Product Reviews and Awards

We were named Best Local Distiller by Chicago Magazine in August 2013! In addition, our products have won a variety of prestigious awards and great reviews - here are some recent comments and tasting notes.

Distiller's Gin No. 6

  • 95 pts Gold Medal/Exceptional Rating - Beverage Testing Institute, 2008
    Highest rating given to any American-made gin
    • Tasting notes: "Clear with a platinum cast. Vibrant aromas of fresh herbs and spices, piney juniper, and twisted lemon peels jump from the glass. A silky entry leads to a fruity-yet-dry medium-full body of bold cracked juniper berry, pink peppercorns, lemon curd, clove, and pastry frosting flavors. Finishes with a long interplay of resiny juniper, sweet citrus and brown spices. A superb gin that virtually bristles with fresh, 3-D flavors. Very impressive!"
  • 5.0 out of 5.0 - " The aroma can be smelled from a distance while it lies and waits to be embraced. Big, Bright Vibrancy of Cinnamon and spice, cloaked in lavender, deliver an enveloped love note, hitting each beat of our heart." from Gin Reviews, April 2011
  • 91 Points - "This is a gin which will satisfy a little bit of everyone, modern flair and some serious old school juniper." - American Craft Spirits, February 2011
  • Highly Recommended - "[E]arthy, floral, citrusy and spicy in a way I have never encountered before in a gin before. Bravo! " by Spirits Review, July 2008
  • Best-rated among a variety of artisan gins by Time Out Chicago - "This floral spirit is rife with unusual (and unusually delicious) flavors for a gin, like lavender." Feb 2008
  • "A modern-style gin ... smooth and refined" - New York Times, Nov 2007
  • Rated Best Gin by Chicago Magazine over Bombay Sapphire, Hendrick's and Tanqueray 10, Jan 2007 (.pdf)
  • Gold Medal/Exceptional Rating - Beverage Testing Institute, 2006
    • Tasting notes: "Clear. Lime peel, cinnamon stick, and herbal juniper aromas are intense. A round, vibrant entry leads to a dryish full-bodied palate with robust juniper, cinnamon bark, sweet lemon peels, cloves, and peppery spice. Finishes with a lingering fade of sweet herbs and a touch of minerals and honey. Super fresh, three-dimensional juniper, cinnamon bark, and spice character really jumps out at you. Wow!"
  • Bronze Medal, 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 4.5 out of 5, a "damn good gin" - Gin Reviews Blog, Dec 2009

Distiller's Gin No. 11

  • 94 pts Gold Medal/Exceptional Rating - Beverage Testing Institute, 2008
    • Tasting notes: "Clear. Dense, compacted aromas of honeycomb, lime soufflé, peppery juniper, and sweet spices. A soft, silky entry leads to a fruity medium-full of citrus custard pasty, pink peppercorns, fresh herbs, and honeyed juniper berries. Finishes with an long interplay of flavor with a touch of eucalyptus and minerals. A lovely, deeply flavorful, and elegantly styled gin that will be sensational in vintage cocktails."
  • Alcoholmanac: "this is a gin-lovers’ gin. The aroma, beyond an obvious alcohol presence, contains distinct juniper and citrus notes. It has a beautifully rounded flavor of juniper, lime, cardamom and anise. No.11 leaves you with a lingering sweetness with an almost spearmint, cool finish. It is another masterpiece by North Shore!"

North Shore Vodka

Aquavit Private Reserve

  • 95 points, Exceptional Rating - Beverage Testing Institute, 2008
    Highest Rated Aquavit

      Tasting notes: "Yellow straw color with a chartreuse cast. vibrant and stimulating aromas of pink peppercorns, cardamom, lemongrass, medicinal roots and herbs, and sandalwood follow through on a silky entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with a touch of tilled earth a long, spicy fade. Excellent flavor, purity and depth."
  • 93 Points, " On the palate, perfect grain architecture, mouth coating body, cumin and citrus flavors too, surging like fresh splashes of bay rum; exotic, yet austere spices coming together as one. " - American Craft Spirits, February 2011
  • Wall Street Journal, April 2012: "This spicy, small-batch spirit out of Lake Bluff, Ill., is another example of high-quality aquavit made stateside. North Shore's aquavit picks up its straw color and caramel notes over six months spent in American white oak barrels. Cardamom and cumin dominate, complemented by hints of lemon grass and pink peppercorn. Serve chilled or at room temperature."
  • Gold Medal, 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 9 out of 10 ... "Spicy, light, aromatic, the three c's (caraway,cumin and coriander) blend in a balletic display of the possible." and "Incredibly smooth and seductively aromatic - especially for an aquavit. " - Spirits Review, July 2008
  • “Crisp and smooth... the flavors were complex and well-balanced. I highly recommend North Shore Aquavit." - Pro Bono Baker Blog, March 2007

Sol Chamomile Citrus Vodka

  • Exceptional Rating, 91 points - Beverage Testing Institute, 2013
    • Tasting Notes: Clear with a nickel cast. Interesting aromas of candied lemon and orange peels, delicate herbs and dried flowers with a very soft, lightly tannic, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a citrus gelatin candy, faint chamomile tea, peppercorn and grassy earth finish with pleasing warmth. Nice combination of delicacy and vibrancy that will pop well in cocktails.
  • Cooking Light Magazine Taste Test Award - 2012 - Best Artisanal Spirit
    "This infused vodka is delicious, smooth, and citrus-fragrant, and has none of the fakey-fruit sweetness that derails many flavored vodkas. "
  • Gayot.com named to their 10 Best Flavored Vodkas: "This spirit boasts innovative ingredients that proved to mesh and yield a highly aromatic vodka of exceptional quality. The potpourri of ingredients features oranges, limes, lemons and fresh chamomile, which are individually noticeable and form a new bouquet together. The nuances of the citrus come in layers engulfed by the perfumed floral aromas of the chamomile." - 2013