The Different Kinds of Gins to Drink

A guide to exploring all the gins there are

With so many different types of gin to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re a fan of fruity, creamy, or strong gin flavors, there’s a type of gin out there that will tickle your taste buds.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the many types of gin available and explain what makes each one unique. So, let’s dive right in and discover the various varieties of gin!

Gin enthusiasts, get ready to expand your horizons!

12 Types of Gin

We’ll introduce you to 12 types of gin, each with its own distinct flavor profile and production method, so that you can find your new favorite gin.

Barrel-aged Gin

Barrel-aged gin is a type of gin that is aged in wooden barrels after distillation.

This process imparts a more complex and robust flavor to the gin, with savory and musky notes absent in regular gin.

The wooden barrels used for aging gin are typically whiskey barrels, adding flavors such as vanilla, malt, and woodsy undertones. However, barrel-aged gin typically has a light honey-colored appearance instead of a deeper brown hue, unlike whiskey.

In terms of alcohol content, barrel-aged gin has an ABV of around 45-47%, making it 90-94 proof. This makes it a strong spirit that can hold its own in classic cocktails such as martinis and gin sours.

Compound Gin

Compound gin is a type of gin that is made by infusing natural flavorings or essences into a neutral spirit base rather than being produced through distillation.

One of the key characteristics of compound gin is that it tends to take on more of the flavor of the added natural flavorings.

This can include a wide range of flavors, but fruit flavorings are some of the most common. As a result, compound gin often has a distinctive and fruity taste profile.

In terms of appearance, compound gin typically has a more yellowish tint than other gin types. Additionally, the ABV of compound gin is usually around 37.5%, which translates to a proof of 75%.

This makes it slightly less strong than some other types of gin but still potent enough to be enjoyed in a variety of cocktails.

Cream Gin

Cream gin is a one-of-a-kind gin that is produced using a cold distilled method. In this process, the cream is infused into the gin to give it a distinctive flavor and aroma.

Unlike other types of gin, the cream is never heated, which helps to avoid any burnt or off flavors that could spoil the finished product.

The most defining characteristic of cream gin is its rich and full-bodied scent, sure to tantalize the senses.

And when it comes to taste, cream gin tends to be on the sweeter end of the spectrum, with a creamy and vanilla flavor, unlike any other type of gin.

Cream gin is particularly well-suited for martinis, where its unique flavor profile can shine through.

In terms of alcohol content, cream gin usually has an ABV of around 43%, which translates to 86 proof. This makes it a strong and flavorful spirit perfect for sipping or mixing into cocktails.

Genever Gin

Genever gin, also known as Dutch gin, is a type of gin that originated in Holland and Belgium during the 16th century.

Unlike other types of gin, genever gin is an aged spirit that is produced using malt wine during distillation.

This unique ingredient gives this type of gin its signature malty flavor profile. Plus, it contains a neutral grain base (similar to vodka) and malted grains. This combination of ingredients results in a spirit that has a distinctive sweetness on both the palate and nose.

Genever gin has an average of 20-45% ABV and can be enjoyed in multiple ways, whether sipped neat or mixed into cocktails such as the Dutch Mule or the Dutch Martini.

Japanese Gin

Japanese gin is a unique gin typically made with a grain base, such as wheat or barley. Plus, it can be made using a neutral grain spirit derived from barley, corn, or rice.

One of the defining characteristics of Japanese gin is its distinctive flavor profile, which features hints of cherry blossoms and traditional gin botanicals such as juniper and bitter orange.

This unique combination of flavors creates a complex and refreshing gin with a subtle smokiness that adds depth to the overall taste experience.

In terms of alcohol content, Japanese gin typically has an ABV of 43%, which is equivalent to 86 proof. So whether you’re a gin enthusiast or simply curious about exploring new flavors, Japanese gin from Roku or Etsu is worth a try.

London Dry Gin

London Dry Gin is regarded as a classic by gin enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike. Distilled to a high proof, London Dry Gin has a distinctively dry and herbal flavor that sets it apart from other types of gin.

The main ingredient of London Dry Gin is juniper berries, which are blended with various other herbs and spices such as coriander, angelica root, licorice root, and citrus peel to create a clear, full-bodied gin that is perfect for crafting classic cocktails such as the Martini or Negroni.

In terms of alcohol content, London Dry Gin typically has an ABV that ranges from 40-47%, which translates to a proof of 80-94.

However, the proof may vary slightly depending on the brand.

Speaking of brands, some of the most popular brands of London Dry Gin include Beefeater, Tanqueray, and Bombay Sapphire, each of which uses a unique blend of botanicals to create its signature flavor.

Navy Strength Gin

Navy Strength Gin has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. It was initially created to be used by British Royal Navy sailors on long voyages, which is why it has a higher alcohol content than other gins.

Typically, Navy Strength Gin has an ABV of 57% or higher, making it much bolder and more robust in flavor than traditional gins with an ABV of around 40-45%.

However, many small-batch producers also create unique versions of Navy Strength Gin, using different botanicals to add a distinctive twist to the flavor profile.

The best part? Navy Strength Gin is perfect for creating cocktails that require a bold and intense flavor, such as a classic Gimlet or a Corpse Reviver.

New Western Gin

New Western Gin is a relatively new style of gin that emerged in the 21st century in Europe.

It features a dry base infused with a higher concentration of botanicals than traditional gin, resulting in a flavor profile that’s more floral and less dominated by juniper.

The most popular brands of New Western Gin are Aviation Gin and Hendrick’s Gin, and both offer unique and distinct flavors due to their use of different botanicals.

This style of gin generally has an ABV of around 40%, which translates to a proof of 80.

It’s lighter compared to other gin styles, making it perfect for those who want to explore the world of gin without being overwhelmed by juniper flavors.

Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin was widely popular in the 18th century. Interestingly, the name “Old Tom” comes from the wooden barrels, known as Old Toms, which used to store and dispense this style of gin in pubs throughout England.

Old Tom Gin boasts a sweeter flavor profile than London Dry Gin, thanks to the addition of sugar or other sweeteners during the distillation process.

Plus, it’s crafted from juniper berries and a blend of other botanicals, such as angelica root, cassia bark, and orange peel.

As for its alcohol content, Old Tom Gin has an ABV that typically ranges between 40%-45%. So if you’re curious about trying Old Tom Gin, some well-known brands include Hayman’s Old Tom Gin and Ransom Old Tom.

Pink Gin

If you’re a gin lover looking for something different, you may want to try Pink Gin.

Unlike other gins flavored with juniper berries, pink gin is infused with red fruit, typically strawberries, raspberries, and sometimes rhubarb.

On occasion, rose petals are used to add an extra dimension to the flavor profile. These red additions are also what give pink gin its distinct blush hue.

This results in distinct flavors, from a subtle, delicate taste to a bolder, berry-forward flavor. Plus, the ABV of Pink Gin typically ranges from 37.5% to 40%, giving it a proof of 75-80.

Plymouth Gin

For those seeking a gin with a unique flavor profile, Plymouth Gin is a great option.

This gin offers the classic juniper flavor with an added bite of lemon and earthy undertones. With an ABV of 41.2%, this gin packs a punch at 82.4 proof.

Plymouth gin can be enjoyed on its own, served straight up in a cocktail glass, but it’s best enjoyed without ice to ensure the full flavor profile is experienced.

Sloe Gin

Sloe Gin is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a unique and fruity liquor to add to your collection.

This spirit is made by combining gin with the fruit of the blackthorn plant, which gives it a beautiful red hue. As for its flavor profile, Sloe Gin has a sour cherry taste that is both sweet and tart.

However, Sloe Gin typically has a lower ABV ranging from 15%-30%, giving it a proof of 30-60. But if you’re looking for something with a bit more kick, The Settlers Sloe Gin is considered a “proper gin” with an ABV of 43% and a proof of 86.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about gin:

What is a gin palace?

A gin palace, or gin house, is a lavish English bar that serves gin. This term was later used to refer to Victorian pubs.

When was gin first developed?

Gin was first developed in 1550 by Dr. Franciscus Sylvius as a juniper-based spirit for medicinal purposes. Its popularity increased after the 1688 Glorious Revolution, which led to restrictions on French brandy imports and allowed gin to become England’s national alcoholic drink.

Can you drink gin straight?

Yes, gin can be enjoyed straight or as part of a cocktail. Some gins are best served on their own, while others work better in cocktails.

Final Thoughts

Gin has been enjoyed for over 600 years and has undergone many changes. While it started out as a medicine, it became more popular as a drink of choice.

You don’t need to be a gin enthusiast to enjoy these numerous types of gin, but after trying the likes of Navy Strength, Cream, or Pink Gin, you may become one!

If you have any questions regarding the types of gin out there, feel free to leave a comment! 

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Lauren McKenna

Lauren is a soon to be Temple University graduate. Her love of travel has introduced her to food and drinks from all over the world. She provides MyBartender with a global view of all things alcohol.

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