, given the price, rather impressive.

In Conclusion
For a budget gin, this is a cheap and cheerful choice for both a Gin & Tonic and a Negroni, with both drinks being further improved with addition of a fresh citrus garnish.

Sheriton Dry Gin

Dry Gin Sheriton FINALBottled at 37.5% ABV, Sheriton Dry Gin is made by José Estévez S.A..
Price: €6.97 for 70cl

i) On its own
Nose: Juniper, anise, and fennel.
Taste: Not too bad, but a bit harsh; quite a lot of ethanol comes through and the botanical flavours are a bit weak. There’s some pine and citrus, plus a little liquorice but, personally, I prefer bolder flavours in my gin.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Rather poor: bland, with just a little bit of juniper. It’s dry, but, otherwise, there’s not much going on. There are definitely better Gin & Tonics out there, so I’d avoid this.

iii) Martini
Quite good: smooth, clean, classic, and crisp, with some soft citrus notes, too. There’s no real “oomph” behind it. but it’s perfectly acceptable.

~~ IN SUMMARY ~~

The reader may have guessed that not many of the gins in the line-up had much of a wow factor and, in some cases, they were only just drinkable. The common factor that was the main downfall for these spirits was lack of flavour, which typically comes from using cheap or old botanicals or not using enough botanicals in the first place.

Palmbridge was my favourite of this bunch but Gin Giro (review coming soon) is the best choice for cheap Spanish Gin.

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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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