7 Navy Strength Gins To Ignite Your Tastebuds


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Originally used as a medicinal spirit to fight off ailments at sea, Navy Strength gin imparts bolder flavours than its weaker counterpart. The best Navy Strength gins pack a punch that’s not easily drowned out by mixers used in cocktails or overpowered by other spirits.

The story of Navy Strength gin dates back to the 1700s when the Royal Navy carried casks of gin next to their gunpowder barrels. If, by chance, the gin spilt on the gunpowder, they needed to know if the gunpowder would still ignite if it got wet.

In those times, there was no device to test the percentage of alcohol, and the only test was to make a paste with gunpowder. If the gunpowder/gin paste still ignited, it was considered overproof. Simple!

7 Best Navy Strength Gins

Although the best Navy Strength gins certainly pack a punch, they also lock in more botanical flavours. Here are 7 popular picks to consider.

1. Plymouth Gin Navy Strength

Plymouth Gin Navy Strength
Credit: Plymouth Gin

Overview

  • Distiller: Black Friars Distillery
  • ABV: 57% (114 Proof)
  • Country: England
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Nestled in building dating back to the early 1400s, the Black Friars Distillery in Plymouth has supplied proof strength gin to the British Navy for over 200 years. 

Plymouth Gin Navy Strenght was considered to help cure and prevent scurvy and malaria. So much so that it became a tradition for all newly commissioned ships to carry a Plymouth Gin commissioning kit as a medicinal potion.

On The Nose

Aromas of citrus, cardamom, pine-fresh juniper, and floral notes.

On The Palate

A zesty duo of lemon and orange lifted by sage. Mid-palate reveals mainly juniper and cardamom with a touch of coriander. The crisp finish brings fresh woody pine with hints of spice.

Best Served

I recommend Plymouth Gin Navy Strenght as a feisty Gin and Tonic with a good squeeze of lime for extra citrus. Perfect for enjoying on a breezy hot summer’s day.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin

Pickering's Navy Strength Gin
Credit: Pickering’s

Overview

  • Distiller: Summerhill Distillery
  • ABV: 57.1% (114.2 Proof)
  • Country: Scotland
  • Colour: Clear

Review

The team at Summerhill distillery turned the neglected animal hospital of Royal Dick Vet School into the first exclusive gin distillery in Edinburgh in over 150 years. It opened its doors for business in 2014.

Their first big break came four months after opening when they launched the hand-crafted Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin. This became the official gin of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo that sports a small bearskin cap.

On The Nose

An aromatic fanfare of crisp juniper and citrus peel mingling with slightly sweet vegetal aromas.

On The Palate

A potent juniper opening is met with zesty citrus and hints of anise. Becomes spicer mid-plate (cardamom and fennel). This finish has the lingering spiciness of black pepper with reminders of sweet liquorice.

Best Served

Enjoy this robust gin in a Navy Negroni with equal parts of Pickering’s Navy Strength gin, Campari, and Martini Rosso stirred with ice and garnished with a sliver of orange peel.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin
Credit: Four Pillars

Overview

  • Distiller: Four Pillars Distillery
  • ABV: 58.8% (117.6 Proof)
  • Country: Australia
  • Colour: Clear

Review

A group of three friends down under started a small gin craft distillery in 2013 with one copper still named Wilma. In a short time, they would proudly win accolades and sweep the World’s Leading Gin Producer award in 2019 and again in 2020.

Their use of native finger limes and fresh ginger give their navy strength gin a refreshing zesty flavour with power and intensity that is a perfect addition to cocktails. Makes an excellent gin for beginners too.

On The Nose

Fresh pine aromas of juniper infused with lime and orange, fragrant lavender, and earthy dill. I could also get a touch of ginger.

On The Palate

The unmistakable kick of ginger and crisp juniper on the open. Zesty lime, semi-sweet orange, turmeric and cinnamon bring you back to earth. It finishes off with a lingering bitterness of zesty citrus and spice.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin

Haymans Royal Dock Gin
Credit: Haymans

Overview

  • Distiller: Haymans Distillers
  • ABV: 57% (114 Proof)
  • Country: England
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Hayman’s is a family business steeped in 150 years of history and has had its fair share of ups and downs through global conflicts, prohibitions, and downward trends of gin. 

Thankfully their gin production process has not changed! They continue to produce gin over two days to allow the flavours of the botanicals to infuse the English wheat spirit used as a base.

On The Nose

The classic aroma of juniper-forward gin, intense citrus, and a touch of orange blossom. It’s like a London dry gin in its delivery.

On The Palate

Opens with semi-sweet orange and lemon citrus plus a welcome jolt of juniper. Mid-palate reveals coriander and spice. The finish lingers elegantly with zesty citrus, spicy black pepper, and floral hints.

Best Served

Enjoy in a classic G&T or a Gin Gimlet with lime cordial topped with a wheel of lime to garnish. It is sure to invigorate the weak and tired and up your spirits with tangy flavours of lime.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Conniption Navy Strength Gin

Conniption Navy Strength Gin
Credit: Conniption

Overview

  • Distiller: Durham Distillery
  • ABV: 57% (114 Proof)
  • Country: United States
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Durham Distillery is proud to say that their Navy Strength Gin has raked in the award as best navy strength gin for four years running, voted by the World Gin Awards.

Their two-step infusion of botanicals, such as Indian coriander, caraway, rosemary, and cardamom, are added with the rich flavours of juniper and cassia, all vapour infused in the German copper pot.

Added to the distillates of sweet, zesty citrus and decadent flavours of mission figs (I think this is a great addition that reminds me of Japanese Gin), which are cold distilled at room temperature.

On The Nose

Spicy meets juniper freshness with aromas of coriander, cardamom and sweet fig.

On The Palate

Refreshing waves of juniper infused with zesty lemon and citrusy orange. Rosemary, cardamom and thyme soon creep in, plus a touch of fig. A long finish and clean finish with gentle spices tones.

Best Served

Try in a classic G&T or as a Navy Gin Ricky with a dash of fresh lime juice and soda water garnished with a wedge of lime.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Purity Navy Strength Gin

Purity Navy Strength Gin
Credit: Purity

Overview

  • Distiller: Purity Distillery
  • ABV: 57.1% (114.2 Proof)
  • Country: Sweden
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Purity’s goal is to be organic and understand that perfection is a slow process that rewards you with an outstanding product. They use organic Swedish wheat and malted barley for their spirit base.

A Swedish distillery driven to echo the process of its ancestors, they slowly and gently warm up the botanicals for their 34 times distilled (yes, you read that right) spirits in their custom-made 600-litre copper still.

On The Nose

The nose is greeted with the bold crispness of juniper plus wafts of herbal aromas infused with zesty hints of juicy berries. 

On the Palate

Contrasting crisp juniper mixed with coriander, cardamom, and angelica on the open. Fruity blueberries and fragrant lavender mid-palate before signing off with a fresh yet peppery finish.

Best Served

Enjoy as a sultry Midnight Hour G&T, mixed with dry tonic and a splash of orange bitters decorated with a twist of orange peel and draped over ice for a twist on the classical G&T.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. Spirit of Hven Navy Strength Gin

Spirit of Hven Navy Strength Gin
Credit: Spirit of Hven

Overview

  • Distiller: Spirit Of Hven
  • ABV: 57.1% (114.2 Proof)
  • Country: Sweden
  • Colour: Clear

Review

The Spirit of Hven started in 2008 between the shores of Denmark and Sweden on a small island called Hven. Its humble beginnings as one of the world’s smallest distilleries.

Every step from mashing, fermentation, distilling, and oak barrel storage under one roof, has led this distillery to great things. They are now suppliers of spirits to over 40 countries worldwide.

The Organic Navy Strength Gin is skillfully distilled in copper pot stills. Lavender, chamomile, and elderflower are also placed in botanical baskets then the distillate rests until pH levels stabilize. 

On The Nose

Pleasant wafts of juniper and citrus, plus decadent vanilla and liquorice undertones. 

On The Palate

Juniper and sweet liquorice start with a bang up-front, delightfully balanced middle with spices, citrus and oak. I found the finish to be delicate with suggestions of vanilla.

Best Served

Works well as a classic G&T or in a Gin Fizz, where the club soda enhances the taste bud experience and brings the juniper to the forefront, with a dash of lemon juice to lighten and brighten the spirit.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Andrew’s Top Pick

best Navy Strength Gin

Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin

My top pick for Navy Strength Gin is Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin. I enjoyed the bold citrus and juniper opening that becomes spicier mid-palate. A nice lingering finish off zest and peppery tones let this gin make its presence known.

Navy Strength Gin Q&A

What Is Navy Strength Gin?

Navy strength gin must reach at least 57% ABV to be considered ‘navy strength’. Due to its higher ABV, the crisp juniper and spices are more prominent; plus, another benefit is it doesn’t get drowned out in cocktails.

Why Is Navy Strength Gin Stronger?

In the times of the British Navy, they needed the gin to be flammable in case it soaked the gunpowder. Hence, the dilution to water ratio was much less to ensure the gin was 57% ABV (114 proof). Today this extra strength allows the botanicals to retain more complexity and gives the gin a bolder flavour that can stand out in cocktails too.

Conclusion

Every distiller has its unique method of crafting gin, and producing a Navy Strength gin allows the alcohol to retain more flavours from its infused botanicals.

So when reaching for the best Navy Strength gin to add to your next G&T or Martini, remember to experiment as the higher ABV will pack a punch.

If you enjoy the traditional, you may want to check out my 10 London Dry Gins For The Perfect G&T article.

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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