Adnams First Rate

When Adnams first started experimenting with their First Rate Gin, they actually started with an eclectic range of 17 botanicals. Throughout the recipe process, they endeavoured to achieve a balance of flavours and a complimentary mix. Through careful crafting, they struck upon the perfect balance of 13 botanicals, including Juniper Berries, Coriander Seed, Cardamom Pod, Sweet Orange Peel & Liquorice Root. It is the broad mix of botanicals which deliver a series of flavours through your gin drinking experience.

Made with a complex and powerful blend of 13 botanicals to complement the strength of this spirit, it delivers aromatic spices mingled with Juniper and softened with hints of citrus. To serve, cut a fresh sprig of thyme from the garden (or buy a bunch from the greengrocers or supermarket) and wrap a long, thin piece of zest from an unwaxed lemon around it, and add both to your glass as a garnish.

You can buy Adnams First Rate Gin at most supermarkets or at The Whisky ExchangeAdnams or on Amazon.

Botanicals include juniper berries, orris root, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cassia bark, vanilla pods, angelica root, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, thyme, liquorice, sweet orange and lemon peel.


What the Honest Crew say …

  • Honest Tom

Honest Verdict

We haven’t completed enough reviews yet to make an Honest Verdict.

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Our Honest Verdict … Adnams First Rate delivers quite a punch, that said, this is a beautifully clean and smooth gin. Strong flavours (most notably juniper, thyme and orange) bring the rest of the botanicals into line, with vanilla, cardamom and light spice making perfectly timed appearances.


What other experts say …

Juniper Diaries  says … This is a “distilled gin”, not a London Dry, presumably because of the vanilla pod which I have heard cannot be distilled and requires the addition of a post-distillation infusion or essence. The finished product is bottled at 48% and corked with a wide-bore squeaky cork.

Pouring a little into a glass and giving it a “good nosing” was an interesting experience. This is the first gin I have come across that smells of toffee – I am guessing this this is the vanilla. This in underpinned by juniper and it doesn’t smell like a 48% ABV gin.

Tasting First Rate neat reveals an incredibly complex flavour profile; rich and oily. The attack has a big ol’ juniper hit that is smoothed, even muted, by the vanilla toffee notes. It’s also somewhat prolonged and lingers a fair while before giving way to a short, sharp middle palete filled with prickly, peppery, herbal notes. There’s a heavy, complex aniseed finish which is probably a combination of liquorice, fennel and caraway. There’s also a long-lasting, stinging mouth-tingle in the after taste.  Continue reading review …

Gin Foundry  says … Not content with just one gin, they also produce a second called First Rate Finest Cut Gin. This is a much bigger beast in comparison to its sister. Made with a complex blend of 13 botanicals rather than six, and a higher ABV of 48%, it feels like a bolder, more potent gin. With the usual suspects in the botanical mix (juniper berries, coriander seed, cardamom pod, orange peel & liquorice root) it delivers aromatic spices mingled with a softened Juniper and hints of citrus. The more unusual vanilla pods, caraway seeds, fennel seeds and thyme add to what is a really complex mix. It’s very balanced too, with the juniper re-emerging on the finish.

Gin lovers will definitely gravitate towards the First Rate Gin, however that’s not being dismissive of the regular Copper House Gin, it’s just that the higher ABV and more complex botanical mix has a magnetism that a simpler offering can’t deliver. Copper House Gin is a good, classic London Dry gin with a unique flavour twist, First Rate Gin however is a class apart. Continue reading review …


Adnams First Rate Gin

Image – Adnams