5 Of The Most Popular Gin Distillery Styles

The history and traditions associated with distilled spirits span back for generations and across all continents. Gin dates back to the 17th century, originally a juniper-based spirit known as “the Water of Fruits.” Since then, Gin distillation has evolved into several distinct styles.

Keep reading to find out more about 5 of the world’s most popular gin distillery styles. Beginning with the ever-so-popular London Dry Gin.

London Dry Gin: London Dry Gin has English origins. However, the term London-dry does not refer to gin distilled in England. Juniper, citrus, angelica root, and coriander are the most common botanicals crafted into a London Dry Gin, with juniper dominating the flavour profile.

It has become a mark of quality.  In order to be called London Dry Gin, the base spirit must be entirely neutral and have a concentration of 96 %.   All botanicals must be added through distillation and must be selected from natural plant sources. In a Gin Distillery, London dry gins are generally bottled at a higher proof.

Plymouth: Made in the South of England and bottled at a lesser proof, Plymouth Gin gin is softer and less juniper-forward than London Dry. However, the distillate contains 57 % alcohol by volume (ABV) or “Navy strength”, which is much greater than the alcohol percentage of most other gins. While other gin types can be produced in a craft distillery or contract distillery anywhere in the world, Plymouth Gin Distillery in England is the only distillery authorised to create this type of gin.

Old Tom Gin: When gin is aged in cask or barrels, it takes on an older, maltier flavour profile and a characteristic citrusy sweetness. Old Tom Gin is an aged gin popular in England throughout the 18th century. Making a comeback as part of the “Craft Distillery and Cocktail” movement. When compared to London Dry, Old Tom is slightly sweeter but drier than the dutch Genever.

Genever: Genever (or jenever) is a Dutch forerunner of modern gin dating back to the sixteenth century. Genever has a savoury, earthy, malty taste that is characteristically fuller than other gins. Genever is distilled from malt wine spirits rather than neutral grain spirits in Holland, Belgium, and portions of France and Germany.

International style: New gin variations develop almost every day throughout the world, from Spain to Japan, Brazil to the United States and right here on our doorstep, in the form of locally inspired spirits in South Africa. Free from the traditional botanical trappings of the London Dry style, many contemporary gin manufacturers craft their artisanal spirits as direct representations of their region, integrating local herbs and botanicals.

Gin distillery is an ancient art, a mixture of science, art and gastronomy that dates back centuries. Today the traditions and recipes are honoured by master distillers worldwide, with new innovations paving the way for gin to continue evolving. 

Contract distilling in South Africa has made it possible for uniquely African blended spirits to be distributed internationally. Contract distillery has also allowed internationally acclaimed spirit brands to be distributed and sold locally.

Established in 2016, The Midlands Distillery has since become one of South Africa’s fastest-growing spirit producers, creating a variety of award-winning, premium quality artisanal spirits for both domestic and international distribution. 

Visit our Brands Page To learn more about our 

  • Locally produced, Premium Quality and affordable London Dry Gin variant – Newbury Gin.
  • Award-winning internationally recognised Artisinal Gin brand – Bayab.
  • Or get in touch to find out more about our contract distilling and export services.

Midlands Distillery

1 Quarry Road