Disclosure: I received a Ginsanity kit for review, but the opinions below are my own and unbiased.
There’s been a huge growth in the gin market this year, and the drink is more popular than ever. That’s great news for gin fans, but choosing a bottle to buy can sometimes be a little confusing. My local supermarket has around 30 different gins to choose from at the moment. And while I like picking out something new to try, I do sometimes worry that I might buy something that I don’t like.
So gin sampling boxes can be a great way to try something new without committing to a whole bottle. They also make a good gift idea for a gin-loving friend (and click here to see some more gin-based Christmas gift suggestions)
I recently received a Ginsanity tasting kit to try out. It contains four 25ml bottles of gin, which is enough to make one G&T with each. The labels on the bottles show the type of gin but not the brand name. My Ginsanity box was the ‘Strange Attraction‘ set which includes two floral gins, a spiced gin and a citrus gin. There are a number of other sets available which have different combinations of gin.
(The set doesn’t include the wooden ‘Gin’ sign and candle – those are my own)
Looking at the notes, I realised that there was one floral gin that I already had in my own collection so I put that to the back of the list.
The first bottle I tried was the Citrus gin, which I discovered was Broken Heart Gin. The tasting notes recommend that you sip the gin neat initially, to allow you to taste the botanicals. Then after adding a neutral tonic such as Fever-Tree Indian Tonic, tasting the gin again allows you to see how the flavour develops. This is a very fresh-tasting gin, heavy on the juniper, and distilled in New Zealand. Although it’s marked as Citrus, the botanicals include hops, ginger and lavender. It’s utterly delicious and I would definitely like to add a bottle of this to my collection!
I picked the Spiced gin next, which turned out to be Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin. This is one that I’d considered buying a few times, because some of my gin-loving friends recommended it. It’s a spiced gin which comes in a very elaborate looking bottle. The botanicals for this one include cumin, cardamon and grapefruit peel. The spice flavours come through very heavily, but I found that the cardamon dominates and I didn’t like it very much at all.
But that shows one of the benefits of a tasting box such as this. At least I haven’t got an unwanted bottle of gin to rehome!
Undaunted, I tried the first of the floral gins next. This is a South African gin called Inverroche Amber, which is twice-distilled in small batches. It has a glorious colour from the fymbos berries which are amongst the botanicals used. As well as the floral fymbos notes, it also has citrus and even earthy, spicy notes which give it a delicious rounded flavour. This gin could be sipped neat over ice, just as easily as in a G&T.
And the final gin in my selection was Bloom gin, which I have tried before and already have in my collection. It’s more floral than the Inverroche Amber, and chamomile, honeysuckle and pomelo give this gin its very light, floral flavour. That may appeal to people who don’t generally think of themselves as gin drinkers.
My thoughts on Ginsanity
I really enjoyed the Ginsanity box and think it’s a great way to try out some different gins. I’ve definitely added a couple of new names to my gin wishlist! However I do think that the tasting notes could be improved. For example, I would like more information about the botanicals that are in each gin, and details of where to buy the gins.
The Ginsanity box that I received costs £24.99, and the 8 bottle sets cost £49.99 each. This does seem a little more expensive than the Gin Explorer box that I tried out recently, especially as that box contains 50mls of each gin and two bottles of tonic.
But the benefit of the Ginsanity kit is that this is a one-off box rather than a subscription scheme. So it’s great if you want to buy as a gift for someone or just want to try a few new gins.
Ginsanity gin tasting box sets are available online, with prices starting at £24.99.