SpiritsHandpicked by IWSC

Award-winning gin from around the world

Outside of the UK, the juniper spirit shines just as brightly. Check out these IWSC award-winning gins made in locations all around the world

Words by IWSC Judges

gin and tonic copa glass
Handpicked by IWSC

Gin is the undeniable spirit success story of the past decade. A drink that suffered from an old-fashioned image has been rejuvenated and reimagined, and is now the star performer in bars all over the world.

Originating in the Netherlands (where it was known as jenever), gin soon attracted the attention of the UK, where it quickly caught on, and gave rise to a host of household names, such as Beefeater, Tanqueray and Gordon’s.

But top-quality gin is now made in gin distilleries all over the world, with an ever-expanding list of exotic botanicals used to create new, exciting flavours. Juniper is still the dominant note in almost all examples of the drink, but it’s combined with all manner of ingredients to take the spirit in a particular direction, whether that’s citrus, spice or something else entirely.

gin and tonic with rooftop bar view

This year’s IWSC saw a wide range of styles win Gold medals. Among the highest scorers was Japanese Hachiban gin from Alembic Inc. Earning a staggering 98/100pts, it drew praise for spicy notes, and a warming finish.

Another Gold winner was Junimperium blended dry gin from Estonia, noted for its sweet pine notes, and what judges claimed was ‘enough spice to tingle the taste buds without being overwhelming.’ Other countries picking up Gold and Silver medals for their gin included Germany, Canada, Vietnam, Argentina and South Africa.

All the worldwide gins from this year’s IWSC were judged blind by an expert panel featuring some of the best palates in the business, such as spirits writer Vanessa Piromallo, Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne and Harvey Nichols buyer Nick Larsson-Bell.

If you thought you’d seen all there is to the drink, this list of  first-rate spirits should offer some new territory to explore. We’re proud to present the best gins from around the world, as judged at the 2023 International Wine & Spirit Competition.


How do we judge these spirits?

We run a tightly structured, rigorous spirits tasting process. That means that each spirit sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC spirit judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the drinks industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.

How do we score these spirits?

Only the best spirits sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, spirits have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.

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