How To Taste Gin Like A Pro
Gin is one of the most consumed and iconic spirits in the world, but not everyone knows how to really enjoy it. They pick the first bottle of gin they see or the ones their parents love the most and stick with it. But when you know how to taste gin properly, you start discovering how complex it can be. And, more importantly, you can judge the difference between a good gin and a bad one. Let’s take a look at how you can taste gin like a pro.
Smell plays a very important part when tasting, which is why we can't taste anything when our nasal passages are blocked. So, start your tasting experience with your nose. You can either smell the gin right out of the bottle or in a glass, but one of the things you don't want to do is swirl the glass vigorously like you see so many wine tasters do. This will release too much alcohol and corrupt the nose.
Gin is like vodka but one of the biggest differences is that distillers add many more ingredients to their mix. This means that certain gins will have a very distinct aroma compared to others. Distillers will add things like angelica root, orris root, coriander seeds, juniper, and citrus peel to their blends, so you might be able to pick the dominant aromas through the nose.
The appearance of a gin could also give you an idea of what kind of experience you can expect. Anything that is too cloudy should be a cause for concern, as it may show that the gin is faulty. If the gin is unfiltered, however, then you can expect some cloudiness after pouring water. Also, check if it has a yellowish tone. This is a sign of a gin that was possibly aged, which is rare but is becoming more common.
Most people are told to pour gin over ice, and it’s a great way to enjoy it, but if you want to catch all the subtleness of the gin, then we suggest that you coat your tongue with a little bit of it at room temperature and breathe through. You’ll be able to taste the botanicals even more and appreciate them fully.
Now that you have an idea of some of the notes you can expect from your gin, you can pour some over ice. You will notice a brand-new set of aromas coming from the gin at this point. This is because the water in the ice will interact with some of the oils and the alcohol in the gin and allow some of the flavours to open up a bit more.
Try Some in a Cocktail
Now that you know what the gin actually tastes like, you can start playing around with different mixers. You can add some tonic or try more exotic cocktails if you want. Try to mix and match flavours and sample gin with both carbonated and flat drinks.