Gin-Note™ gin flavour guidance

Gin-Note™ chart for Tanqueray No.Ten Gin

An Introduction to Gin-Note™

Gin-Note™ is a Gin flavour guidance template designed to allow consumers, retailers and others, to benefit from access, across a wide range of gins, to a standard flavour summary of each of those gin brands.


It’s by far the most sensible consumer confidence tool I’ve seen for gin yet, and I’d like us to give it full-throated support.

Unsolicited comment from a multi award winning multi gin brand owner


The guidance has been designed to allow a uniform method of description for products choosing to use the template and would be prepared by brands themselves by using the fixed and consistent framework, alongside their own branding descriptions, to inform, educate and guide those seeking to explore the category. The significant growth in the number of distilleries producing gins means that there are now a growing and often confusing number of gin styles and tastes to navigate.

The approach proposed is a combination of a simple graphic and text. It is designed to allow consumers, retailers and bar owners to benefit from a consistent approach to describing taste and flavour in gin. Given the variety of botanicals used in gin, consumers face the challenge of making an informed choice of what to drink. It is hoped that Gin–Note will give those consuming their products a greater chance to appreciate and enjoy their creations, as too often consumers, without being given sufficient information, are left to buy gin merely based on bottle design.




The delegates who saw the presentation and engaged in the panel session that followed (assisted by draft partially complete examples of the application in practice for some of the new products that formed part of a new brand tasting session). It was recognised that Gin-Note could provide a real opportunity to inform and add to a brands sales support at the point of purchase and as support to explanations at tastings and trade presentations.

Please refer to the filmed sessions on the website. There is very little time, at the point of sale to communicate the virtues of a brand. The Gin-Note proposal attempts to provide a consistent and appealing way to do so, in the critical area of taste. For brands it means that people can explore flavour with a proper expectation of what the gin delivers. For retailers it will reduce the disappointment for consumers who buy a gin without fully understanding what it tastes like, and get it home to discover that it is not to their liking.

Gin-Note graphic gives a clear visual lead, enhanced with identification of signature botanicals. Additional words are intended to give an instant view of intensity, and an encapsulated brand proposition.

Gin-Note consists of the following parts:

  1. Gin-Note™ graphic visual – a visual representation of the general characteristics of a gin (scored by the brand concerned); read together with
  2. Brand Description – a 20 word brand supplied free-hand prose description of a gin, allowing the brand to provide a more detailed picture, using their established brand message; and
  3. Two words (selected by the brand itself from a list/template of recognised and standard keywords) allowing mouth-feel/palate/intensity to be reflected, so as to provide users with a complete picture of the gin.

Please explore the various gin brands shown on our site. We hope Gin-Note is of assistance and welcome feedback and comment via

How do I get a Gin Note™ for my Gin?

All Gin-Note  submissions are via the Gin-Note™ dashboard. All brand owning Gin Guild Members receive at least one complimentary Gin-Note entry. Founder and Warden members are eligible to have all their gins listed with a Gin-Note™ entry (and need to notify the Guild as to who is to be the nominated Gin-Note™ administrator). Rectifier Guild members receive one complimentary Gin-Note™ entry.

Is Gin-Note™ available to Non-members?

Yes, Gin-Note™ is available to gin producers who are not yet part of The Gin Guild.  Each Gin-Note™ is provided on an annual licence basis and is charged at £525 +VAT.  This includes the provision of the graphic elements for use in marketing materials, on bottles and elsewhere. After a successful Gin-Note™ application is made by a non-member an invoice is issued via our online portal, and after the payment is received we publish your Gin-Note™ resources.

Submit a Gin-Note™ entry now

The Gin-Note graphic

The gin graphic is designed to quickly communicate the character of a gin in an easy-to-understand, visual way. The gin graphic element of Gin-Note is divided into six different segments, each one representing a different aspect of a gin’s character. They are:

  • Juniper: green, resinous notes of juniper berries; can be broken down to include spruce, pine needles, cedar, pine, etc.
  • Citrus: bright, zingy and zesty; the flavours commonly associated with citrus fruit such as lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit, but also including the citrus character of botanicals such as coriander, lemongrass, verbena, etc.
  • Spice: including both sweet spice: e.g. cinnamon, cassia, nutmeg, cardamom, clove; and savoury spice: e.g. cumin, pepper and ginger.
  • Herbal: herbal, leafy notes, both dried and fresh, including basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, sage, fennel, etc.
  • Fruit: capturing the plump, fruity character of a gin beyond citrus. Includes notes of berries (strawberry, raspberry, etc.), stone fruit (cherry, plum, peach, etc.) and any other fruit.
  • Floral: perfumed characteristics of flowers such as rose, violet, orange blossom, lavender.

Each of the six segments covers a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest.

A gin is given a rating (by the brand owner), for each segment. For example, a bold, citrusy gin would have high values for intensity and citrus.

The total sum of the values for each segment for a single gin (i.e. when the values of all six segments are added together) cannot exceed 30.

Flavour guidance explained

Guidance on gin flavour for consumers, retailers, bartenders and the media

The Gin Guild, an international not for profit member funded gin industry body promoting and encouraging commitment to excellence in gin distillation and industry custodianship of the spirit category, seeks to lead the world of Gin, and to celebrate and promote excellence in its production and sale.

With a significant growth in the number of distilleries producing gins there are now a growing number of gin styles and tastes that people are asked to navigate.

The Gin Guild flavour guidance (‘Gin-Note’) is designed to allow consumers, retailers and others to benefit from access, across a wide range of gins, to a standard flavour summary of each of those gin brands, prepared by a brand themselves using a fixed and consistent framework, along side their own branding descriptions, to inform and educate and guide those seeking to explore the category.

The flavour guidance initiative aims to create a working and consistent categorisation that on the one hand allows brand owners to readily define their gin within prescribed parameters allowing description and differentiation from the proud distillers themselves, other than merely selling based on pure marketing ‘puff’ or (even) just based on bottle design, and, on the other hand, allows consumers, retailers and others, an improved ability to better gauge the flavour profile of a gin product, regardless of botanical content or production methodology.

The Gin Guild only recognises and permits use of Gin-Note to describe distilled gin made fully in accordance with the EU Spirit Regulations so far as they apply to gin from time to time.

Gin-Note is designed to help brands to communicate the unique characteristics of their gins.