Pros: A reasonable gin for the price - somehow brings back memories (is that a pro?)
Cons: Definitely cheap. Muted flavors - do not drink straight.
Gilbey's gin was the first gin I ever tasted. At the time, I was sure the liquor store had sold me a bottle of pinesol. Yes, I believed gin was that nasty. Since then, I have consumed many a martini (quality martinis I might add) and my opinion of gin has become quite favorable. In fact, I consider the subtlety of gin to be extremely rewarding. Many people find any gin overpowering, but those of you reading this review are at least willing to try the clear spirit.
Now, Gilbey's is not a quality gin, nor would it make a respectable martini by any means. However, I must give Gilbey's a few points for being inoffensive. And as I mentioned in the title, Gilbey's is an excellent mixer. For instance, a Polish sidecar or London buck with Gilbey's is something I enjoy quite often. Use at least three ingredients, however. A gin and tonic or martini does not do well with Gilbey's.
When first opening the bottle, you will detect a slight pine scent, rather like watered down pinesol. This is what initially turned me off. Pour a bit, and a little quality comes to the fore. It's smooth, very smooth, but just doesn't provide enough bite for my palate. I like being aware of the botanicals in my gin, but Gilbey's is sorely lacking in this area. I wish I could give this a 2.5 star rating - it's definitely middle of the road. One the one hand, there's nothing disgusting about this spirit. On the other, it's totally unexceptional - I have had many better gins (although they tend to cost quite a bit more). Overall, a great bargain if you're going to mix, but go with something with more life to taste a real gin flavor.
On a special note, if you're a college student like me, Gilbey's is a great value. Don't ever sink to the level of aristocrat, but I'm aware that your bank account doesn't always allow for that prized bottle of Beefeater or Tanqueray in the dorm room. Gilbey's may be the answer. It's taste to cost ratio is high - but I remind you to mix, or you'll be having bad gin memories for some time to come if you don't!
By the way, this is my first epinions review, so don't be too harsh!