INDULGE

Ultimate Beverage Guide: Gin

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Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC) was founded in 2010 by award-winning author/critic/journalist/educator F. Paul Pacult, publishing executive and editor Sue Woodley, and consultant David Talbot. In 2013, editor/journalist Sean Ludford became a partner. For the past five years, UBC has operated Ultimate Wine Challenge (UWC) and Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC), which are acknowledged as being as two of the world’s foremost annual international wine evaluation and competition events.

For ease of comprehension, UBC utilizes the universally understood 100-point scale. Entries that score 90 points or more in the first round of judging are assigned to a second set of judges for an additional round of blind judging, to determine finalists and trophy winners. After all the results are tabulated, the highest scoring spirits or wines in each category are awarded the highly coveted “Chairman’s Trophy.” Additional accolades of “Great Value,” which recognizes a favorable price/quality ratio, and “Tried & True Award,” which recognizes consistent quality over at least three UBC competitions, are also awarded where applicable. In addition, each spirit or wine that receives a score of 85 or higher in either UWC or USC is provided with a tasting note that records its characteristics and uses.

This issue we feature the
2015 TOP TEN GINS
including the Chairman’s Trophy and the finalists.

chairmantrophyChairman’s Trophy – Score: 97
Cold River Gin

United States, 47% ABV

Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation, Great Value, Tried and True
Wonderfully fragrant and complex with bright scents of juniper taking the lead with support by orange, cardamom, coriander and fresh herbs. Lush and silky on the palate, it is decadent while ideally balanced. A new American classic.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Negroni: 3½ Stars, Very Delicious
Dry Gin Martini: 4 Stars, Very Delicious

 

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Finalist – Score: 96
Beefeater London Dry Gin

United Kingdom, 47% ABV

Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation, Great Value, Tried and True
A true classic and a staple in any respectable bar. The nose is generous and complex while ever evolving in the glass. Vibrant and focused on the palate with a silky texture. The quintessential London Dry Gin.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Negroni: 4½ Stars, Drop Dead Delicious
Dry Gin Martini: 4½ Stars, Drop Dead Delicious

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Finalist – Score: 96
Citadelle Gin

France, 44% ABV

Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation, Great Value, Tried and True
Wisps of juniper with subtle blanched nuts, brown spice, fennel and leafy herbs fill the generous nose. Superbly balanced and complex on the palate with clean citrus notes that carry to the finish.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Negroni: 3½ Stars, Very Delicious
Dry Gin Martini: 4½ Stars, Drop Dead Delicious

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Finalist – Score: 96
Queens Courage Gin

United States, 45% ABV

Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation
Beautifully fragrant with waves of toasted grains mingling with honey, dry seed spices, citrus zest and dried fruit, with hints of Christmas tree. Perfectly balanced with the viscosity and touch of sweetness that you desire in an Old Tom style.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Dry Gin Martini: 3½ Stars, Very Delicious

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Finalist – Score: 96
Tanqueray London Dry Gin

United Kingdom, 47.3% ABV

Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation, Great Value, Tried and True
Balance and sophistication are the descriptors that leap to mind. Juniper, lemon and orange zest, dry and fresh pine needles, and an underlying mineral note. A benchmark.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Negroni: 3½ Stars, Very Delicious
Dry Gin Martini: 4½ Stars, Drop Dead Delicious

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Finalist – Score: 95
Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

United Kingdom, 47.3% ABV

Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation, Tried and True
Bold and complex this classic offers layers of citrus fruits, juniper, brown baking spices, angelica and citrus zest. Rich while balanced with a defining black pepper eruption on the finish.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Dry Gin Martini: 4½ Stars, Drop Dead Delicious
Negroni: 3½ Stars, Very Delicious

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Finalist – Score: 94
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin

United States, 47% ABV

Excellent, Highly Recommended
Brilliant notes of citrus zest and fruit take the lead with juniper, ginger and white pepper in support. Sweet orange notes rise on the palate and mingle carefully with the other botanicals on a rich bed of grain spirit. Lovely.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Negroni: 2½ Stars, Delicious
Dry Gin Martini: 3½ Stars, Very Delicious

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Finalist – Score: 94
Plymouth Navy Strength Gin

United Kingdom, 57% ABV

Excellent, Highly Recommended, Tried and True
Beautifully grainy and crisp with scents of pine needle, orange blossom, a dried herb mélange, juniper and dried flowers. Voluptuous on the palate while maintaining perfect balance with the juniper notes rising with each passing second.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Negroni: 4 Stars, Very Delicious
Dry Gin Martini: 4 Stars, Very Delicious

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Finalist – Score: 94
Plymouth Gin

United Kingdom, 41.2% ABV

Excellent, Highly Recommended, Tried and True
Splendidly unique and vibrant with juniper being nearly equaled by citrus fruit and candied zest, coriander, cardamom and bold black pepper on the palate. Ideally proportioned and versatile for the bar.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Negroni: 3½ Stars, Very Delicious
Dry Gin Martini: 4 Stars, Very Delicious

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 Finalist – Score: 94
Sipsmith London Dry Gin

England, 41.6% ABV

Excellent, Highly Recommended
Beautifully fragrant and floral on the nose with waves of juniper and citrus fruits shining through. The palate is decidedly dry while generous with layers of fruit, juniper and dried spices.

Cocktail Recommendation:
Dry Gin Martini: 3½ Stars, Very Delicious
Negroni: 4 Stars, Very Delicious

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