Our Red Door Gin review finds an otherwise smooth and subtle gin from the north east of Scotland that hides a great little background kick. Hailing from the Benromach Distillery near Forres, Red Door is a medium-priced gin. It currently retails in the £25-£30 ($30-35) range, and is widely available in the UK.
The botanical mix in Red Door includes many of the bit hitters you might expect. Obviously juniper is present, but coriander seed and angelica root feature too. Lemon peel and bitter orange peel add some citrus. More unusual botanicals then showcase the local highland environment. There are flowers of heather, rowanberry and sea buckthorn all at work.
There’s a new visitor centre for Red Door gin, but the Benromach Distillery is also famous for its Speyside whiskies. If you like your spirits, we’d thoroughly recommend heading to this beautiful part of the world.
On the senses
Our bottle of Red Door was beautifully packaged in a slide door box of the same vivid red of the bottle. It’s a very striking colour, and makes a great addition to a gin shelf. For those of you gin bottle addicts that like to arrange your shelves by colour, this is going to be right at the far end of your rainbow…
On opening the bottle, we were struck by the immediacy of the aromas. It smells like quite a robust gin. Hits of zesty citrus and the juniper are front and centre. There are definitely other detectable aromas too though. It’s a quite a revealing gin in that sense. That buckthorn can certainly be picked out. It all promises to be quite flavoursome.
To taste, Red Door Gin is a joy. It manages to tread that really difficult path of being a unique gin, without going too far and losing its appeal to traditional gin lovers. You can tell it’s been well crafted and thought through. Peggy, the copper pot still used, has come up trumps.
We found that those robust notes on those nose were really well balanced to taste. There’s a subtlety here. The earthiness of the angelica and heather, the fruitiness of the sea buckthorn, and the citrus of the lemon and orange are expertly melded. (Nb. That’s the first time I’ve used the word melded in a review…definitely an underused word! Andy.) The little background kick we mentioned? That’s the lingering sensation of the bitter orange.
Overall, we were really impressed by Red Door Gin. Four of us tried it, four of us loved it. Unusually, despite our different palates, we also all had very similar views about that subtlety and that great kick too.
Red Door Gin perfect serve
We need to add this to our list of great neat gins. You can pour Red Door in a glass and drink it, it’s that well balanced.
It’s superb in a classic gin and tonic too. Don’t go fancy with the tonic, you don’t need to. Double the gin to tonic will do – as we suggest in our guide – with plenty of ice and a garnish. The Red Door team suggest a raspberry garnish, or even grapefruit. The former works well because of the colour and the ‘theatre’, but we preferred the latter. Frankly, we reckon Red Door would stand up well to most garnishes.
In our view, Red Door is an excellent gin for a Negroni. It has that balance, and didn’t lose out to the rest of the cocktail when we tried it.
Buy Red Door Gin
We don’t think it’s available yet in the US or Canada, but please let us know in the comments if you come across it.
Footnote: If you like a Speyside whisky, we mentioned that Benromach are famous for that too. You can see the full current range on their website, and they’re widely available, such as this cask strength below.