A while back a friend proposed that a few of us get together to try our favorite gins, to compare and contrast styles - he had what he thought would be the ringer. I have always been very fond of gin and after the recent explosion in its popularity I was eager to make sense of the myriad of brands and styles that include the traditional and some newer artisanal brands. We've heard some gins are better for the Martini and some for the gin and tonic but I personally have never done my own research. After giving the format some thought and finally setting at date, I invited some industry friends over last weekend to make it happen. This would be a seated, blind tasting of 12 gins (each guest brought a bottle - no duplicates luckily) big brand or small, for 12 people. We brown-bagged the bottles and tasted one at a time, discussing and noting our impressions, as a group. Once we concluded the initial tasting, we ate (very necessary at that point) and then incorporated tonic water, lime wedges and ice with those we thought best suited to a gin and tonic.
Here is a photo list of the gins with our general findings: