Distilled and bottled at Thames Distillers in Clapham, London, Juniper Green Organic Gin is truly a London Dry through and through. Made using 100% organic botanicals; Juniper Green Organic Gin is one of the few, if not the only gin distilled in the UK to be certified as Organic. CapRock Gin distilled in Colorado and The Savier Organic Spirits from South Africa are the only other organic gins we could find with a certified tag.
Distilling juniper berries, coriander, savory and angelica root with their certified organic grain spirit Juniper Green is a bold, yet balanced gin. It could easily be dismissed as being a little simple and thus overlooked on a supermarket shelf. A simple bottle label, nothing extravagant in regards to their choice of exotic botanicals (it’s made up of 4 classic botanicals) other than that they are certified as 100% organic. Nor does the price tag lead you to believe anything special either – at around £17 you’d be forgiven for believing that this gin was ordinary.
It is worth a try as Juniper Green Organic Gin presents itself as a classic London Dry, albeit one to put in the “journeyman” category. Spicy Juniper comes out on the nose, with a heavy dose on the palate too, and the other botanicals balance in well to contribute herbaceous spicy notes. Whilst at 43% ABV it is in the mid range of the gin section ABV’s, having tested (presumably earlier) versions that were bottled at 37.5% ABV as well, we found that despite being mixable and balanced, the taste could be drowned out all too quickly in certain cocktails where other liquors easily dominate the gin- even in a G&T one needs to pour it closer to the fifty-fifty mark to get the full flavour.
Botanicals aside, the gin has pedigree in other areas too. Distilled and bottled under contract by Thames Distillers, Juniper Green Organic Gin makes the most of their vast experience in gin. The family of Charles Maxwell, Master Distiller and Managing Director of Thames, have been making gin in London since 1700. Eight generations later Charles Maxwell has inherited one of the oldest unbroken family involvements in gin distilling. He owns the unique family recipes of esoteric botanicals with which great London gins are created – the accrued knowledge of 300 years experience. They also distill gins such as Darnley’s View as well as many others.
The organic tag the brand pursues is interesting as it does make you seek out why and what the taste difference could be between the counterpart non-organic botanicals with the contents given here. It also raises questions as to the provenance of where the contents of Juniper Green Organic Gin has come from; the information for which is somewhat lacking on their web-site.
While their explanation as to why they choose organic botanicals and grain may hold some weight, to paraphrase the Juniper Green site - “Organic grain creates fine alcohol naturally because it has a better biological cell structure than grain grown with chemical fertilizers. No chemical fungicides are used to assist in the storage of Organic Grain resulting in natural microorganisms which aid full and deep fermentation.” This is hard to fully believe given that the distillation process is so industrial and for the skeptics, it’s all to easy to then question the glass bottle and production emissions itself making the USP somewhat lost in translation when in a supermarket isle. In fairness however, they do tackle some of the issues of production on their site.
All in all, it’s an interesting gin that whilst we would suggest if you are seeking something different, it would be with the advice that there are better gins out there. However, if organic matters to you, then Juniper Green Organic Gin stands up to the challenge and although it might not tantalize the taste buds as much as others, it won’t overtly disappoint either whilst also leaving your conscience clear.