BC Gin Round 8 – Victoria (Champ) VS Ampersand

BC Gin here we go again! Back again from R3-R7 (technically only R7), we have the Victoria Gin (actually V+) up against the award winning Ampersand Gin, made with organic ingredients. Is organic better, or shall the previous dominating champ take it again? Let’s find out!


1) Victoria Gin – Victoria Distillers – 42.5% ABV – 750ml., Sidney, BC, $47 CAD (5/2018) @ BCLiquor

  • new bottle and lower ABV from 2016 onward (was 45%).
  • 2016 Winner, Vancouver International Spirits Competition.
  • 2016 Gold, Beverage Testing Institute Awards.

[VS]

2) Ampersand Gin – Ampersand Distilling Co., 43.8% ABV – 750 ml., Duncan, BC, $40 CAD @craft show (11/2016)

  • Made with organic BC wheat, and 8 organic and wild harvested botanicals.
  • Voted BC’s Best Gin BC Distilled 2016, 2017.

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Criteria:

Nose: VG is rather muted with just a slight mineral alcoholic juniper-ness in there. It’s rather clean though. &G (Ampersand Gin) hits a citrus note, blended with a kind of custardy brightness. Lemon meringue, that’s it, or like a lemon vodka. Both are superbly clean, but &G is just that more interesting. &G has the nose.

Taste & Texture: VG starts off darker juniper berried and almost savoury, tangy soft floral, tongue numbing, throat warmth, medium alcohol detection. &G in contrast is immediately bright lemon balm citrusy from the get go, menthol juniper mids, coriander numbing, lime oils, and a juniper exhale. The alcohol is slightly more aggressive in &G, but that’s to say VG is incredibly smooth; My pre-2016 bottle of VG was much smoother than this new bottle. So, we have dark-noted VG vs bright-noted &G, and I fancy &G, it’s just more inviting. &G the new champ!


Final Notes:

  • Victoria Gin, exhibits darker juniper, star anise notes, less uplifting, but can do well in a cocktail. Still a solid gin.
  • Ampersand Gin is very bright lemon citrus with berry juniper, coriander, lime, but also leaks more alcohol on the palate.
  • Ampersand Gin was $7 cheaper ($40 vs $47 CAD -BCL/@website), not sure about &G now.

Verdict: Both are solid gins, one is dark and one is bright so it really depends on your mood, preference, and usage (sip/cocktail). In this BC gin competition, I like a gin to keep me interested with each and every ongoing sip, and Ampersand gin does it better than Victoria so I’ll be taking it along to duke it out in the next round. Cheers!