The results: Asia gin masters 2022
This year’s Gin Masters competition showed that countries all over the globe have met the challenge of creating exciting expressions featuring local ingredients, as Alice Liang discovers.
The Asia Gin Masters 2022 competition saw a panel of expert judges blind-taste more than 30 gins of various styles from around the world. The results showed that the gins on offer were diverse, and offering many appealing qualities.
“Even though the gin craze may seem to be subsiding a bit in the Asia Pacific region, gin remains a popular bar staple,” said Kai Ng, bar manager at Hong Kong’s Quinary. “For example, in Singapore, drinkers are rather health conscious, and so they are likely to go after the refreshing profile of gin.”
In the world of spirits, styles from Japan have become increasingly popular. As well as whisky, Japanese gin has swept across the world in recent years. The Kyoto Distillery, hailed as the producer of the first Japanese gin, won two medals in this year’s competition. The Ki No Bi Sei navy strength gin bagged a Master medal, our top accolade. “This gin shows a clean nose and great structure. As a classic navy strength, for such a price (HK$450-HK$500), it offers amazing value,” said judge Ivan Chang, general manager at Hong Kong’s Two Moons Distillery. The Kyoto Distillery’s seocnd entry in the competition, Ki No Tea Kyoto Dry Gin, again in the price range of HK$450-HK$500, won a Gold medal, the classic dry gin shining. brightly in its all-round stellar performance.
Another Master winner went to Vildkatt By Sweden, made by Brand Star Alliance Sweden. The gin is a blend of cask-aged gins from two different barrels, one Bourbon barrel and one Swedish oak barrel. Only 50 bottles were released in Sweden in the first batch. “The toasty butterscotch note of the gin is very charming; overall it is a very complex gin,” Ng said.
In this competition, Gold accolades were given to producers who triumphed in making affordable gin that offered superb value. These included: South Africa’s Ginologist Orient (HK$140); Canada’s Fou Gin (HK$232); and India’s Stranger & Sons Gin (HK$378).
Among the other Gold winners, all priced between HK$350-HK$450, the judges were thrilled by some of the intriguing production stories that are taking place worldwide. Grace gin is a handcrafted expression distilled in Greece, and offers incredible value. Ng noted: “The gin carries a dominant note of juniper berries, topped with hints of ground peppercorn. Creamy and rich, the nose and palate combine to give a consistent journey.”
Spain’s Alkkemist Gin places emphasis on the influence of the full moon in its production processes, and Ng spotted interesting flavours such as lemongrass and muscat grape. He believes these will appeal to Asian palates.
Scottish brand Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin is produced using spring water, distilled and bottled at the family-owned, purpose-built Glenrinnes Distillery, and the result is a “balanced, pure and focused classic dry gin with a very pronounced juniper berries aroma”, said Chang.
Renowned Sydney distillery Archie Rose won five Silver medals in this competition, for its five distinctive gin expressions, namely Signature Dry Gin, Bone Dry Gin, Distiller’s Strength Gin, Sunrise Lime Gin Harvest 2020, and Lemon Scented Gum.
For all the medal-winning gins from this year’s competition see below:
|LKC Drinks/Λox Katpin
|Archie Rose Distilling Co.||Signature Dry Gin||Silver|
|Archie Rose Distilling Co.||Distiller’s Strength Gin||Silver|
|Junimperium Distillery||Junimperium Sloe Gin||Silver|
|Junimperium Distillery||Junimperium Cherry Edition Gin||Silver|
|Innovation Premium Brands||Alkkemist Gin||Gold|
|Junimperium Distillery||Junimperium Blended Dry Gin||Silver|
|Alasdair Locke and Alex Christou||Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin||Gold|
|The Kyoto Distillery||Ki No Tea Kyoto Dry Gin||Gold|
|Brand Star Alliance Sweden||Vildkatt By Sweden||Silver|
|Craft Link/Ginologist||Ginologist Citrus||Silver|
|Craft Link/Ginologist||Ginologist Orient||Gold|
|Wolf Lane Distillery||Wolf Lane Distillery Queensland Dry||Silver|
|DS Concepts||Votanikon Gin||Silver|
|Tiger Gin||Tiger Gin||Silver|
|Highclere Castle Spirits||Highclere Castle Gin||Silver|
|Archie Rose Distilling Co.||Bone Dry Gin||Silver|
|Liquorsmiths||Old Tom 6||Silver|
|Les Spiritueux SCR Inc.||Fou Gin||Gold|
|Wolf Lane Distillery||Wolf Lane Distillery Tropical Gin||Silver|
|Catford Gin||Catford Gin||Silver|
|Third Eye Distillery||Stranger & Sons Gin||Gold|
|Nao Spirits and Beverages||Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin||Silver|
|Archie Rose Distilling Co.||Sunrise Lime Gin Harvest 2020||Silver|
|Archie Rose Distilling Co.||Lemon Scented Gum||Silver|
|Brand Star Alliance Sweden||Vildkatt By Sweden||Master|
|The Kyoto Distillery||Ki No Bi Sei||Master|