Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin took silver at the International Wine and Spirit Competition. Gins from Lidl and Morrisons, at £15 and £16 respectively, also won silver medals. But Heston’s Citrus Sherbert Lazy Gin, made exclusively for Waitrose by the Michelin-starred chef with a £24.99 price tag, only managed a bronze.
On Waitrose’s website, the description of Blumenthal’s gin reads: “Natural citrus botanicals add a lemon sherbet zest to this classic, apple-based London dry gin – simply add Mediterranean tonic, ice & serve with a stick of liquorice, no need for the slice.”
Martin Isark, a food and drink expert who is the Founder of the Can I Eat It App & Website, said: “Where food is concerned Heston Blumenthal is at the cutting edge. However, where his gin is concerned he continues to fail to impress the judges.
“First it was his Earl Grey And Lemon which got low marks in a taste test, now it is his latest creation. “When own-brand gins from no-frills supermarkets beat you, perhaps it’s time Heston stayed in the kitchen.”
The IWSC competition is regarded by drinks producers as the industry’s Michelin guide for alcoholic drinks.
Judges carry out blind tastings on a range of speciality and own-brand gins, unaware of the brand producer or price when awarding their marks. The IWSC received entries from nearly 90 countries this year.
Experts estimate there are as many as 3,500 gin brands and varieties worldwide, and while legal definitions of the drink exist for strength and manufacturing process, there are no rules governing provenance as there are with bourbon or cognac.
Almost all gins are flavoured with juniper berries, but other botanicals can be used, including orange peel, liquorice root, cinnamon, frankincense and nutmeg.
In the gin category, the overall winner this year was the £44.95 Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin from Japan. The Kyoto Distillery, which produces it, promotes itself as Japan’s first dedicated artisanal gin distillery. Of the better-known British brands, Beefeater won an “outstanding silver” award, while Plymouth, Martin Miller and Gordon’s took silver, and Bombay Sapphire bronze.
Selection of International Gin competition winners
Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin, Japan £44.95
The above was written by Joel Adams, in the Telegraph, but same story also appeared in the: The Times, Independent, Daily Mail, The Metro, The Sun, Star, Sydney Now, Good to Know, Verdict, France News 7 & The USA Times.