- Jonathan Winters
Georgian Bay Gin Review
Updated: Aug 30, 2020
A flavor blast from Canada made with hand foraged juniper in a classic style
Review Georgian Bay Gin
Made in: Ontario, Canada.
Base: Grain Spirit
Method: vapor infusion
46% alcohol/92 proof
Botanicals 7: Georgian Bay Juniper berry, Italian Juniper berry, orange peel, angelica root, coriander, grains of paradise.
Style: Classic gin/London Dry
NOTE: This gin is not currently available in the US. You'll have to go to Canada to find a bottle but with the opening of their new distillery by the end of the year it's possible we may soon be able to buy it south of the Canadian border.
When two guys with no distilling experience decided to create some premium spirits back in 2013 it seemed a ludicrous idea. Yet they fought through this and produced recipes inspired by a place they knew and loved, Georgian Bay in Ontario.
They used hand foraged wild juniper, picked each year after the first frost from the Georgian Bay region to produce a gin that made quite a few folks take notice (even if initially it was made by a contract distillery closer to Toronto than to Georgian Bay itself).
I managed to find a bottle at Duty Free in the Thousand Islands, while coming back from Winterlude last February, and at the recommendation of a friendly salesperson took it back home. It sat on my self near some other Canadian gins until recently. Then I decided to open the thin, clear bottle that had a certain appeal to try some.
It’s a take on the classic London dry in flavor profile, although I don’t know about in the legal sense.
My initial test of the gin, sipped neat showed a roughness and heat that was pretty undesirable. However after a few minutes sitting in ice turned into a very palatable and classic tasting gin with an elegance associated with the better gins on the market
A good inhalation, showed it’s true London dry heritage with the spruce sap like nature of juniper showing through along with the aromatic nature of the coriander, and sweetness of the orange peel, with just a hint of it’s peppery nature due the grains of paradise.
That same flavor profile comes through on the palate - intensely. There is no deception here, but the gin is harmonious, smooth, and so traditional, but upscale in terms of taste. Tasted blind you’d think you were looking at a high end gin that had a very old recipe.
Texture wise, it’s dry, silky and leaves a lingering lemon, spice taste on the palate.
I liked this a lot. In terms fo classic gin flavors this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s not going to convert a non-gin fan into one but it’s an elegant take on the classic, by a artisanal distiller. With their new distillery in the Georgian Bay area I do hope to see it a lot more in the US market as it will should earn a place of distinction among choosy gin fans.
This isn’t a gin that surprised you when mixed in classic cocktails. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do - create slightly lemony, slightly bitter classic Gin and Tonics, make an excellent martini, and fit well into drinks like the Ramos Gin fizz.
It’s strong enough to stand up and be noticed in more fruit forward, and bitters forward drinks like the Tom Collins and Negroni, as its favor profile is very full bodied.
This is a winner, but it might take a second taste for you to realize it. The flavors are intense, so much so you might initially confuse it with a navy strength gin, but it’s so harmonious that it could become the everyday mixer in a gin connoisseur’s liquor cabinet.
Overall rating: 91. A well above average London dry flavor profile gin.
What you need to know about reviews: All my reviews are my honest opinions based upon my own personal tasting. I am NOT a paid reviewer, and no compensation was given, or expected. I may from time to time choose to do a second review and amend my opinion of a product, should I feel like it and find my review criteria has evolved, or that I’ve found it different at a later date. That said, as I’m unlikely to repurchase anything I thought was less than very good to excellent, it would be by chance or at the request of a distiller who though I rated them very unfairly - BUT even then, whatever you get will always be my honest opinion.