The Botanist is an artisanal Islay gin made by Bruichladdich Distillery. Picture: Supplied
How gin tastes to one individual may not be the same way how it tastes to another person, because we have our own flavour preference.

Gin is not for everyone. Personally, I kept away from Gin because I wasn't a fan. Vodka proved to be a more agreeable spirit for my taste buds, but it was during the recent Wade Bales Cap Classique & Gin Affair 2018, where I found myself being won over by gin.

A variety of gins and MCC were on offer, and it presented the perfect opportunity to give it a try and hopefully find one I Iiked. Instead of one, I ended up with 5 brands of gin that every beginner, and even gin connoisseur, should give a try this summer season:

1. Deep South Distillery - The Cape Dry Gin
The Cape Dry Gin is a beautifully balanced, juniper-forward gin made in a classic dry gin style, but with additional botanicals grown and harvested in the Cape Peninsula. These mountain buchus add lovely herbal and floral aromas and flavours.

This gin was awarded a Double Gold medal at the Michelangelo International Wines and Spirits Awards in 2017.

2. Ginologist
Ginologist have three types of gins - Floral, Citrus and Spice. Out of the three, I only tried the Flora and it won me over.  An aromatic bouquet accentuated by rose geranium and orange blossom so soft and playful that it comes with a license to thrill.

This new style gin tantalises the taste buds with its rose geranium led floral infusion with a long lingering flavour which finishes elegantly with a soft dryness as the orange blossom comes through. The floral medley gives the Floral gin a perceived sweetness, making it ideal for those who prefer to serve gin with lite tonics or soda water.

3. Malfy Gin
The Malfy Gin comes in four different flavours - Original, Con Limone, Gin Rosa, Con Arancia.

This particular brand of gin comes out of Italy, and instead of going for the original, I tried the Gin Rosa that was mixed with pink tonic. It was a light gin, that still managed to have a distinct taste after the various gin's I've tasted without being too overbearing.

The Gin is comprised of Sicilian Grapefruits grown in citrus cloves along the Mediterranean coast. This particular gin comes with a rich long juniper finish.

4. Sugarbird
I enjoyed Sugarbird gin so much, I purchased a bottle to take home, and it was a purchase I don't regret in the slightest.

Sugarbird got its start when the creators managed to raise R1.1 million via Thundafund to set up a craft gin business. The love experienced in the making of the gin comes through in how it tastes.

A floral gin inspired by the resurgence of traditional gin, Sugarbird is a light floral gin, offering notes of rooibos, honeybush, rose geranium and the Cape May Flower, sourced by botanists from the slopes of Table Mountain.

5. The Botanist Gin
The Botanist is an artisanal Islay gin made by Bruichladdich Distillery. It is one of two gins made on Islay, and is distinctive for its addition to the nine customary gin aromatics of a further 22 locally picked wild Islay botanicals. It is these botanicals – and the two local botanists who collect them – that give the product its name.

Think sweet, delicate menthol, apple mint, spring woodlands, juniper, coriander with aniseed undertones, lemon and orange peel, a bouquet of flowers from Machir Bay, honey from thistle, coconut from gorse, water mint and summer meadows…

It’s a magical melody of Islay’s natural bounty, from the Atlantic washed beaches to the summit of heather covered hills.

The taste is rich and mellow; cool on entry then as it reaches the back palate, you can taste the slow unhurried distillation.

The Botanist is an artisanal Islay gin made by Bruichladdich Distillery. Video: Theolin Tembo/Cape Argus
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