Spirits reviews: Three boutique gins from big traditional brands

From left: Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Gin, Gordon's Premium Pink Gin and Tanqueray Rangpur Gin.
From left: Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Gin, Gordon's Premium Pink Gin and Tanqueray Rangpur Gin. 

Boutique gin is all the rage and dozens of labels have sprung up to compete in this newly emerged niche market. A friend of mine says, "It's just flavoured vodka so what's the big deal?". But good gin is a bit more than that, and the complex aromatic and flavouring agents employed can give real individuality.

These new gins can be pricey, sometimes selling for as much as top-notch Highland malt whiskies that must be more expensive and time-consuming to make. Gin has become so fashionable that big traditional gin brands have joined the cocktail party, producing variations on time-honoured themes.

Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

"Made with rare Rangpur limes & other botanicals", this fragrant white spirit has pronounced lime characters, yet other exotic influences aren't overwhelmed. It has lovely purity and clean flavour, with penetrating citrus, spice and herb flavours of delicious, savoury, limey appeal. Gin with a difference, superbly refreshing straight and icy cold, or with good tonic water such as Fever Tree.

Score 95

Screw cap; 41.3 per cent alcohol, 700ml, $60-$65

Stockists include BWS stores; Dan Murphy's stores.

Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Gin

Coloured with a light coppery tinge, this gin offers subtle aromas of bittersweet seville oranges, alongside more traditional cues like juniper. The orange flavour is attractive and endows the spirit with a moreish, sustained, slightly sweet flavour and aftertaste. Good straight up chilled, or over ice, great with tonic.

Score 94

Screw cap; 41.3 per cent alcohol, 700ml, $60-$65

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Stockists include Dan Murphy's stores; BWS stores.

Gordon's Premium Pink Gin

When my late father was in the British navy, pink gin was something coloured by a healthy dash of aromatic bitters that had sustained the senior service for centuries. This pale pink concoction is something else. Flavoured with raspberry and redcurrant, gin's traditional botanical influences are muted in favour of sweetish, musk-stick fruit characters, but they are still there. Mixing it with tonic emphasises its sweetness, soda less so, but it's still good fun.

Score 89

Screw cap; 37.5 per cent alcohol,700ml, $45-$48

Stockists include BWS stores; Dan Murphy's stores.