How To Taste Gin - Our Comprehensive Guide

Here at Craft56°, we stock over 100 different varieties of Scottish Gin each with their own blend of botanicals and flavour profile. Once you’ve received your gin, can you trust just your tongue to distinguish between the variety of tastes? Keep reading if you want to know how to experience the full flavour of your new bottle of gin like a true expert.

Small batch Scottish gins are designed and produced with care and attention to ensure that the gin provides an exceptional taste. You want to make sure that if you’ve invested in a bottle that you can experience the full range of flavours available.

1. Choose the Perfect Glass
First things first – your glass. The Copa de Balon glass is a favourite for serving gin. The bulbous shape of the Copa de Balon glass collects and holds the botanical scents, making your drink taste better. We wrote an article with all the Copa de Balon info you could ever need! However, it does not need to be a copa de balon glass and any glass with a bulbous shape is equally effective to enhance the flavour of your gin.

Craft56 Gin Glass
2. Pour it Neat
While gin isn’t normally served neat, the easiest way to get a grasp of the full flavour profile is to serve the gin on its’ own. While it may seem tempting to pour a large measure, make sure you leave plenty of space to incorporate air with the spirit to unleash all the botanicals within the drink. Swirl the glass gently to introduce oxygen to the gin and bring the aromas to the top of the glass to make it easier to identify them.

3. Nose the Glass
Take a small sniff from just above the glass to avoid overpowering your senses. On the first sniff, you may pick up a lot of alcohol but continue to breathe slowly and the botanical aromas will take hold. Once you have begun to differentiate the scents, stick your nose in the glass and inhale deeply. You should have a good idea of the scents incorporated in the gin. Some of the most common scents that people associate with gin are citrus, earthy, spice, floral and wood. Use this information to try help you build the flavour profile.

4. Sip the Gin
Now for the best part – tasting the gin! Give your drink another swirl before taking the first sip. When you do take that sip, try to see if you can detect the same flavours you did when you nosed the drink. Swirl the gin around your mouth to touch each part – do you notice any further tastes opening? Aniseed, zest, or herbs? Swallow the gin and wait to see which flavours linger. Do new tastes emerge?

5. Mix Your Gin
Now you have an understanding of the taste and botanicals of the gin, you can choose your mixer if you want one. On some of our product listings, we recommend mixers and tonics based on botanicals used but you can make up your own mind. You can never go wrong with a neutral tonic like Walter Gregor tonic or a quinine free one like Love Tonic can be a great choice to further open up the flavours. Before you know it, you’ll be a gin connoisseur, picking mixers based on tasting notes, your nose and your own intuition!

6. Add a Pop of Colour
The final step in creating the perfect gin drink is the garnish. The only limit is what you can create! While your personal preference can influence your garnish of choice, matching your garnish to your botanicals enhances the flavour and can take your gin to the next level. We stock a variety of garnishes to suit any taste!