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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Winters

Sheringham Seaside Gin Review


Possibly the best modern gin on the planet.


Review: Sheringham Vancouver Island Seaside Gin, by Sheringham Distillery

Made in: Sook, British Columbia, Canada

Base: ?

Method: ?

43% alcohol/86 proof


Botanicals (7): juniper, rose, winged kelp, coriander, lavender, lemon zest, cardamom


Style: Modern Gin


I always like to find something new, and when I wandered into one of my favorite liquor stores in Colorado recently, I saw a gin I had not seen before, Sheringham, made on Vancouver Island. Now I’ve reviewed a few Canadian gins before notably Empress, Georgian Bay, and Romeo’s and by and large I have been very impressed by Canadian gins. So I decided to give it a try. The only problem was that the shop had two different Sheringham Gins, Seaside and Kazuki gin.


Being of a very littoral nature, Seaside was an easy choice (although a bottle of their Kazuki is definitely in my future). A quick list at the botanical list showed a few interesting and unexpected but seemingly geographically appropriate botanicals including rose, and winged kelp - and I thought this could be interesting.


I was especially fascinated with the kelp. Gins with kelp, and seaside ingredients, such as Harahorn’s and Rock Rose tend to offer some unexpected flavors, often quite delightful ones.


But what did I know about Sheringham’s Seaside gin? Not much so I did a touch of digging to find out that this was a very highly awarded gin, including having been named the best modern style gin in the world at the World Gin Awards in 2019. That’s a big claim to live up to.


So it is time to crack open the bottle and find out just what Seaside gin tastes like.


Tasting notes


From my first sip of this gin I was impressed. Served ice cold this gin was just beautiful, smooth, flavorful, and oh so easy on the palate. It is extremely floral with nice spice and a pleasant level of sharpness that makes it an easy sipping gin.


The nose here is heavy on the perfume with lovely floral notes, juniper, warm citrus oil and coriander bringing up the rear.


This is a gin with a strong floral nature. Rose and lavender lead the flavor profile with sharp but congruent notes of juniper slightly behind it, Following that is a pleasantly sharp, but not too bitter lemon pith mixed with spice most notably cardamom, and a touch of heat that reminds me of cinnamon.


On the palate it has a slightly thicker viscosity and a slightly acrid body with a long lingering finish.


Mixability:


While this gin is definitely a bit of a modern take on the spirit, the core here is very familiar to a London Dry style, and it provides enough of a traditional backbone that I expected this to work rather well as a mixing gin. It did not disappoint.


As I firmly believe the martini to be the key gin cocktail, the place where the gin really shines as the single key ingredient, I do find this is the drink I most strongly judge gin in (aside from perhaps on the rocks). I did this one at a 6:1 ratio with Dolin dry vermouth and found it to be an excellent martini gin. The core of the more traditional ingredients, juniper, coriander and cardamom keep the gin on a solid footing while extremely floral notes of tea rose come through - mellowing it enough that even non-gin drinkers might find this a damn good martini- without having to resort to vodkas. For a more modern style gin this one is an elite martini gin.


Next on my list is of course the other classic - the gin and tonic, which I think is a far more accessible gin cocktail for most people.


I happened to come across a local tonic, or at least one I had not seen on the east coast when I ran into this, so I tried this both with White Rock premium tonic and with Fever Tree light Indian tonic (don’t judge me - but there are way too many high calorie cocktails when you do this for a living). It impressed with both - as the gin was clearly defined as a flavor in either of the two - with a rose apple note suddenly appearing as a key flavor with the tonics. It was a bit of a wow as a G&T - though to be honest I liked it more with the White Rock. I’ll definitely recommend experimenting with that if you happen to be able to find it locally.


In a more complex cocktail I felt the urge to try it in a gimlet with fresh lime juice, and in that, Seaside gin sings, rounding out the juice and melding sweetly into the cocktail to provide a seamless package of flavor and punch. I think this would be an outstanding gin in an Aviation, Collins, or Bee’s Knees.


Overall


I have to admit this is one of the top gins I’ve ever reviewed. Possibly even the single best. I flirted with the idea that this might be the first 99-100 point gin I’ve ever reviewed. Unlike some gins that do some things well, or gins that do most things well, this gin did everything not just well, but a cut above. It is a wonderfully good sipper, an excellent martini gin, a cut above in a G&T and it handles complex cocktails as well as just about any gin I’ve had.


In the end I’ve decided that 99-100 point gins have to be life changing and this one is right up there, BUT I’ve tasted roughly 1200 gins in the past 2-3 years and this might be THE elite modern gin. But to be honest when I taste a 100 point gin I’ll probably give up all the others to be with her - and my wife will just have to understand. So I debated between a 98-99 rating for this gin. Either way it’s the single highest gin I’ve ever had the pleasure of rating.


Flavor profile.

spice: 1 of 5

Herbal: 1 of 5

Juniper: 3 of 5

Floral: 4 of 5

Citrus; 2 of 5

Heat: 2 of 5


Rating (Sipping): 98 it is hard to argue with this gin as a sipper. It’s got balance, flavor, layers of taste, and hell, it’s just as pleasant as you could hope to find.

Rating (Mixing): 99 - Unlike most gins that do a few things very well but struggle with others this gin hits the mark across the board - excelling in martinis, gin and tonics, and mixed drinks. It’s not a gin that is easily lost among other powerfully flavored ingredients.

Overall rating: 98 - Very possibly the best modern gin I’ve ever tasted.


 

What you need to know about my 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 thought I rated them very unfairly - BUT even then, whatever you get will always be my honest opinion.


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