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American Gins That Deserve Your Attention, Ranked

While there’s no wrong time of the year to drink gin in our opinion, spring and summer just might be the best time. There are few things better than a crisp, delicious gin & tonic on a warm, sunny day. And while gin is a truly worldly spirit — with its genesis in The Netherlands and England — it’s also a popular spirit amongst American drinkers and distillers. Sure, the US might be more well-known for its whiskey (specifically, bourbon) prowess, its gins are flavorful, unique, and deserving of acclaim.

So what exactly is “American” craft gin. That’s not an easy question to answer. There aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to producing gin in America. While juniper is always the base flavor (it wouldn’t be gin, otherwise), American distillers are likely to play with other local ingredients and botanicals that many of their counterparts in the UK might not have access to. Of course, expectations to all these rules abound.

Since the only way to really understand American gin is to try it, today we decided to rank eight of our favorite bottles. Some stay true to the “London dry” style and others take drinkers on a whole different flavor path. Since we picked eight great expressions, it wasn’t particularly easy to rank them. Ultimately, we ordered them by how well the flavors work together, how well they can be mixed, and their overall value.

Keep reading to see all of the picks!

8) Ransom Dry Gin

Ransom Dry Gin
Ransom

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $30

The Gin:

This Oregon-made gin takes a more traditional approach than some in that it is made in the style of Dutch genevers. It’s not quite an American dry gin and that’s what makes it such an exciting spirit. Loaded with anise, caraway, juniper, Oregon-grown Marionberries, and even locally-sourced hops, it’s a truly unique flavor experience.

Tasting Notes:

If you’re not expecting it, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer spiciness of this gin’s nose. It’s reminiscent of a rye whiskey with slight pepper and cardamon and an overall herbal quality. The palate is more juniper-driven but slightly fruity with notes of coriander, pine, and a nice floral kick. The finish is dry and pleasant.

Bottom Line:

This is a very good gin. It’s just not for everyone as it’s spicier and more unique than most other American gins. Your best bet is to buy this and a classic genever and compare the two.

7) Green Hat Original Batch Gin

Green Hat Original Batch Gin
Green Hat

ABV: 41.5%

Average Price: $37

The Gin:

This award-winning, copper pot still distilled gin is produced in Washington, DC. Its Original Batch is a classic Juniper-centric gin that’s also well-known for its infusion of citrus and spice. It’s a great base for a fresh, floral spring cocktail.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, Green Hat Original Batch has a ton of juniper up front. This is followed by aromas of lime zest as well as some pine needles. Tasting it reveals more juniper berries, lemon zest, orange peel, grapefruit, and gentle herbal quality. The finish is crisp, dry, and has a slight hint of spice.

Bottom Line:

There are no bad gins on this list. Green Hat might not have appealed to my palate as well as some others, but it’s a decent base for a gin gimlet or any other fresh cocktail for the price.

6) Bluecoat American Dry Gin

Bluecoat American Dry Gin
Bluecoat

ABV: 47%

Average Price: $30

The Gin:

Like all gins, Bluecoat American Dry Gin’s base is juniper berries above all else. They ramp up the flavor by using organic Mediterranean-grown juniper berries known for their spicier, fruitier flavor. This simple and elegant gin also contains a proprietary American citrus blend, coriander seeds, and angelica root.

Tasting Notes:

A very classic dry gin aroma meets your nose before the first sip. There are fruity, spicy juniper berries followed by coriander, lemon curd, and a floral quality. While the palate has juniper throughout, it’s the citrus that really shines in this gin. There are notes of ripe grapefruit, lemon, lime, pine, and slight spice.

Bottom Line:

Bluecoat American Dry Gin is a great choice for drinkers who enjoy a nice kick of citrus in their gin. Otherwise, keep moving. It’s a good base for a gin and tonic and the addition of a lemon wedge will only enhance its flavor.

5) Tommyrotter American Gin

Tommyrotter American Gin
Tommyrotter

ABV: 42%

Average Price: $37

The Gin:

Buffalo, New York is known as the city that invented the Buffalo Wing, the home of Rick James, and the adopted home of Josh Allen. Well, you can add gin destination to that list because Tommyrotter American Gin, produced in Buffalo, is a pot-distilled, small-batch spirit worth discovering.

Tasting Notes:

Floral, citrus rind, piney juniper, slight spice, this gin draws you in with its nose. Sipping it reveals that your nose wasn’t deceiving you as this flavorful gin is dominated by pine needles, cardamom, orange peel, coriander, and a warming kick of cracked black pepper. Overall, a very exciting, mixable gin.

Bottom Line:

If you’ve never heard of Tommyrotter, now is the time to get on the bandwagon. This complex and flavorful gin belongs on your home bar cart this spring. It’s one of the more well-rounded expressions on this list.

4) Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin

Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin
Leopold

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $28

The Gin:

First released in 2001, Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin uses a process called fractional distillation (six separate distillates that are eventually combined) to highlight each specific flavor. This heightens the flavor experience and shines a spotlight on flavors like juniper berries, coriander, and Valencia oranges.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is all pine needles, orange peel, and a gentle herbal fragrance. The palate continues this trend with hints of piney juniper berries, cracked black pepper, grapefruit, orange zest, coriander, and cardamom. It’s a great combination of spice and citrus that will leave you wanting more.

Bottom Line:

This uniquely crafted gin is just as exciting in its flavor profile. With all of the ingredients heightened, this is a great, bold gin that will stand up in any of your favorite cocktails. It’s also a great choice for fans of peppery spice.

3) Barr Hill Gin

Barr Hill Gin
Barr Hill

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $38

The Gin:

There’s a reason Barr Hill Gin is not only one of the most popular American gins, but one of the most awarded. Distilled in a proprietary botanical extraction still, this juniper-centric gin gets its added, sweet flavor from the addition of an unexpected ingredient: raw honey.

Tasting Notes:

Complex aromas of juniper berries, pine needs, slight honey, and wildflowers meet your nose before the first sip. The palate is highlighted by notes of juniper, fur tips, sweet honey, herbal notes, and floral notes. The finish is long, warming, slightly sweet, and highly memorable.

Bottom Line:

Barr Hill is a different kind of gin and that’s a great thing. It has the juniper and pine kick gin lovers enjoy, but the raw honey adds a nice, mellow sweetness throughout. It will add a sweet element to your cocktails, and that’s a nice win as far as I’m concerned.

2) Copper & Kings American Dry Gin

Copper & Kings American Dry Gin
Copper & Kings

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $32

The Gin:

Copper & Kings is well-known for its small-batch, hand-crafted brandies, but the Louisville, Kentucky-based distillery also makes a surprisingly good American dry gin. This unique gin begins with 100% apple wine and fresh-pressed apple juice. Juniper berries, coriander, and other herbs and botanicals are steeped in apple brandy before being distilled again with vapor-distilled citrus peels and lavender.

Tasting Notes:

While many gins lean into the juniper flavor and aroma, this gin’s nose is fairly light on piney juniper. Instead, there is a slightly fruity aroma, slight wintry spices, and an herbal backbone that draws you in. The palate continues this trend with flavors like a ripe apple, coriander, angelica, herbal tea, and citrus zest. It’s well-balanced citrus and spice-centric gin.

Bottom Line:

This gin has a complex flavor profile that’s fruitier than most gins on the market. Its gentle flavor alongside the spice and juniper notes make it a great base for a gimlet or martini. The sweetness from the apple wine is unique and memorable, which helps this one edge up the rankings.

1) St. George Terroir Gin

St. George Terroir Gin
St. George

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $38

The Gin:

St. George is the kind of distillery that gin fans adore. It makes a variety of different gins (and other spirits) to appeal to every palate. Its best is its flagship Terroir Gin. Made to taste like California, where it’s made, it’s infused with flavors including Douglas fir tips, California-sourced bay laurel, coastal sage, and a slew of other herbs and botanicals.

Tasting Notes:

This gin smells like a forest of pine trees. There are spruce tips, pine needles, and resin aromas. If you love pine, you’ll love this gin. While pine and juniper are still present, this multi-dimensional gin also carries flavors like sage, mint leaves, coriander, lemon zest, and a gentle, warming hit of spice. All in all, a memorable, complex gin experience.

Bottom Line:

This is a gin for pine fans. But it’s not fake pine like the air freshener in your car. It’s fresh, resinous, and exceptional. It’s tempered well with herbal and citrus flavors. It’s by far my favorite of the bunch.

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