Gilpin’s Tasting Notes


Everyone has a goal in life. To do the best, succeed and fulfil your ambitions, make yourself strive to be at the top of the mountain. No matter what career path you choose, you will always have targets, little goals that keep you focused. One of my main targets in life has been surpassed and to an extent, smashed, as Drinks Enthusiast is hitting heights that I never thought were possible. Each brand could say exactly the same, whether a wine, beer, spirit or mixer. There’s no point in creating a product, just to see it pass by with no recognition. There are marketing skills that the likes of Hendrick’s, Bacardi and Smirnoff take advantage of, there’s image that Crystal Head, Ciroc and Mamont utilise, and there are flavours that can cause a storm and stand the test of time. All these had targets, to be mentioned in articles like this and to be served in your favourite bars. The next generation, so to speak, are working on this right now, and Gilpin’s gin wants to grab your attention.

The brand has two objectives;

  • To be the world’s best tasting gin
  • To be the world’s best looking gin

Bold statements and objectives. So lets take a look and see if it really does hit the marks.

Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin, to give it its full title, is a five-times distilled London-based London Dry Gin hand-crafted in small batches. The first stage involves distilling English grain spirit four times within a traditional pot still, before coming infusing 8 botanicals within, including juniper, sage, and borage, lime peel, bitter orange, lemon peel, coriander and angelica. Once infused, it is distilled for a fifth time, then blended with spring water from the Holy Well Spring at Cartmel in the English Lake District, that is naturally filtered through ancient willow-peat is added too. This adds to its naturally dry finish, so they say.

Once settled, it is bottled within a clear rectangle bottle, embossed with the wild boar. Each bottle is also labelled with the year of distillation, batch and individual bottle number.

A wild boar I hear you wonder? As you can see from the picture above, each bottle is adorned with an embossed wild boar. I thought it would be easier for Gilpin’s Gin themselves to explain this; *

The Wild Boar of Westmorland, a savage beast, terrorised pilgrims in the Lake District in the time of King John.

In 1207 Sir Richard “the Rider” de Gilpin fought the great Wild Boar and after a terrible struggle was victorious.

For his courage Sir Richard was granted the Wild Boar as the symbol of the Gilpin family which has endured to the
present day.

400 years later Sir Richard’s descendent, George Gilpin, was sent by Queen Elizabeth the First as ambassador to Holland where he was one of the first Englishmen to enjoy (and bring home) the new Dutch “Genever”. We don’t know whether Good Queen Bess preferred George Gilpin’s gin to Sir Walter Raleigh’s potatoes, but we do know that within a few years there were hundreds of gin distilleries in London.

Perhaps Sir Richard would have appreciated a tipple after his victory –

Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry– 47%

Fresh on the nose, with dry herbal aromas blending with citrus. A smooth start on the palate, with a light, delicate orange moving to a dominant juniper and citrus finish that’s very long, and very warming.

Sir Richard would definitely enjoy one of these –

Gilpins - MartiniClassic Dry Martini

Glass – 


Ingredients –

75 ml Gilpin’s Gin
5 ml Noilly Prat
Olives or lemon twist to garnish

Method – 

Stir ingredients in a Boston glass or Martini jug. Strain into chilled Martini glass and add olives or lemon twist. Serve

A good tipple, and a surprise at being 47%. To be the world’s best tasting gin, various awarding bodies have confirmed this, with Gilpin’s winning gold at World Gin Awards 2014 and gold at the IWSC in 2013. To me, it’s a damn fine gin, and I can see why it has won, and probably will win, many awards. In a way, in just a couple of years it can tick the box of being ‘the world’s best tasting gin’. The look of Gilpin’s is modern, simple and easy on the eye, so again, compared to complicated gin brands with hard to read labels, fiddly bottles and awkward shapes, it could tentatively tick that box too. Until it wins an official award though, I’d tick it in pencil.

It’s always a worthy position in your drinks cabinet though, and can be found in many a bar around the UK. Give it a go, and experience something that aimed to be ‘the best in the world’ from the beginning.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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