Can the "best gin in the world" really cost only 11 euros?


We have become used to cheap being expensive and sometimes we do not trust products that reduce costs without losing quality. Do you remember the hordes of customers that leave the shelves empty when the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) launches one of its studies and comparisons between products?

It may not have as much impact as the OCU in Spain, but the British International Wine and Spirits Competition has launched its ranking of spirits and has revolutionized the networks with its award for an inexpensive gin.

Can the "best gin in the world" really cost only 11 euros? Let's see what the experts say and what we find in our supermarkets.

The best gins in the world

The contest that has managed to grab all the headlines over the weekend ("The cheapest gin in the world is worth less than 11 euros") is the International Wine and Spirits Challenge -International Wine and Spirits Competition-, which has been held since the 70s and whose headquarters are in London.

The 2017 Gold medal went to Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin, followed by the Silver Medal for Foxhole London Dry Gin and Bronze for "By the Dutch" Dry Gin.

Theoretically, the panel of judges and experts in spirits of the contest do a blind tasting among hundreds of international brands that are presented.

In other words, the "Best Drink of Anything" chosen will have to be among the competing brands, they do not make an objective market survey.

Another small drawback is that - due to the anonymity of what they are tasting - they can name as "Best gin in the world" a drink that is not sold beyond England, for example, or has a small market.

And this is precisely what has happened with the award-winning "Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin", produced by the German supermarket company Aldi, a Gold medal and limited sale to certain markets. An aspect that has not been mentioned in the interviews with the winners.

"Our core Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin range has always been a favorite with our customers, both for its excellent quality and great value.

We are very pleased to see that it has been recognized again with these accolades, proving that great tasting beverages don't have to cost an arm and a leg, "said Tony Baines, Aldi's director of corporate purchasing in an interview with Good Housekeeping., On the occasion of its recent awards.

Why Oliver Cromwell is not the best

In Spain we cannot run to the Aldi shelves to check the wonders of this drink for less than 11 euros, because it is neither there nor expected.

The Germans are outraged because it has not reached their supermarkets either. What good is it to name a gin the best in the world if it is not even sold in the country from which the brand originates?

And one last detail would still be missing. The German press has reported on this contest and headlines such as "Why Aldi's gin is not the best in the world" are already jumping.


They do not stitch without thread and point out a detail that seems to have gone unnoticed: the winning gin is a "London Dry Gin", which only competes in the category "volume 37-38% alcohol". Without subtracting merit, it is convenient to know that this award only corresponds to a category of lower alcoholic quality.

In fact, "Oliver Cromwell" in particular only contains 37.5%, which is the legal limit for European regulations to allow the name "Gin". The firms considered "Premium" (and not necessarily with exorbitant prices) usually mark a volume from 40%.

They simply do not compete in the same league, as experts in the world of distillery and mixology have quickly pointed out, such as the renowned German bartender Jöerg Meyer on his Facebook.

And what do we drink in Spain?

Whiskey, to liters. We could even give the same international gin competitions and contests because we have fixed tastes and we also give importance to national geographical names.

According to the Spanish Federation of Spirits (FEBE), distillates have been in our culture for millennia either as an aperitif, after dinner or as a celebration. Whiskey continues to take 26% of sales, followed by gin in the consumer ranking (20%), rum (17%), brandy (12%), spirits (12%) and vodka (5%).

Directo al Paladar has consulted (FEBE) about "the best gin on the Spanish market", but since they cannot prioritize some brands over others, they also do not draw up rankings like the British contest. We will have to wait for some study or national comparative that will throw us back on the shelves in search of the good, beautiful and cheap spirit drink.

Images | Pexels | Giphy | Joerg Meyer | Dutch Dry Gin
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