Classic gins obviously include juniper, with refreshing pine notes. Angelica, anise, cilantro, fennel, cinnamon bark, and citrus zest are also aromas commonly found in traditional gins.
Among these traditional styles, there’s first and foremost the London Dry Gin, which remains the reference and most common type in the world. Its light, floral notes and dry mouthfeel are the result of its production method, whereby aromatic components (exclusively from natural vegetal materials) are added only at the last distillation, without any other alterations to the taste. The Genever, a traditional style from the Netherlands and Belgium, focuses on juniper notes. It can be produced young or aged (oude) in barrels. Another barrel-aged style, the Old Tom Gin, gets its colour from its oak passage. It’s often a little sweet. The Plymouth Gin also comes to mind – passably aromatic and belonging exclusively to the brand of the same name.
Over the past 20 years, Gin styles have exploded, with a great deal of creativity and some local touches. And there’s no sign of it slowing down either. The base alcohol and aromatics are equally variable. Although most gins are still produced with grain-based alcohol, some are now made with grape, berry, and even honey alcohols. In terms of aromas, when it comes to modern gins, everything goes: flowers, seaweed, horseradish, truffles, cedar branches, and even cannabis. Your head will be spinning before you even try it!