March: Blind Gin Tasting

At our Christmas party we surveyed our members as to what their top 3 gins were. This was in preparation for a blind gin tasting later on in the year. We decided March was the perfect time and just needed a suitable venue. We figured there was no better place to drink gin that a gin bar, and no better gin bar in London than Graphic!

When we said blind we meant it, as we gave no indications as to what the gins on the menu for the night were. This was because we wanted to strip away any trace of marketing and focus on the contents of the bottle. On the night there were the 3 gins that our members had voted as their favourite and a couple of sneaky additions from Mark, Kate and I.

As everyone began to arrive, the very lovely Adam from behind the bar handed out welcome G&T’s, each made using one of the 5 gins. These had been decanted into plain bottles so that there was no indication as to what they were….ooo the intrigue!

On the tasting table there were a further 5 wine bottles filled with the gins and around 300 tasting glasses sat lined up side by side (yes I did stick the stickers on each of them!). We made up some tasting sheets so that people could write down their thoughts and tasting notes, and also record their top 5 in order of preference.

Blind Gin Tasting London Cocktail Society

Once everyone had arrived the tasting began, and Mark and I handed around the various samples of gin. They were colour coded so that red=1, orange=2, yellow=3, green=4 and blue=5. The task was not an easy one, as not only did we want our members to rank the gins in order of preference, but we also wanted them to have a guess as to which gin they were drinking.

We realise that ranking the gins and trying to guess what they were was a particularly difficult task as we were asking people to drink the gin neat, which we realise isn’t the usual way most people drink gin!! However we were really happy to see everyone getting involved and exploring the gin category – which is what we intended the evening to do.

 

 

The scores were tallied up and the final result was:

1 – Tanquaray 10
2 – Sipsmith
3 – No 3
4 – Hendricks
5 – Bombay Sapphire

Whilst this was the final result there was a lot of variety as to peoples rankings and loads of interesting comments – each gin had it’s fans and those that were less enthusiastic. The winner, Tanqueray 10 received a lot of praise for being smooth and well-balanced, although even this heavyweight received some negative comments as well.

Adam then whipped us up some White ladies with each of the gins. A lovely and very unexpected twist to the evening, the preferred gin in this case seemed to be Sipsmith, but again there was a lot of variation.

The night aimed to get people thinking more about their choice of gins, and giving them an opportunity to talk about and explore the category. I feel it really succeeded and I’m thrilled.

We would like to say a huge thank you to graphic for hosting, to the lovely Adam for being the perfect bartender on the evening, and to the wonderful Sarah for helping us to organise everything. Also massive thanks to Tanquaray, Sipsmith, No 3, Hendricks and Bombay Sapphire for providing the gin!


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